When you spend a fair bit on and spend a fair chunk of time buying, planting, and caring for flowers, you hate to see them ‘go’ early in September. And always, there is a choice. To preserve some natural beauty (and this can last till Halloween, making fall around the yard brighter as it cools off) requires covering with sheets. One can’t always trust the more fallible Environment Canada these daze either–they might predict +1, but you’re taking a chance if you don’t cover when it’s that close to freezing. Many’s the time I’ve seen that kind of prediction turn into a killing frost of -4, -5.
Covering is a choice necessitating moving more sensitive plants or those you want to preserve off the ground usually and onto a patio or into a garage. The first cover involves putting in stakes, usually thin round ones, to hold up the sheets above the flowers. The subsequent covers take about 10 mins. max. each–not too long to ensure the survival of your preferred natural beauty. Sheets can be left outside, especially if dry, though you have to watch for winter-nest-building squirrels who may come by to tear/bite off strips. Sheets can alternately be stored inside the house each night if not wet.
Sometimes you may cover up 3 or 4 days in a row. But sometimes one has to accept the inevitable like when it dips to -4, -5 one or more nights in a row–facing facts, letting Nature take its course. I have enjoyed having planters with flowers, especially yellow chrysanthemums in front of the house; it gives one a truly good feeling to come home when you have bright beauty to welcome you. Similarly, it is great to gaze out of a backyard window onto a yard and patio with colorful flowers that you’ve invested much time and effort in, watering each day all summer into October and sometimes–as I mentioned above–up to Halloween.
There are many lazy people and a lot of people who would not care this much about flowers, beauty, color, or the appearance of their yards. As I said, it’s a choice and one of preferred images and preferred atmosphere. We all live in contexts and we all decide what is worth whatever sacrifice. Covering has been a key one for me every year, every fall. I choose (Natural) Beauty over the ravages of Time and Death. I choose to cover for more continuing pleasure another day. It is thus I walk the talk–Beauty being one of the top 4 priorities in my life.
(reprise entry 1st published here Sept. 11, 2014)