Category Archives: cockscomb

BACK IN THE GARDEN

I’ve been gone the last two weekends

Which meant

No time in the garden.

It takes a lot to get me out of the garden

Two fall weekends in a row.

img_6262

But a visit with Harper & Henry

And the out-of-state wedding

Of a dear friend’s son.

Collided

Leaving me out of the garden.

While we were gone

We got a big rain

Six inches of rain

To be exact.

So the ground is just right

For fall rituals.

Moving things

Pulling up spent Cockscomb

And just generally puttering around.

This is the time of year

Where the present

And the future meet.

In the garden.

Spring flowering bulbs

Have started to arrive.

img_6291

Though the soil isn’t quite cool enough

To bury them yet.

My potting bench is covered with

Little containers of seeds.

img_6295

Glimpses of things to come.

And the Dahlias hit their stride.

img_6259

But the action isn’t all outside

Normally this time of the year I’m making pesto.

But our hot summer

Combined with my negligence in keeping the basil from bolting

Landed me with tons of bitter basil.

So there’s no pesto this year.

Instead I’m planning to freeze

Cubes of herb butter

img_6287

For winter cooking.

And the kitchen windowsill is filled with

Tomatoes in different stages of ripening.

img_6280

It’s a defensive move

Against whatever four-legged devil

Is dining on my almost ripe tomatoes

Every night.

img_6216

They get them just before they ripen on the vine.

So I’ve figured out just how long I can leave them

Then pick them before they are stolen.

Now I don’t mind sharing a few

But they are taking more than their fair share.

October

img_6302

You just can’t beat it

For perfect days in the garden

For relishing in a season well spent

And planning for the future

Gail

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Bees, cockscomb, Dahlias, Fall, Herbs, Seeds, Tomato, Uncategorized, Zinnia

ARRANGEMENTS

One of the joys of having abundant flowers

Is sharing them.

I don’t have a lot of exotic plants.

But I have flowers.

And fall brings arm loads

Of late summer’s glory.

Cockscomb is the staple

This time of year.

dscn6141

And the beginning

Of every arrangement I make.

If you cut it long

You’ll have lots of branches

To hold other less stable stem in place.

And the color

Just oozes a fall feeling.

I’ve nominated myself

In-house florist

At church

img_5866

As well as Loaves & Fishes.

img_5899

They are willing to indulge me

And let me bring flowers each week.

Since friends drop vases by

When they clean out their cabinets.

I always have a good supply.

You can create reasons

For other flower fairy gifts.

This week included

A “thank you” bouquet

To a fellow L & F board member

img_5883

And a “hello” bouquet

To a new family

Moving on the block.

img_5894

It’s a simple way

To keep the cockscomb

Trimmed away from the path

And to share the glory of the season.

Someday when life slows down.

I’d love to do this all the time.

Enjoy the week.

Gail

“I must have flowers always and always.”

Claude Monet

4 Comments

Filed under Bouquets, cleome, cockscomb, Hydrangea, late summer garden, Uncategorized, Zinnia

FLUTTERBYS

For weeks now

I’ve been seeing the signs

Orb spiders have arrived

IMG_5742

Praying Mantis are hanging around

IMG_5769

As are Locust.

IMG_5807

Dahlias have made their debut

IMG_5809

 

I can hear the band practice

At the high school football field.

Cockscomb is everywhere

IMG_5827

And Flutterbys

Are here.

Somewhere along the way

Butterflies became flutterbys

At our house.

Elliott loved them as a child.

Even bringing them into the house

To live…briefly!

When you think about it

Flutterby is a more accurate description

Of these late summer visitors.

The Monarchs are on their way

To Mexico.

And a few are stopping by

For a snack in my garden.

IMG_5857

They brought along their friend

The Tiger Swallowtail

Which has been impossible

To get on camera.

I can’t say enough about this season

Especially in a year

That brought such heat.

In some ways I find it

As much a source of renewal

As spring.

It’s cooler days

Are refreshing

Even though I know

My least favorite season

Is close behind.

For now

I’ll pick peppers

And tomatoes…finally

IMG_5859

Transplant roses

And make extravagant flower arrangements.

IMG_5868

Because fall is the season of bounty

In my garden

For that I am grateful.

Gail

Surely this is the last Easter egg out there!

IMG_5804

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Bugs, Butterflies, cockscomb, Dahlias, Fall, Gardening, Gratitude, late summer garden, Orb Spider, Peppers, Tomato, Uncategorized

SEPTEMBER’S SONG

I have long loved fall.

You would think as a passionate gardener

That would not be the case

With the season winding down and all.

Certainly I know what is coming

An end will come with its inevitable freeze.

But here in the middle of September

Winter is still a bit out of reach.

DSCN5217

And what a September it is.

Endless days of crisp air and sunshine.

This is the time of the year

That the garden slows

And so do I.

My weekend gardening days

Move at a more reasonable pace.

Which gives me time to observe.

Bumble bees in flight.

DSCN5190

Baby praying mantis

Blending in with zinnia leaves.

DSCN5164

Even a large praying mantis

Outside the kitchen window.

photo

Orb spider spin their amazing webs.

DSCN5198

Butterflies bask in the soft fall sun.

DSCN5123

And peppers finally have their day.

DSCN5192

This is also the time of year

That pots come into their own.

DSCN5211

They begin to ooze over the side

With the fullness of the season.

DSCN5214

I’m not great with annuals

But September makes me look like I know what I’m doing!

Plants that were cut back in mid summer

Are coming into full bloom again.

 

Smaller…more contained than their spring version

But just as lovely.

DSCN5168

The last few years

I’ve taken a new look at fall

As a time to plant.

As I pull up things that are spent

Cockscomb mostly

DSCN5172

I plant seeds in their place.

So mixed leaf lettuce, arugula and carrot seeds

All were planted today.

Not in tidy little rows

Like most vegetable gardens.

But in the empty spaces.

I know I’ve said it many times

But fall seems like the time to repeat

The value of taking time

To observe nature

It’s seasons

It’s changes

It’s lessons.

Enjoy the week,

Gail

2 Comments

Filed under Arugula, Bugs, Bumble Bee, Butterflies, Carrots, cockscomb, container gardening, Fall, Fall Vegetables, Gloriosa Daisy, Orb Spider, Peppers, Seeds, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Zinnia

THE GARDEN HOUSE IN WINTER

I mentioned last week

That I was ready for a rest

From the garden.

That is true.

It’s part of the rhythm of gardening.

But the real truth is it never really stops.

There are plants that I drag in

To carry over to spring.

This year its Plumbago

DSCN2754

And Foxtail Ferns

DSCN2875

That will require watering

And watching over.

And sweeping up of all those dropped leaves.

Then┬áthere’s the Christmas cactus

That Kristina gave me a few years back

That will be bursting into bloom soon.

DSCN3002

There are hydrangea drying

DSCN2869

And Cockscomb.

DSCN2999

Soon I’ll have Amaryllis to plant.

But it’s a slower pace inside.

A cozy place

To putter

To plan

To think

Even though I don’t really enjoy cold weather.

I do have to admit

There are parts of winter

I embrace.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Gail

1 Comment

Filed under Amaryllis, Christmas Cactus, cockscomb, Fall, Ferns, Garden House, Hydrangea, Plumbago, Uncategorized

WINDING DOWN

You may recall that spring was a bit late this year.

With four freezes continuing through the end of April.

We had a late start to the season.

That’s why I have reveled in this glorious fall.

Endless days of crisp air

And sunshine

And all this color.

DSCN2787

I knew it would eventually freeze.

But I am grateful for the “catch up” time

Mother Nature has given us.

Last week it did finally freeze.

Not a light frosting

But what we gardeners call

A “killing freeze”.

I did pick

Green tomatoes.

DSCN2899

The last batch of produce for Loaves & Fishes.

DSCN2864

The last roses of summer.

DSCN2939

And cosmos.

DSCN2905

And hydrangea.

DSCN2986

But a hard freeze is inevitable.

Necessary really.

We need things to die

So that we can clean up

And put our child to bed.

Mounding it all up to compost

So that we can return it to the earth.

But before I can even begin to think about all of that

I have to finish planting

ALL THESE BULBS!!!

DSCN2990

What was I thinking?

So on Saturday

I began.

Digging trenches

One section at a time

Along the path

Leading to the garden house.

DSCN2991

Then over planting

With Pansies.

Now I won’t bore you with the details

Since it’s the same process

We walked through

In the front

A few weeks ago.

But I will tell you

I’m glad to have it done.

It’s a big job

That needs a chunk of time.

Pulling up

Cockscomb, cosmos, tomatoes and peppers

Can be done in small snippets of time.

As is the case in most years

I was ready for the freeze.

To rest.

Gail

The last rose of summer.

DSCN2920

4 Comments

Filed under cockscomb, Compost, Cosmos, Fall, Fall Vegetables, Flower Arrangements, Gardening, Green Tomatoes, Hydrangea, Peppers, roses, Uncategorized

IT’S HERE

It arrived over the weekend.

A bit later than the lunar calendar

But you could feel it in the air

Cool

Crisp

Fall

I love this time of year.

Beginning in August

We can hear the high school band

Practicing each morning

Soon after

It’s the sound of the Friday night football crowd.

Shortly after that

The whistle of the train in the park

Is silenced.

It’s the seasonal rhythm

Of the sounds of my backyard.

The change of season

Is also happening

In my garden.

Monarch butterflies

Stop for nectar

On their way home for the winter.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Others flitter about.

IMG_1820

The roses give us another burst of bloom.

DSCN1755

Praying mantis appear

DSCN2347

Along with some of spring’s lady bugs.

DSCN2361

Dahlias are glorious in this weather.

DSCN1933

And we all know what happens to cockscomb in the fall.

DSCN0216

Basil is reaching for the sky

DSCN1268

Which means it’s pesto making time.

Peppers finally begin to come on

DSCN2376

And speaking of obstinate vegetables

Tomatoes are happy!

DSCN2353

So am I.

Hope you have a happy fall week.

Gail

4 Comments

Filed under Basil, Bugs, Butterflies, cockscomb, Dahlias, Fall, Fall Vegetables, Herbs, Lady Bugs, Peppers, roses, Uncategorized, Vegetables