Category Archives: Fall

CHANGE

Fall arrived last week.

It’s the reason I abide summer.

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You can’t fully appreciate

These cool crisp sunny days

Unless you have lived through summer.

It’s the same relationship

That spring is to winter.

One of the reason I love life here on the Great Plains

Is that we experience all four season.

Some years

Some seasons more than others.

It’s the change that seems to appeal to me.

And since I spend many days outside

I consider myself to be

An observer of those changes.

So as the season comes to an end

I carry a list of changes

I want to make in my garden in my head.

This weekend I began to work on the list.

John and I both have wanted a lilac for some time.

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We’ve planted one

But it seems to be suffering from

“Failure to thrive”.

In this case it’s a lack of sunshine.

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I’ve found it a sunnier home

But there’s a rose bush there.

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Or at least there was.

This particular rose bush

Is very finicky.

It only blooms

If it’s not too wet

Or not too hot.

Or I threaten to murder it.

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So yesterday

After years of fiddling to make it happy

I cut it down

And dug it up.

I know

It’s not a very friendly thing to do.

But I need its sunny home

For the lilac bush.

And there’s time in the fall

To make these changes.

Their lackluster performance

Is fresh on my mind

In the fall.

If I wait till spring

To do the dastardly deed

That “hope of spring” thing

Will fog my fall reality.

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All this digging and moving around

Has me thinking about changes in my life as well.

There are times when one thing must end.

In order for something new to have a place to call home.

That’s the trick as life lumbers on.

Making room in your life for change

For the things you learn

And people you meet.

Change brings growth.

If you let it in.

Gail

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Filed under Fall, Lilac, roses, 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.

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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.

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Baby praying mantis

Blending in with zinnia leaves.

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Even a large praying mantis

Outside the kitchen window.

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Orb spider spin their amazing webs.

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Butterflies bask in the soft fall sun.

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And peppers finally have their day.

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This is also the time of year

That pots come into their own.

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They begin to ooze over the side

With the fullness of the season.

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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.

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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

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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

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

A SIMPLE DAY

Yesterday dawned cool and cloudy.

Rain had been predicted for the day

But it didn’t materialize

And so we had a simple Saturday.

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My maiden voyage as a grandmother

Meant that my garden

Was completely ignored

For the last half of August. 

Abandoning my garden for grandchildren

Is a no brainer.

But it does mean that the garden

Is well….overgrown

It needs serious deadheading

As well as a clean sweep of weeding. 

But instead of going head long into the garden

I was more in a meandering mood.

So I slowed down  

And worked at a more relaxed pace.

Along the way

I ran across a few late summer friends.

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Orb spiders are making there return

After a year’s absence.

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The count in the back is up to 3.

I’m thinking we should name them this year.

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They hang around for quite awhile

So it seems a naming is in order.

And the monarchs are beginning to migrate.

They love the zinnias that are just now coming into their own. 

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A late blooming Hollyhock

Kept a bumblebee happy for some time.

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And all the while

Coco kept watch

Over the garden.

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They joys of simplicity

They are ours for the taking.

Enjoy the week.

Gail

4 Comments

Filed under Bugs, Butterflies, Dead Heading, Fall, Gardening;Perennials, hollyhocks, Orb Spider, Perennials, Zinnia

A SIMPLE DAY

Yesterday dawned cool and cloudy.

Rain had been predicted for the day

But it didn’t materialize

And so we had a simple Saturday.

DSCN5005

My maiden voyage as a grandmother

Meant that my garden

Was completely ignored

For the last half of August. 

Abandoning my garden for grandchildren

Is a no brainer.

But it does mean that the garden

Is well….overgrown

It needs serious deadheading

As well as a clean sweep of weeding. 

But instead of going head long into the garden

I was more in a meandering mood.

So I slowed down  

And worked at a more relaxed pace.

Along the way

I ran across a few late summer friends.

DSCN5009

Orb spiders are making there return

After a year’s absence.

DSCN5079

The count in the back is up to 3.

I’m thinking we should name them this year.

DSCN5088

They hang around for quite awhile

So it seems a naming is in order.

And the monarchs are beginning to migrate.

They love the zinnias that are just now coming into their own. 

DSCN5097

A late blooming Hollyhock

Kept a bumblebee happy for some time.

DSCN5093

And all the while

Coco kept watch

Over the garden.

DSCN5107

They joys of simplicity

They are ours for the taking.

Enjoy the week.

Gail

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Filed under Bugs, Butterflies, Dead Heading, Fall, Gardening;Perennials, hollyhocks, Orb Spider, Perennials, 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

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And Foxtail Ferns

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That will require watering

And watching over.

And sweeping up of all those dropped leaves.

Then there’s the Christmas cactus

That Kristina gave me a few years back

That will be bursting into bloom soon.

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There are hydrangea drying

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And Cockscomb.

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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

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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.

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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.

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The last batch of produce for Loaves & Fishes.

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The last roses of summer.

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And cosmos.

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And hydrangea.

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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!!!

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What was I thinking?

So on Saturday

I began.

Digging trenches

One section at a time

Along the path

Leading to the garden house.

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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.

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4 Comments

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

COLORS OF THE SEASON

We are experiencing the glory of the season.

An amazing fall.

Driving through the older neighborhoods

I am stunned by the breathtaking

Gold of plain old Elm trees.

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By Kelly’s mature Ginkgo tree.

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And the American Elm in front of the church.

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For years gold was our dominate fall color.

Some red was dotted here and there.

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But to get lots of red you had to head east

To the Talahina trail, or Arkansas or New England.

And since we are human we always want

What someone else has.

A few years back

The Men’s Garden Club made a subtle effort

Called “Plant the Town Red”.

They encouraged people to plant

Redbud for spring.

Red Crepe Myrtle for summer.

And varieties of Red Maple that are happy here for fall

Autumn Blaze and Autumn Glory.

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Or Chinese Pistache.

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We were replacing the dying elm trees in our front yard

And were happy to oblige.

In four years

This is the reddest they have been.

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So the question is

Are maple trees like Hydrangea?

Does their color depend on the soil chemistry?

Or is it a question of maturation.

Do they have to be a certain age before they are actually red?

Or could it have been

A mix-up in tagging

Somewhere along the way

Before it came to live at our house?

Only time will tell.

But this year it doesn’t really matter.

I’m drinking in the gold

As it sparkles in the sun.

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As it takes my breath away.

As it reminds me that the season is winding down.

And like every season of every year.

We are not in charge.

Red

Gold

It’s all glorious.

I was afraid I didn’t have enough pictures for this blog

So on the way to church this morning

I stopped to take a few more.

After snapping a picture or two

I heard someone talking to me.

“There’s a better one in the back.”

A young man yelled out his window.

“I took a picture of it a few days ago.”

He was right.

It’s glorious.

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So after a blustery Sunday.

Leaves cover the ground.

Apple pies are in the oven.

It must be fall

And one more certain sign.

Happy Birthday, John.

Gail

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Filed under Chinese Pistache Tree, Elm Trees, Fall, Gingko Tree, Hydrangea, Maple Trees, Redbud Trees, Uncategorized