We finally had a freeze here in Vineyard Haven. Sadly, the zinnias, dahlias, tomatoes and all the other annuals are gone. The little tagetes marigolds somehow survived and are a cheerful reminder of the summer gone by! I grow the lemon gem cultivar as a border around some of the vegetable beds.

Many of the ornamental pumpkins are still firm and doing their part as a reminder of harvest season.

Speaking of harvesting, there is still a lot of picking to be done in the vegetable garden.

I’m choosing to leave the leeks in the ground for at least another month. Actually the truth is I just have not yet found time to pull them. They do not winter-over in the ground as well as I would like. They tend to get mushy by March.

They do, however, throw some seeds. So if you are observant in the spring, you will have next year’s crop at the ready, free of charge. Just move them into a new bed and bury them deeper than they first appear. You will be rewarded with nice long necks next fall!

My cabbages were a huge disappointment this year. I was overrun with slugs. Ewww! Heinous creatures! One time, while weeding barefoot, one bit and stayed attached to my toe. I confess that I turned into a little girl and screamed — for my mother, I suppose.

Very few creatures do that to me. Tomato hornworms come to mind.

Now that my garden experienced a freeze, I should put the digging of dahlia tubers on the “to do” list. The list is long and dahlias are towards the bottom. Hopefully, I’ll get to it before Thanksgiving. The good news is I actually have a few bags of peat moss. I cut the greenery and toss the bulbs into damp peat in a grain bag. I just pile them up in an unheated but yet frost-free back room. They can handle benign neglect and rough handling.

Benign neglect is my garden philosophy. Good thing I have a decent memory, as I need it to locate vegetables in the tangle of weeds.

I do have a problem: I cannot bear to toss some of the ornamental pots. I always yank the geraniums and repot them to spend the winter in the aforementioned back room. They look pathetic most of the winter and I only ocassionally water them. Sure enough, like magic, they resurrect in the spring and can be reused as bedding plants.

I used to think of them as old lady plants but, hey, guess who is one now?

I’ve also had good luck with bringing in mandevillas. Granted, they take up room but luckily I live alone and do not care!

What I do care about is the state of our poor planet. I feel another rant coming on. Why is it necessary to wrap so many products in plastic?

My great-grandson Zappa recently had his fifth birthday. Every toy needed knives and/or scissors to remove the hard plastic and then zip ties fastened the item to plastic-coated cardboard.

Don’t even get me started about food wrapping.

Then the political situation is causing some serious anxiety. How is it that DJT is ahead of Joe Biden in the latest New York Times poll? I guess it’s really true that nice guys finish last. Ninety-one felony indictments are preferable to being three years older? I give up!