I see by the Weather Channel that a freeze is heading our way. Although it will be sad to see the end of some of the still-blooming annuals, I suppose it is finally time. I did lose tomatoes, peppers and tender annuals a few weeks ago but the geraniums are still blooming in boxes and pots. This was true on Tuesday, but by the time the paper hits the newsstands who knows?

We are in full cutback mode on the job sites. Almost everything goes to the ground. I leave the still-green foliage of the Shasta daisies. I cut both the Russian Sage and caryopteris to about 12 inches and remove dead stalks. I am ruthless with the roses. Everything smaller than a pencil in diameter falls to the blade. Dead and twisted canes should go. I do not want anything whipping around in winter winds. I secure the ties on climbers.

This behavior follows me into the hydrangea beds. I cut the PGs and Endless Summers quite hard — no matter, they will bloom on new growth next season.

The old-fashioned Niko Blues and Lace Caps need a bit of restraint. They bloom on second year of old wood. I do cut them heavily around the bottom so they will not grow out onto the lawn next year. Always deadhead or the spent blossoms will blow all over or drag the branches down possibly causing them to break. Keep an eye out for deer in mid-winter. They will nibble at the buds. An occasional spritz of Bobbex is a good idea.

I cut the annabelles flush to the ground. They come right back.

A few weeks ago, right before the last freeze, I picked a boatload of nearly ripe tomatoes. They are sprawled all over my kitchen counter. One by one I toss them into the compost bucket. Will I ever learn? They never appeal to me after they ripen on the counter but I keep repeating the behavior. I believe this may be the classic definition of insanity.

I did pick the rest of the sugar beets. What a wonderful discovery. The greens stay perfect all season, are excellent in a smoothie and keep for a week in the fridge. The perfectly white root is sweet beyond belief. One will be enough for an entire vegetable saute. I did cook some by themselves in oil and balsamic vinegar and added it to cold cooked chicken for an interesting but yummy lunch.

I had a row of celeriac, AKA celery root, that I want to survive a light frost. Hoping for the best, I covered it in Remay.

I grew up in the Rew Evangelical United Brethren Church. In 1964 it merged with the Methodists to become the United Methodist Church. I say this only so you will now that I know from which I speak. The evangelicals are a big portion of Donald Trump’s base. This is completely baffling to me. The core of Christian belief is not the Golden Rule or serving others. Those are admirable qualities shared by both religious and secular folks. But the main belief of Christian faith is that we are all flawed, and saved only by grace as a result of our own admission of guilt. DJT said he has never done anything for which he needs to repent. That one sentence should disqualify him in the eyes of evangelicals. Why hasn’t it?

Thank you, once again, for indulging me as I wax theologically this time. Honestly, I can be downright insufferable. My readers are saints!