Monday, September 26, 2016

Greeting fall with mixed emotions

Fall is undeniably here.  The mosquitoes have already calmed down a bit, and soon they will be gone. This year was really miserable for those of us who don't like heat mixed with high, high humidity. I am one of them, and feeling cooler air today is welcome, even with the humidity. However . . .

There hasn't been a frost yet, nothing even close, but the plants are looking pretty sad. No amount of water or tender loving care will make up for the fact that summer annuals have a genetic life span, and it is nearing the end for many of them.

I love the zinnias at the front of my house. So cheerful! They are multi-colored, some tall, some medium, some short. They shaded the delicate shade-loving impatiens well enough that they are still looking quite nice. However, the zinnias, not so much.

Sad zinnias

Sadder zinnias

As for my tomato garden on the deck, they are done. I am just letting the last crop of tomatoes hang on the sad, brown plants in the hope that they will ripen before they rot. They are almost all Moldovan Green, my favorite tomato, so even though they look very un-ripe, they are not. I brought in two last night, one for supper with my wild salmon, the other one sitting on the counter for today's lunch with some cottage cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Sad tomatoes

Sadder tomatoes

A few of my mums made it through the winter, and I notice one is just full of buds. One of these days I will have to tell the ragged looking zinnias that they have served their purpose. I will blow them a kiss and then pull them out to make room for the mums to show off.

Mum budded out - it's having its day.

I planted several lavender plants against the foundation, bought from the booth that sells everything lavender at the market. The owners, Mike and Doreen King of Lakeside Lavender & Herbs, tell me that I need to trim them back this fall. They will be healthier next year if I do so. The smaller ones on the right are best for culinary uses, so they will get extra tender loving care.

Lavender against wall

Culinary lavender, smaller

Even the basil is sad - but this was a GOOD GOOD YEAR FOR BASIL.

There are several perennial herbs hidden among the zinnias that will be useful well into the winter - tarragon, oregano and thyme.

Oh, and I planted potatoes last spring. It's time to go on my potato search. Two organic potatoes yielded eight potato plants. Now if I can just find where to start digging!

Isn't it wonderful what one can do with foundation plantings?

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