Six On Saturday — October 24

It’s getting chilly here, and we’ve begun the task of buttoning up the garden in preparation for frost which is predicted this weekend. Many projects are in the works with a new sense of urgency. I feel closely knitted with gardeners around the world who are adjusting to recent changes in weather. Some of those gardeners share weekly with Six on Saturday, hosted by The Propagator in the U.K.

ONE – Veggie harvests continue, with plenty of beets, carrots, chard, and even some zucchini this week. Additionally, a few varieties of kale and cabbage remain in the soil. To protect the fall and winter crops in raised beds from serious cold, we’ve created mini hoop houses for a few winters now with success. Some of the plastic needs patching, and rotted boards that weigh the plastic down need replacing, which all will be completed soon. Also, we’ll definitely add cross beams on top before snow. The beds that will remain uncovered all winter hold garlic, strawberries, Brussels sprouts (almost ready!), and cover crops.

Before
After
Other afters

TWO – I haven’t mentioned a major summer project we completed months ago: The installation of new compost bins past the garden shed, next to the veggie garden. Only passionate gardeners can get super excited about compost! We’d been wanting to move the compost area from along our shady stream where it was established when we moved here to a full-sun location. It only took us about seven years! The new, four large bins (about 8’x8′) allow for major compost production, and the garden is thriving from the abundance of black gold. This week we finally solved the upcoming rain and snow coverage issue with a supported, strapped down, heavy tarp. We’d tried other tarp solutions that just pooled, sagged, and created more work, but I’m happy to report this set-up is working like a charm.

THREE – On to prettier sights, these vibrant asters are the last to bloom, and I love their pop of color in the perennial beds. Frost will end these blooms soon.

FOUR – Along those same color lines and about to leave us due to frost, I need to sing the praises of one amazing perennial plant among the roses, Geranium ‘Ann Folkard.’ I love the way these few plants wind their way between the roses all season long. I think her dark eyes are beautiful.

FIVE – I’m not quite done with celebrating deepest fuchsia and magenta tones. Another faithful bloomer, Penstemon ‘Blackbird’ deserves a mention for filling out a different area of the rose garden and complementing Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ so perfectly. This penstemon will remain green through the majority of our winter, but blooms will be scarce.

SIX – I’ll close with a few scenes of autumn color at Coppertop. Foliage is getting prettier each day, which is a huge gift since we are all spending so much time at home. I’m thankful for this awe-inspiring, invigorating season.