Saturday, October 3, 2009

A recent haul from the town dump;-)

Lots of gardeners dig out both perennials and annuals in the fall and bring them to our town compost pile. And I try to swing by whenever I'm in the area to haul home some new treasures.

Not surprisingly, weekends offer the best choices as many people spade on Saturday and then dump on Sunday.

This recent recovery mission resulted in five large clumps of day lilies. The leaves look very slender so I'm thinking they are not the common orange type. Most of the leaves had been cut off and at first glance, one might just see a clump of dirt. But many years of gardening means I have reached an early on unimaginable state of being able to look at the roots of most plants and pretty quickly identify the more common ones. I'll be excited to see what those clumps produce next July in my back garden.

I also snagged about 15 fairly large hosta, the common type with white edges. I already have a LOT of this, but they are so forgiving and so hardy and do such a great job brightening up a really shady spot, that I can always find spots to tuck in more. And I may, energy permitting, divide them into individual pips to trade through the plant exchange on Gardenweb.

Finally, this is the time many are tossing their geraniums and other annuals. I've had great luck keeping geraniums through the winter on a sunny window sill and then just putting them back outside in spring. They tend to drop leaves when they acclimate to the dry, furnace heated air, but recover and when they start sending out a few blooms mid-February, they are worth their weight in gold to a garden starved gardenista.

You may look at the picture of my van and ask, "Doesn't that stuff sometimes smell?" And the answer is yes, granted, true, affirmative, aye, you bet! This is what separates the obsessed from those who simply go to the plant nursery on the weekends, buy some tidy perennials that are actually potted and bring along a few sheets of newspapers just in case dirt spills.

The interior of my mini-van includes numerous old french fries wedged under the seats where Brandi can't reach them, dog hair that begins floating everywhere when a window goes down, dirt from various hauls that has made it into every crack and crevice, and accompanying this is a distinct malodor. As a result, I'm rarely asked to drive, even among friends and family.

So if your vehicle is not the spick-and-span type, you don't have especially high-strung olfactory senses, and you've got some garden spaces to fill, get yourself down to the town compost pile this weekend. It's the ultimate in recycling....

Happy hunting! Eileen


  1. Excellent! My sister in law has landscaped much of her yard by going to nursery and asking if she can dig in their dumpster. She takes "dead" plants home and brings them to life.

  2. Frances, My frugal gardening heart just smiled as I read your sister in law's story. Thanks for sharing. Eileen