18 November 2012

Rainy Day

We've had rain in the forecast for the past two weeks.  Election day was cold and overcast and it warmed up for a few days - then it turned cold and wet again.  This whole week has been cold and threatened to rain, but never did...until today.  I knew the weather report, but didn't completely trust it.  I had plans to get out in the yard and finish the broken concrete path that's been sitting there for way too long.  No such luck today - so I thought I would talk about something that happens this time every year.  People throw plant and fall decorations away.

For years I've picked up dying houseplants from the curb that people have decided that they don't want anymore.  Most of the time there is usually something a little wrong with them.  People throw the plants away at the start of cold weather either, because they have neglected them and they are dying - or in the best cases, they are very healthy and they just want a change.  It's really hit or miss - I pick up a lot of tender houseplants that may be beyond help, that I can't do anything with, but on occasion I get something decent.  Back in April I picked up a hibiscus and a palm that someone must have had around the house all winter and then decided to get rid of.  This was a luck find - it was spring, so I didn't have to worry about protecting them from the cold.  The hibiscus was so large, I was able to divide it into three plants - one for the front, one for the back, and one for the plant swap.  They have bloomed constantly over the last seven months.

Recently I've picked up a number of other houseplants, etc and I started posting photos of them on Tumblr - take a look.  There have been succulents, alliums, tuberous begonias...  This time last year I noticed something else people were starting to throw out - their Halloween/autumn harvest decorations - mostly bales of hay.  Last year I picked up four or five bales of hay that I was able to use in the garden and for the chickens.  It was a little bit of a windfall, but I'm not getting my hopes up.  I have been looking around, trying to see who has fall decorations that they might be getting rid of soon.  I didn't think about this last year, but I imagine that people will be discarding other items as well, specifically pumpkins, winter squash and the like.  I wouldn't pick up jack-o-lanterns - only whole fruits.

I expect that after Thanksgiving people will getting rid of fall decorations in favor of Christmas ones, so in the next couple of weeks, I'll be keeping my eye out for these things.

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