It’s been over two months since I last blogged and it hasn’t been for lack garden tasks. It seemed that whenever I sat down to write, something came up. In the last few months I have run a number of therapy classes on pounding flowers, carnivorous plants, fall salad seedlings, flavored vinegars and invasive plants. I have had adventures with groundhogs, deer, coyotes, slugs, cutworms, squirrels, chipmunks and other unwelcome creatures. Blight, mold, and fungus visited the grounds. Huge harvests of tomatoes, greens and garlic. Blackberries the size of large marbles. The leeks have come in gangbusters and now it is time to plant the garlic.
This season isn’t any different than the past but the last two months have also been filled with other tasks including putting up gates, painting, repairing large sections of a fence, sealing the driveway, etc. that have destroyed any possibility of acting “gentleman farmer/gardener” like and acting more like an actual farmer by getting up early, getting dirty and getting exhausted. So by the time my day has been finished and the grime showered off, I have energy to do little save collapse in a chair.
But with autumn and lots of rain have come a bit of a respite so that I can begin again to write of gardening and the life that surrounds my house. It is very different since my last posting as the hostas have flowered and faded and the berries on the grape vine are a brilliant blue. The birds and squirrels have started to hit the feeders en-masse unlike other years at this time.
Last year I couldn’t pay a bird or squirrel to visit any of my seed or suet feeders. This year they heckle me the moment they are empty. The only thing I can think of is that the nut and berry harvests must be down from last year. You wouldn’t think that, however, given all the tiny fruits on my crabapple tree, Ilex verticillata (winterberry) and Callicarpa (beautyberry). Perhaps this is yet another strange ramification of a wild weather year that has flipped and flopped more than most political candidates.
Regardless I continue to enjoy the changing landscape and while there is a consistency in seasonality there is little in any given season.