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Tonight, if the weather man is to be believed,  the mercury will dip to 28 degrees F here in the DFW area. Like many urban gardeners, Charlie and I have been scurrying about covering our vegetables to protect them from the frost.

Below is a photo taken from Charlie's poolside area.  You would never suspect that hiding behind those the two mounds are four-foot tall tomato plants with about fifteen large green tomatoes.  We covered brocolli, brussel sprouts, marigolds, peas, beans, eggplants and seven tomato plants.

 

At my own home, I spent about three hours in Urban Gardens I, II and III preparing the gardens for the first frost.  Below is a photo I've titled "The last Roses of 2013".  The rose bush in Urban Garden I is covered in buds.  I hope the trash bag I covered it with will protect it from Jack Frost.  If not, then I still have a lovely bouquet to enjoy for a while.  All the other flowers that are in pots were brought into my home or garage.

 

Garden's change people--and for the better.  I'm living proof.  This is the first year since I moved into my home eight years ago that I haven't regarded dry fall leaves as a personal enemy.  Until this June, my front yard had no trees, but my neighbors on both sides and across the street have lots that are filled with mature diciduous trees. Every year until this year I've spent hours bagging up my neighbors' leaves that blow into my yard--fueled by the fantasy of dumping them back onto their yards.  Today was different.  Now I see leaves as an asset, a gift from my neighbors. I welcome them. Those leaves provide additional mulch for my blueberry bushes and strawberry plants.  Tonight they sleep snugly beneath a cozy four-inch layer of dry leaves. (The large bag near the center of the photo is my rose bush )

 

Herbs are now hanging to dry in my dining room

Today was the day I decided to pull most of my herbs. I want to dry them and then give little bottles of dried herbs to my friends for stocking stuffers.  Perhaps Love Garland Green will do the same next fall with our herbs and add the sale of those items to our holiday fundraiser.  I didn't know where to hang the herbs, but I knew I didn't want to hang them in my garage because I've had a resident rat who has lived in the rafters there for as long as I can remember.  We have an unspoken agreement:  As long as he does not come into my house, we will live in peace.  I know that if I put the herbs in the garage, he would consider the plants as his food because the garage is his territory.

 

 

 

The Lemon and Mandarin Orange trees were brought back in the house.

The lemon tree, which I brought with me from California 8 years ago, and I have a great relationship.  Every year for the past 6 years the tree has faithfully produced anywhere from 15 to 35 luscious lemons.  Currently it has 17 lemons which should be ripe about the second week of December.  The Mandarin Orange tree is another relationship altogether.  It produces 2 to 5 oranges every other year.  Thus, every year for the past four years, I've threated to let it stay outside and die during the winter.  This year was no different.  In fact, this year I came very close to leaving it outside.  Its roots had exceeded the limits of the pot and taken root in the ground.  But just at dusk I gave it another chance and brought it indoors.  Maybe next year. . .

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