Vegetable garden going to sleep

We’ve been transferring a lot of veggies from the garden to the freezer or the mudroom (our root cellar) or pantry or soup pots.

armload of veggies

On my way back inside with some of the spoils I yelled at David through the kitchen window,”Bring out the camera! Take a picture!” so he did.

lots of vegetables!

I made sweet-potato soup, and a winter veggie stew with barley. I also chopped and blanched some kale and froze it, and chopped some parsley and froze it. The Kale and chard we’re leaving in. David has young greens still growing under protection, also.

 

Walk in the woods

 

These are pictures from a walk we took yesterday in the fields and woods.

We were watched warily by the beef cows and calves in the barnyard field–owned by our neighbor who leases the barn and pastures/hay fields. This is looking out into the “endless field”. All the fields and pastures have names, from when David and Val first moved there and started farming. The patch of woods there doesn’t have a name–we call it, inelegantly, “the woods that sticks out into the endless field”. We headed into those woods, and this is looking back from inside the woods into the field. The woods has a path–here is David ahead of me. The light was beautiful that afternoon.Back toward home I saw a brave late dandilion:and a fuzzy mullien rosette:Grey kitty was enjoying the late autumn sunshine from his perch on top of the car:

Where have you been?

The front yard is smothered in a blanket of fallen maple leaves now:And, no, I still have not planted those tulips!

 

A sad event: we got home late last night from eating out at the Thai restaurant in Potsdam. So we didn’t notice until this morning that a grouse had flown through TWO panes of glass, onto our sunporch, and scattered glass everywhere. It did not, of course, survive the impact. It was so pretty–beautiful brown, white, tan feathers.

making peace with weeds

I do not have many photos of weeds–there are plenty of them in the garden, but I usually aim the camera in a different direction. David says that I am the only one who notices all the weeds. Well, except maybe Eleanor, who always reaches down and pulls a few for me when she comes to visit the garden! Speaking of Eleanor, I just visited her garden the other day, and she gave me some seeds of the charmingly named plant “kiss me over the garden gate”. We’ll see how they do in my garden. Here’s a picture from the internet:And here are some of the sunflowers I brought in –mostly I leave these to re-seed and to feed critters over the winter.

late sunflowers

So, about weeds: my trip out west interrupted gardening, and I never really got back to it. It seems that once momentum is lost –or rather, once the weeds’ momentum is gained–I can’t dive back in easily. And once the semester starts, it’s pretty much hopeless, keeping the gardens free of weeds.  I’ve learned that if you take a photo from close enough up

false dragonhead

or from far enough away

meditation garden, patch of zinnias

the weeds disappear. The other important piece is finding the right size for the garden–I talked about downsizing, shrinking, retreating, re-lawning, whatever you want to call it. But I haven’t actually dismantled many spots yet. However, I am not expanding anymore–(famous last words)

fleabane? or wild asters, growing univited in the garden

Best would be learning to accept some grassy spots, some thriving weed patches, some imperfection. The main ingredients making any garden beautiful are healthy plants and a happy gardener. Rather than ignore or tolerate the weeds, hopefully I can simply co-exist with a certain amount of them. Some are easier to love than others!

wild purple aster in the garden

Dahlias

I have a lot of dahlias but I am still oddly ambivalent about them. Every fall I think, “bah, I’ll just let them die of cold this winter” but then I can’t stand it and end up digging them. They are lovely, except the ones that get eaten up by earwigs. But they bloom so late–half of the ones I planted last Spring got buds the days before the frost (they’re all completely frozen now) and never even bloomed. However, the Bishop of Llandaff dahlias that I got this Spring from the catalog did well, and is my favorite. I planted the three of them in the new “telephone pole garden” in the back yard, and two of them sprouted. I planted them together with blue heliotrope that I grew from seed and it made a terrific display.

heliotrope and red dahlias

Here is the last of the dahlias, picked the day before the frost zapped all of them.

The last dahlia bouquet

Here are some close ups of the dahlias:

a nice purplish red with white highlights

 

bright pink

 

a really nice orange-pink one

t

orange-pink dahlia bush

the obligatory bee photo

I got this red one from my friend Robert, who got it from the side of the road

 

dahlias on the kitchen window sill

 

and one more of that orange pink one

 

Back again finally!

 

I’ve been putting a lot of time into music and horses, and neglecting my garden, and also neglecting my garden blog! But I’m back with some stuff to report. First, after the semester started and I basically didn’t have time for gardening, David took up a lot of slack. When the road crews came along to trim trees and left a big pile of wood chips near our house, he picked it up and put it on the southside path to keep the weeds from taking it over.

He also has been doing a lot of work in the vegetable garden. He bought a small plastic greenhouse to lengthen the season:And he has put a lot of composted horse manure and old hay down as patches of plants such as our sweet potatoes are harvested.

sweet potatoes harvest

We did not grow tomatoes, but we bought some from a local farm, and made lots of tomato sauce. We froze it, after adding our own herbs, garlic, onions, peppers, and other veggies.

a bushel of small paste tomatoes.

tomatoes on the stove

 

putting them through the food mill

Here are a few more pictures of the garden and the harvest:

kale

 

chard

eggplant harvest

onion harvest