Monday, September 28, 2009

Products of Neglect

In spite of best-laid plans, my garden was neglected this year - a lot! So I marvel at all it is managing to still produce. Those striking purple Asters have bloomed a whole month later than normal thanks to the unusually cool, wet summer we had - and are prettier than they ever were before. The once over-abundant cucumbers have dwindled to the point that I'm rather surprised to find one as nice as the one shown here. The tiny yellow cherry tomatoes grew volunteer in the melon patch, where they are just now ripening, and should give us more than we can eat right up until frost. The light green squash isn't a zucchini, but a baby neck pumpkin. I'll use it like I would a summer squash, since it wouldn't have had time to fully mature before frost now. And the mini-pumpkin was lurking amongst the marigolds this evening. Next post I'll share photos of what I've been doing with the okra - what an amazing plant!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Simple Pleasures

I love autumn.
And sunrises.
And sunsets.
And so many, many more simple pleasures.
Today I was up at my usual time (early!), but it was by chance that I stopped my morning routine long enough to glance out the window just at daybreak. I grabbed my camera and ran outdoors. I almost felt as though I should tiptoe; as though the magic might dissolve instantly if 'it' knew I was trying to capture it. Of course the photo doesn't really do justice to the moment. Seeing it, feeling it, breathing it in person is what makes the experience so wonderful, so spiritual. But, still...just look at those gorgeous colors. Can you see the lone star still barely visible? And the outline of the old hay barn alongside the trees on the horizon?

Monday, September 7, 2009

September in the Garden

How did a month slip by me without posting? I kept thinking I'd find a minute, or get a really great idea for a post. I guess I finally found a minute :)

Thought a mini-tour of the garden might be nice, to show a bit of what is going on now.

Blooms are still abundant. This nasturtium got a real late start, with the first blooms finally appearing in August.
In addition to the various squash and okra blooms, I found some volunteer peas flowering. Evidently I lost a few of the seeds I tried to gather from the Dwarf Greys I grew in the spring. Only a couple of plants, but those sweet young pods will be a welcome addition to fall salads.The watermelon patch was a success! Look at this beauty! It measured 31 inches around and weighed in at 16 lbs. We had a little help from something - rabbit? possum? skunk? - not sure what - but a couple of the ripe melons had the most perfectly round holes eaten into them. Maybe fencing the Great Dane out of the melons was a bad idea...Wonder what I've got here...seriously, I'm not sure. I sowed some seeds for both winter squash and gourds, and I'm sure this must be a squash (tucked in amongst the weeds! I failed seriously in keeping the weeds at bay this year!). But what kind? I thought I had sown Blue Galeux here. And since I haven't grown it before, maybe this IS B.G. But if that's the case, it sure doesn't look like what I was expecting. ID from seasoned squash growers would be welcome!
And the final image is my pride and joy of the fall season. A Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck Squash. I purchased what appeared to be a Butternut squash with an extremely long neck at the Farmer's Market a couple years ago. The man I bought it from referred to it as a "Neck Pumpkin" and claimed it would make the best pumpkin pie. He was absolutely right! It was amazing how much wonderful orange "meat" there was in it, so I saved seed. Didn't get them sown last year, but happily this year I did. I've got 10-12 of them and most of them are just HUGE! I think a couple will join my other fall harvest decorations (dried colored corn, corn stalks, mini-pumpkins, gourds, etc.), and the rest will go into the freezer for soups, pies, etc. for the winter.
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