like most people, gardeners procrastinate too. We like to wait until the very last minute — pondering the various possible actions and reactions of inertia — and begin work at the 11th hour. In my personal garden, I used to wait until about 11:45 and then go at it with great fervor. My business requires a vastly different method. Having a business helps me stay on track and on time, since I'm on Nature's schedule, not my own. My attitude and energy level has improved immensely about getting the proper things done at the right time. Like getting the perennial and conifer garden ready for Winter. The time to begin is right now.
The Perennial Garden.
First, cut every herbaceous perennial (one which dies back to the ground) that's yellow or browned-off back to 1-2" from the root flair. Bury the rest of it with a few handfuls of mulch to protect the crown. Compost the trimmings. Clean up as much plant debris as is laying around and compost it too. If you have some spare mulch — or didn't mulch in the Spring — get some use it on the gardens and to cover up the plants' roots and crown. Too many die as a result of heaving during freezes and thaws.
Next, install any new plant material that you've had waiting around in pots for the drought and heat to abate before planting. It's now time to do it, so the root system has a chance to establish itself prior to the ground freezing.
Spring bulbs should already be planted, but if you've delayed for any reason, get them into the ground right now, so you'll have a nice display in the Spring.
If composting has been a part of the routine — and it should in every garden — use up any remaining in the bin now, to mulch existing plants. It will do nothing of any value in the compost bin over the Winter; it's only effective when used in the garden.
There are certain plants that are better divided in the Fall; others in the Spring. If your garden is at the point where some are ready for division — getting too large for their allotted spaces — send me a list of what you have, and I'll provide detailed instructions on which to do what to and when.
The Conifer Garden.
Lots to do here, depending upon whether your plants are hardy enough to handle the Winter. If they are variegated (either white or yellow tinged), they may require some Wilt-Pruf anti-dessicant to keep parts from browning off. Many conifers go through needle cast right now; that is the yellowing and shedding of inside needles. Some people worry that the plant is sick and dying, but it's a normal cyclical action. In a natural forest setting, that's how they self-mulch the forest floor.
If you have to protect and shield conifers with burlap and other barriers, they're probably not hardy enough in your Zone, and should be living elsewhere. Harsh words? No, just a practical dose of reality. Been there did all that, once.
Make sure there's 1-2" of good quality mulch snugged up against the trunk for the Winter. In the Spring, de-mulch the trunk of all insulative material, since it can whack the conifer if backfilled against the wood. That material holds unusual amounts of moisture against the wood and can cause decay, rot, disease and insect infestation.
Proper and timely mulching pays great dividends. If you didn't mulch in the Spring, mulch now at 1-2". Simple enough.
Fertilizers? Never this late into the season. My rule-of-thumb is end of April and beginning of August; and use Holly-Tone, NOT that lousy Miracle-Gro shit.
Next Years Gardens.
Not waiting until the 11th hour anymore, I've ordered my company's plant material months ago. Close to $300,000 worth for Spring 98. There's still a few speciality items that I'm working on, but 95% of it all is completed.
Spend some time with all the new catalogs and magazines arriving and showing their new wares for Spring 98. I always do.
But a caveat: don't expect all the new introductions to be immediately available for every garden right away. Often, it takes years for new plants to filter down to the major distributors — the local garden centers and nurserys — after being previewed in consumer magazines. They're trying to judge and gauge demand for such products by giving a national distributor exclusive right to handle the product for a couple of years. You always pay a hefty premium; don't bother, unless you always must be the first.
We almost always can get such one-of-a-kind items through our sources and with a few months, make them available to many people at a reasonable price. The so-called special offers are rip-offs and scams, making a few, select people very wealthy in a short time. I advise people not to participate in that shit, and maybe it'll go away.
When I do landscape or tree installation estimates for customers and potential customers, there's the occassional person who has already received several estimates for the same project. But almost always not the same degree and level of quality work.
The estimate(s) they're holding back are usually cheaper in plant material quality and always in price, so some are inclined to go with the less expensive estimate. That seems to be SOP in York County. Cheaper is better, they think.
The one critical element overlooked by these price shoppers is the proposed quality of design and corresponding plant material. There's no rational comparison: it's fruit salad instead of comparing appples-to-apples. Most don't realize or care since they're shopping stricly on price.
The customer base we've developed is certainly conscious of price, but the overriding factors are quality and warranty. No other garden center or nursery even comes close on those two main points.
I feel sorry for those who've chosen the low road, since they're buying junk and getting junk, simply on the price factor alone. They'll pay the price again down the road for such avarice.
Espresso or Decaf?
The lies continue to emanate from The White House. The Clinton scum and criminals continue to willfully obstruct justice in the investigation of the coffee videotapes. Sure, coffee's gone up in price, but $50,000-$100,000 a cup?
Liberal filth continue to parade before the Senate Committee and lie about their involvement with Asian criminals like the Riady Lippo Group scum. Ickes is one of the dirtiest criminals to ever set foot in The White House, next to Clinton.
It's my guess that the Vince Foster suicide had much to do with what's happening now. Foster, as an (very depressed at what he found hidden in the closets) attorney for Clinton, knew he'd probably be indicted in the end, go to jail, lose his license to practice law, and wind up a marked man for the rest of his life for shielding the Clinton criminals. For him, suicide was an easy way out of it before the shit hit the fan. In almost all instances, Clinton walks; his underlings take the hits. Except for some people who've decided to tell all after being sentenced to prison and receiving limited immunity.
And the criminal AFL-CIO/Teamster mess is about to hit the fan for the scummy liberals. There will be some real shit flying once the hearings begin on that situation. I look forward to it all unfolding. It will truly be an interesting Fall and Winter.
At long last, the Reno puppet is making some smoke about investigating the DNC, Clinton and Gore criminals. Whether it actually goes anywhere because of her protective stance about Clinton, is yet unclear. The biased attorney general needs to be replaced with an impartial attorney general, not one appointed and beholden to Clinton. When she was first appointed, I lauded the choice, not because she was a woman, but she was reputed to have great integrity. That's seemingly disappeared in the 6+ years she's worked for Clinton. A shame.
Finally, Americans are starting to realize that Clinton and Gore are indeed criminals. Every previous poll taken has shown that no one really cares, as long as their pockets are full of money (from an economy that he inherited and had nothing to do with) and the country's at peace (something else he had nothing to do with). The most recent poll shows that real doubt has finally set in and of the miniscule number of people asked, most now know he and Gore are scum. Whether they really care enough is another question.
But hey, no one's perfect; certainly not these fraudish clowns.
No, not the James Bond 007 types. These are three more Americans accused of spying for the East Germans, Soviet Union and Federal Republic of Russia, plus some other minor countries. That's Americans committing espionage against their own country.
Recently, there have been others arrested for spying against the US, all Americans betraying their country. An FBI and CIA officer were involved in some pretty high profile cases. Again, that's Americans committing espionage against their own country.
What makes these people traitors against their own country? What twisted, misguided mentality allows them to betray everything their families and friends hold dear? If convicted for these heinous crimes, they'll get a simple prison term and fine. That's all. Again, that's Americans committing espionage against their own country.
Uh, whatever happened to hanging the bastards? Or shooting the scum? Is national betrayal only a capital offense in wartime? I rank a traitor higher on my scale of deserved death than even murderers, rapists and child molesters. Public executions would help to change anyone's mind from betraying their country. Prison sentence, indeed. I'd be glad to sign up to pull the trigger, flip the switch, push in the needle or put the rope around their filthy necks. A traitor deserves to die, no matter what time it is.
Of the many crimes against society and its citizens that liberals are guilty of, none is more heinous than what they've done over the decades since FDRs socialistic-communistic programs wrought continuing problems on Americans of all colors.
Many Americans like that Clinton tries to identify himself with America's diverse constituencies: black and white, native- and foreign-born, middle class as well as the disadvantaged and poor. Of course, there is great injustice in this perception.
America is now overrun by the evil, liberal welfare state, created by Clinton's party that has destroyed the inner-city family and created a culture of poverty that has blighted the lives of millions of children. It is the liberal and Democratic apologists on crime who have made our nation's once-safe streets a minefield of terrors for women and the young, especially in our poorer neighborhoods. It is the feel-good, relativist, anti-authority fashions of the "progressive" left, and their mouthpieces in the pro-Democratic Party teacher unions, that have brought America's schools to their lowest ebb in the nation's history, depriving children of the poor — who lack the access of their liberal betters to private education — of the most necessary tools to fulfill the American dream.
Social welfare programs encourage laziness and sloth in all participants; people simply wait for their weekly checks to arrive so they can buy drugs and alcohol. They never take responsibility for their own lives. They expect the government to take care of everything that affects their daily existence.
By giving unlimited handouts to anyone who signs up, America has created its own classes of haves and have nots on a scale not envisioned by the Founders. FDRs policies are to blame; the other liberals who've followed in his much-tainted footsteps have continued the mediocrity and dependence on government.
One entire county finally said, No more welfare, Cinton! I'd be proud to live there and be a part of it all. Imagine that: ending welfare as we know it. Seeing people get their pride back by taking control of their own lives.
I've sent a few questions to ABC's John Donvan, but none have been selected as one to ask the criminal, lowlife, scumbag Slick Willie Bubba Clinton, or his congenital liar bitch wife, Hitlery. Wonder why.
Perhaps you'll have better luck. Try it.