Big bluestem

Big bluestem

We had a return of summer at the end of the week and into the weekend with temperatures in the low 80s F (high 20s C) and a touch of humidity. Lovely as it was, for whatever reason I was just plain tired and didn’t spend much time at all out in the garden. I thought for sure I’d regret it, missing the last warm days of the year, that surely the coming days would bring us down to normal temperatures and the usual cold, damp, October. But the long-range forecast says there is no frost in sight and things will be dry and unseasonably warm. If it weren’t for the leaves continuing to change color and the constant stream of migrating geese and ducks flying overhead, I would be hard pressed to say it is the end of September. I haven’t decided if I am happy about this extended season or not. At the beginning of the month I was not at all ready for the end of gardening, but now I think I am. That is not to say I want it to be snowing, don’t get me wrong. But I wouldn’t mind cool and crisp and at least a little rain.

The turnip greens are starting to get big. I hope that bodes well for there actually being big turnips attached to them. My beets never did do anything and the parsnips were a disappointment as well. Me and root vegetables just don’t seem to get on together. I suppose it has something to do with my sandy soil. I just have to keep adding compost. The soil is better than it used to be but I wish it would be more loamy faster than it’s going. More lessons in patience.

I added more sulfur to my blueberry beds yesterday. I really poured it on figuring that last time when I thought we’d put

Sedum and zinnias

Sedum and zinnias

a lot on it the ph meter barely moved so adding almost all of the remaining sulfur in the bag couldn’t hurt. I need the ph to be 5. Hopefully in the spring when I check I will be pleasantly surprised. If the ph is still hovering around 7 like it has been all summer I will then have to decide whether or not to call it quits with the blueberries. If I do, Bookman and I have decided to plant honeyberries, a fruiting shrub in the honeysuckle family. No one seems to be able to agree what the fruit tastes like. Some say blueberries, some blackberries, one site says to just consider it a “mystery berry” flavor. We shall see in spring whether the blueberries remain or we go with the berry that tastes like everything but not really like anything.

One thing I know I will have to re-plant in spring already is my Juneberry. It is planted near one of the blueberries and I noticed yesterday when I was out near it that somehow it got completely snapped off about two inches above the ground so it is just a brown stick. I have no idea when or how that happened and I am very sad about it because now it is going to take even longer before I get any of its sweet berries. Sigh.

Even if there has been no frost and the weather remains warmer than usual, I have decided I will plant my garlic next weekend. I am worried if I don’t plant it and continue to wait that I will end up waiting too long and the weather will suddenly snap back to normal. We have been enjoying the garlic we grew in the garden this summer. It is so nice to go grocery shopping and be able to pass by the pricey organic garlic bulbs. I don’t have enough to get through to next summer though so I will eventually have to cave in, but until then, I walk by the garlic bin at the grocery with a self-satisfied smug look on my face.

While I may be ready for a rest from working in the garden, I never really tire of reading about gardens. This week I received a book in the mail for review called The Writer’s Garden: how gardens inspired our best-loved authors. My oh my is this a gorgeous book! I’ve just begun it and thought is would be mostly photos with nothing but fluffy text but am finding the text pretty good too. The photos, of course, still win, but the book is off to a very pleasing start with a wonderful chapter about Jane Austen. Definitely more to come about this book including a full review when I am finished with it.

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