It got down to 23 degrees here overnight, moving beyond the point where green stuff not designed for Iowa winters could logically be expected to survive. So I brought Rosemary inside and now don't know what to do with her.
I dug her up weeks ago from the little garden out back because I like oven-roasted potatoes: Cut into bite-sized pieces, toss in olive oil, a little butter and a little garlic, sprinkle with fresh rosemary, a little salt, a little pepper, then roast at 425 degrees or so.
So it seemed logical to prolong the rosemary supply by bringing some inside (have you priced fresh herbs at the grocery store?). Now, where to put her? The situation is complicated by the fact four other plants are parked in the garage awaiting their fate. There are only two big east-facing windows upstairs where this collection might go, but to clear space for them I'd have to move other stuff. We'll see.
This reluctance to let summer plants go must come from my mother and maternal grandfather, neither of whom considered nursery stock a wise summer investment. Mother brought into the dining room, with both south and west windows, as many geraniums, impatiens, etc., as would fit, for the most part relying on "slips" taken and rooted during late summer. The "mother" plants were uprooted, packed tightly with dirt in buckets and hauled to the upstairs hallway where light reached them from an east window. Watered minimally, they generally survived to move outside again come spring, supplemented offspring that had wintered downstairs.
I, on the other hand, like to go to the greenhouse in the spring an buy geraniums and other bedding plants --- a fairly cheap thrill. So it's not clear why I keep bringing these plants inside, unless it's genetics.
By now I've made seven trips to the dump with pickup loads of mulched leaves and grass. With luck, only one more to go. Hauling leaves to the dump is a fairly boring business, so the average has been load a day. Plus that knee twisted a few weeks ago when leaping down an embankment still hurts when I clamber up into the bed of the truck to shovel leaves.
As mentioned earlier, Lee swept both our lots --- a quarter block --- with his beige beast on Saturday, piling the mulched result at the end of the driveway. My end of the deal is to haul them away and that's fine.
But my heart sank a little yesterday afternoon while working at the computer when the sound of the beige beast circling the house was heard again --- a few leaves have fallen since Saturday. Fortunately, not that many. Still just one more load most likely.
John Pearson/Out and About Photo
This is a plug for a blog I read regularly, John Pearson's "Out and About." Pearson is entering his second year of exploring the outdoors, much of it in various Iowa settings. Pearson is an ecologist and author employed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, but this is his personal blog.
I'm a vicarious adventurer --- too lazy to be one but always entertained when reading about the adventures of others. I especially like it when Pearson's adventures center on Lake Red Rock, that 20,000-acre Des Moines River reservoir just up the road north of Knoxville.
His most recent post involves SURREEL, his Semi-annual Undertaking of the Red Rock End-to-End Loop. That translates to 30 miles of kayaking. You'll enjoy it.