Autumn joy sedum

Autumn joy sedum

Happy Autumnal Equinox! And to my friends in the southern hemisphere, happy spring! Fall has definitely arrived. The nights are cool and the early morning downright chilly. I had to wear a light jacket to the bus stop most mornings this week and the cold floor beneath the window left open all night definitely startles me awake as I stumble by at 5 a.m. to shower and start my day. The squirrels are busy squirreling away food for winter. The crickets still chirp but are frequently drowned out by the honking of low flying geese on their way south. And the leaves on some trees are beginning to show some color. And instead of heat waves, the weather forecasters are now speculating when we might have our first frost. For my area the average date is the first week of October but really, it can happen any time now.

We picked three small bell peppers from the garden Friday and a jalapeno. I have no idea where the jalapeno came from since

tansy

tansy

we didn’t plant any unless it was an odd ball in the six-pack mix of bell peppers we bought at the plant sale in May. I am surprised we got any peppers at all since the plants didn’t actually bloom until the middle of July, very late. We also got a ripe tomato. Not a good year for tomatoes. Two more zucchini. And, surprise! A cantaloupe the size of a softball. It was small but sweet and tasty. Last year we had so many I got sick of them and this year I resigned myself to not having any at all because they got such a late start. So one is a gift.

The cool weather has revived the pumpkins and they are once again blooming like crazy. At last count there are nine pie pumpkins out there waiting for that frost to sweeten them up before we pick them and bring them indoors to eat.

crab apple

crab apple

Garden activities have switched to clean up and getting ready to put everything to bed. I like how we talk about putting a garden to bed. When the garden goes to sleep Bookman and I get to rest for a bit too. But it isn’t bed time just yet. There are apples to pick still. I picked a few yesterday but most of them aren’t quite ready. This week they will be though. Probably. They are ready in their own time and pay no attention to me and how badly I want apple crisp. Stupid apples.

I collected more mustard seed this week but haven’t yet separated it from its dry pods. I have to make a point to do that this week so Friday night when we go grocery shopping we can get supplemental seed if we need to. Don’t know if I will have made mustard in time to tell you about it next week, but if not it will definitely be soon!

The sedum “autumn joy” is finally colored up and looking big and beautiful. It is covered in pollinators of all kinds. The tansy is also blooming. We never planted it but it migrated from my neighbor’s garden long ago. It has pretty ferny foliage and bright yellow button flowers and pollinators like it. We made the mistake of letting it alone not knowing how invasive it can be. A few years ago we hacked it all back and ripped out bunches of it ruthlessly. It has begun popping up in a few places again. It’s fine but this time we will be sure to keep it more under control.

Then there was the delightful discovery that the virgin’s bower I planted this spring is blooming. It is a native clematis

virgin's bower

virgin’s bower

and did nothing for so long I thought it might not make it or would just be a stunted thing. But it has been secretly climbing and now has delicate white flowers on it. It is really lovely and I am happy it decided to grow. I hope in a few years it will have expanded and made itself at home climbing on my bamboo fencing.

A fairly quiet gardening week. A calm before a final flurry of activity.

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