Valley Gardening: Gardening in November

Every Thursday afternoon, for about two years now (if my memory serves me right), Jenny Kroschel has come to the Green Spot to hang out, and sometimes we even get some work done. Jenny is 40 years old and her parents, Greg and Betty, tell me that her world revolves around Thursdays. If she gets in trouble she gets “grounded” from the Spot, and that makes her very sad. I think that has only happened once.  

One of the best things about Jenny is her joy, absolute and complete joy. Come into the store any Thursday and all you have to do is say “hi, Jenny”, and you will get the biggest hug…and then Jenny will turn to me and say “they knew my name.” Such joy! And then if I ask her who the best boss in the whole world is, she marches straight over to me and gives me a hug—now, why wouldn’t I keep Jenny around forever? (Do not tell Jenny that you learned her name from me.)

What I love most about Jenny is how she is teaching my grandchildren to be kind to those with special needs. My children and grandchildren have been around special folks their entire lives, but some people have never had that joy. Jenny is teaching my customers to be tolerant. Sometimes folks are very awkward around Jenny, but they soon learn she only wants to smile and “be happy”! I am indeed honored that Greg and Betty bring Jenny to the store. Truly honored!

Our community really chipped in this past week to help get Willie Wade a new bike. I gave you some of the names last week but here are some more: Larry & Julie Zaragoza helped out (RIP Geoffrey), as did Diane Dexter. Val Casias and Vickie Antiel made a donation and so did Art Danforth and Louella Lenberg.  Sandra Hostetter donated and Ketha Woodard called to make sure she could get on the list of helpers!  Jason Jones came up from Florida to make his donation—well, actually he came to Alamosa to go hunting with his dad, Bob Jones (it’s kind of the truth…like a politician). And, Margrit & John Thorne and Neil and Arla Henderson also helped. Be on the lookout for your thank you cards folks, as Willie has been working really hard on them. Thank you all!

As you read this column, I will be working on the planters in Veteran’s Park—down by the Farmer’s Market parking lot. I didn’t do my best in those planters this year, so there’s no time like the present to give my apologies and get ready for next year. I will be cutting back perennials, and pulling up elm seedlings. I will be digging up Bouncing Betties—on the noxious weed (flower) list and no, I didn’t plant them. I also hope to spread some Fox Farm Soil Conditioner and scratch it into the top 3-4 inches. It’s pretty awesome to be doing this the beginning of November!

I will also be taking my hedge trimmer to Mom’s Garden. I want to cut all the sage back, and the tall grasses, and the Coronation Gold Yarrow, and the May Night Salvia and the Rocky Mountain Penstemon.  I don’t cut back the Iris with a hedge trimmer, because they need a cleaner fan type trim. I was thinking I would spread some Calendula seeds this fall, but because they might actually germinate and freeze, decided to wait until spring on those. Calendulas are one flower that is still blooming in front of the store—makes me wonder what they would like if I’d actually kept taking care of them with a little water, etc. Now would be a good time to plant some perennial seeds, such as columbine, if you haven’t already done it.

Okay…just a word or two on the north/south side divide, or not. I have mixed feelings. It has nothing to do with what road repairs have been done. I certainly do not want the hockey rink/pavilion to enter into being “good for the south side” because I just don’t know how that facility will benefit the businesses in my neighborhood. I have mentioned before, that if the city ever finds the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and recreates Main Street WITHOUT any consideration for LODA (Lower Downtown Alamosa) they will be creating a division that won’t heal, or is that recreating?