End of Month View – September 2017

Thanks to Steve at Glebe House for hosting this meme.

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View of vegetable garden and house from near the sheep barn

It’s been a strange autumn so far.  August brought us some lovely, cool temperatures with light rains; the leaves began their color changes, pumpkins were harvested and it was beginning to feel a lot like fall.

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Front of house, obviously – the patch to the left is where I just removed the front island.  It was too bitty and I didn’t care for it.  I still need to have the stumps ground from the two large maples we had to remove several years ago (yes, I procrastinate sometimes).  I’ve recently read that it was a tradition in the mid-1800s in the rural U.S. for a newly married couple to plant two trees, side by side – often maples – in front of their new home, so that their new family and the trees would grow together.  I thought that was a wonderful sentiment and have decided that, come spring, I will have the stumps ground and I will plant two, new maples.

Then, without warning, September brought tropical heat and humidity, but without the beneficial rains.  The changing of the leaves into their fall wardrobe stopped dead, as though frozen in time.

 

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The sumacs beginning their transformation 

 

Thankfully the heat broke a couple of days ago, and we’ve had one night of rain (still not enough).  The crisp, coolness has returned and it’s a chill 35 degrees this morning.

The gardens are, of course, winding down and preparation for winter moves forward  on the Farm.  The hay has been purchased and stored in the barn for the sheep; cords of wood are also stacked neatly in the barn.  All of the vegetables, with the exception of a couple of rows of fall carrots, have been harvested.  Tomatoes have been roasted and frozen.  Apples and pears have been turned into applesauce and jams and canned.  The borage, zinnia and marigolds carry on for the benefit of the pollinators.  The sunflowers also stand, heads bowed, continuing to provide seed for the local birds.

Our hummingbird friends are still visiting.

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The blackberries and raspberries are still being harvested – slowly since the heat effected them as well — and will be turned into jellies and canned in a couple of weeks.

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I still have loads of clean-up to do both in the vegetable garden and mixed borders, not to mention the fall planting of a couple hundred bulbs and garlic.

The hot border carries on.  The dahlias still blooming like crazy, although the Black-eyed Susans are little more the seed for the birds at this stage.

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Many of the perennials are winding down, preparing for their winter slumber, their energy directed toward the roots, rather than the production of beautiful flowers and foliage.  Winter is peering around the corner…

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