Late September update

Gorgeous morning today, soft warm air, after a soaking gentle rain most of the night. After a dry week the garden is fragrant and relieved, if gardens can be said to feel relieved! This is the path at the bottom of the front yard. You can see it’s a little foggy this morning.front yard pathwayI walked around the garden taking pictures. Zinnias are showing nice colors. Here’s a few:so pink zinniazinnia posingpink zinnias w beeOther spots of color come from marigolds, petunias, dahlias and the ever-blooming honeysuckle:dewey marigoldpurple petuniasorange underneathpurple dahliaorange honeysuckleAs I wandered around the place taking pictures, a red squirrel scolded me from a maple tree, boldly holding its ground while I took pictures:red squirrelscoldingThe front yard is full of hostas and I love the variety in color, lime, dark blue-green, pale almost-white, and variegated:different shadesfenceintimate cornerThe white garden continues to develop–I’ve been adding edges to the beds, mostly big branches I drag out of the woods. I’ve also added wood chips on the paths and more manure and hay to the beds. Here’s how it looks now:white gardenWe just got another load of old hay mulch for use next year:mulch

In the vegetable garden we have a bumper crop of greens: beets, chard, kale, spinach. Here’s the chard patch, which never seems to get smaller no matter how much I pick!

chardAnd we have so many tomatoes we can’t process them fast enough. This morning, with coaching over the phone from my sister, I made a nice batch of tomato sauce, using our own tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic, and onions. I didn’t can the sauce–we will just have to eat a lot of it–and I’m giving a jar of it to a friend today.tomato sauceThat’s the garden report for today. I am cleaning up the paths and doing some “housekeeping” out there in order to be ready for the bulbs when they arrive next month: lilies, daffodils, and tulips.

white garden gets a blanket, veggies getting processed

covered with old hay

covered with old hay

If the garden looks dry to you in this picture, that’s because it is. We have had a hot dry spell, which the farmers making hay appreciate, but the garden is thirsty. What you see above is the white garden after a morning’s work yesterday, before the 80-degree weather got going. There’s more manure brought up from the barn, covered with a very heavy layer of old hay. This morning I set a few more rocks to hold the edge of one of the beds:009The photo above is taken while I’m sitting on the little stone bench. Here’s the view a little more to the East:010In the “front” of the white garden are three smallish beds edged with rocks on the short ends and branches on the long sides. In the back of the garden there is one big bed and one smaller one. The rock “walls” are mostly just a row of big rocks, but they look nice and are useful for holding the manure, dirt, and hay as I add them to the beds. The white garden now has all the original plants removed (except the white ones: Solomon’s Seal, which you can see at the corner of this picture). There are two white hydrangea shrubs planted and a few others, including white phlox, white echinacea, and garlic chives. Now it’s time to just let the garden settle, let the worms and other critters turn the manure and hay into garden dirt.

Meanwhile, the vegetable garden is producing up a storm, although we have to water it a lot. Here’s some veggies I gathered the other day and made into soup:001To the right you can see the cukes that David is making into fermented pickles–kind of like kimchee I guess. He’s also making plain old vinegar pickles, started here with horseradish leaves, garlic, and dill seeds. 003Then he adds the cukes:004We’ve been picking and freezing red raspberries, but we now have to work around the spotted-winged fruit fly, which lays eggs in the berries. The berries then have tiny worms in them as soon as they get ripe. Each berry has to be inspected, which is kind of a pain–the worms are tiny, so you really have to look. And we have to pick them slightly before they’re fully ripe. Apparently there’s no way to get rid of this new little critter. The insect is officially called “Spotted Wing Drosophila. Never a dull moment!