A Good Gardening Friend
Every gardener should have a friend like my friend Tom. If it's possible, Tom is even more of a dedicated gardener than I am. He's out in his garden even in bad weather, which is where I draw the line. If I have to wade through snow or ice, I pass. Rain is fifty-fifty, depends on what I need to get one. Sometimes I like to plant just before a rain, other times right after one. I am gardening in the Ozarks so anything that softens up the soil, besides a pick ax, is very welcome.
Tom has been gardening for four years and has created a wonderful garden on his family property. I love to visit to see what new area he has developed, or what new plants may be blooming. He has a corner of his garden he has named after me, and I have a spot in my garden that I named after him. I told him that officially makes us gardening buddies.
So it was great anticipation that I waited for him to drop off "something that will keep you busy." Next thing I know, he's splitting his stash of mums, great big plants someone had tossed after full bloom, plants that still have a lot of life still in them in my favorite color, yellow.
Mums can be planted late into fall. As long as the roots are kept moist through winter, they should establish themselves and come back on their own for a number of years. The other advantage of mums is that they are natural bug repellers, although my bees seem to disregard that and still visit to check on available pollen.
I have split plants with Tom in the past; a stash of iris from another friend comes to mind but who is counting. When I had a chance to dig up a garden earlier spring, Tom was the one I called when I realized I couldn't dig it up by myself. And yes, we split whatever we dug up for the day.
Now excuse me, I have some mums to plant before it starts to snow.