No hesitation

Every fall I have problems with resolve. I do whatever I can to mentally extend the growing season, living in denial that the frost-sensitive annuals and tropicals will somehow make it far into November. I ignore the ugly cold-marred leaves and crispy-edged foliage as long as I can, only removing ugly husks of plants when they are obviously and irreversibly fried.


This year though, I'm being more realistic -- at least in theory. With so many tropicals to dig and store this year, I have to spread the end of season work out a bit, and that means that some of the plants that might be able to stick around for another week or two are making an early departure. Like this potted castor bean.


***


I'm not being completely arbitrary and cold-hearted about it though -- I'm not just ripping good plants out of the ground on a whim. I don't think I'll ever be that type of gardener, as I have too much empathy for the plants.

I am removing problem plants though, as I did the other day when planting the Swiss chard -- that malabar spinach vine was in the way so needed to get chopped down.

That potted castor bean got blown over by the wind and was blocking the steps down to the patio (as seen in the first photo above). The pot wasn't knocked over -- the plant was.


I say "potted" only because it started in a pot, but I know that the roots extend into the soil below.

Hey, you're bending my Plumeria!

In previous years I would have scrambled to find some poles with which to prop this plant back upright, letting it live for another few days until nighttime temps dip below freezing.

Not this year though.

This year I'm straight for the loppers, and this plant got a drastic pruning. First though, we have to admire some of the most beautiful leaves in my garden, especially in this lighting:



Okay, now we can go for the loppers:



I should have cut it all the way down to the ground, but I couldn't.


I guess I still have too much empathy for them.

Seems like a reasonable compromise though.

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scottweberpdx  – (October 25, 2012 at 9:38 AM)  

I've gotten better at this too...although I'm still a big ol' softy...and have a hard time completely giving up on a plant...even if they've disappointed me time and again...but next year, I swear I'm going to be tougher!

Hoover Boo  – (October 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM)  

Here October is simple clean up, so that the big January clean up is not so overwhelming.

Those burgundy leaves, so gorgeous. Castor Bean in the less wonderful green format is an invasive weed in my region. Perhaps it is good you have frost after all--Castor bean can remain a summer beauty, not a year-round pest.

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