Happy October to all! To me, autumn is an invigorating season offering fresh starts in any area needing a fresh start. I was one of those kiddos who couldn’t wait for school to begin each fall, preparing for it eagerly down to planning lunches and outfits for the first few weeks. Although things look different for most students this year because of COVID-19 and online schooling, that feeling of newness and freshness remains. Even better, the garden doesn’t look too tired, thanks to recent rainy days, so there’s that freshness when I step outside as well. As our daylight hours rapidly decrease, I’m attempting to plan ways to stay active and engaged in the garden during the grey months ahead.
One excellent way to stay engaged is through Six on Saturday, a weekly meme hosted by The Propagator in the U.K. Gardeners worldwide invite others to step into their plots of paradise and have a look around on Saturdays. Here are six little peeks into mine.
ONE – Signs of early fall at Coppertop include graceful Japanese anemones, red maples, deepening hydrangeas and sedum (yes, Hylotelephium), and the first hints of bronze overhead in the bigleaf maples.
TWO – It’s a great time to harvest seeds for next year from plants that we just can’t live without. My list includes these double black hollyhock seeds. From start to finish — faded blossoms on the stalk to dried, separated seeds — these are some of the easiest plants to harvest seed from. Couldn’t find a stellar photo of mine in bloom, so please use your imagination.
THREE – Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant in the greenhouse are most definitely past their prime and winding down rapidly. Many quarts of tomato sauce are cooked and canned, and the family is growing tired of eggplant dishes (and green beans, too). Yesterday I pruned all tomato plants in hopes that the remaining fruit will ripen quickly.
FOUR – New boots! Every 3-5 years I have to replace my gardening boots, or “muck” boots, as we call them here. I’ve learned what’s essential for me in a garden boot — waterproof, easy on and off (zippers!) for quick trips indoors, sturdy enough to handle our hilly, uneven terrain, and excellent support with cushioning for long hours on my feet. Ariat’s Ladies’ Barnyard Side Zip Boot fit the bill. Soon they will be completely covered in muck and unrecognizable.
FIVE – This week we harvested six pounds of plums from our Italian Prune Plum tree. These have vibrant green flesh. There weren’t a ton of plums, but plenty to make some traditional, Slovak prune jelly with. I picked all the lower branches, and Hubby climbed the ladder to reach the ones up high in the “semi-dwarf” tree. Ha!
SIX – Did anyone really think I’d get through this post without mentioning dahlias?! C’mon. Besides being known for an abundance of spiders in the garden, these months are overflowing with blooms. Here are a few shots of recent favorite dahlias.