Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall Planting

I'm not really into planting bulbs.  I have enough lilies about to keep me in bulbs for the year.  I never got into tulips and the like.  I guess they are just too ephemeral - a quick splash of color in the late spring, followed by months of withered leaves.  I think I prefer plants that take their time and stay around a while (I still have stella d'oro lilies flowering!).

The only bulbs I plant are garlic bulbs.  Today was the day.  We filled one of the deep beds in the raised bed garden.  I covered it with a bunch of mulched leaves.  It will be about 9 months before we get garlic - but what a great scent once we pick it (assuming you like garlic).

I have turned over most the empty beds and hit them with a dose of calcium / calcium sulfate pellets.  I swear by the stuff.  We had a lot of fruit on our plants this year, and no blossom rot in our tomatoes!

As always, we have one tree that hasn't dropped it's leaves.  It is the same every year.  Luckily, there is still a little room in the compost bins for it's leaves.

I have to cut back the peonies and four o'clocks.  I also need to rake out the shade garden and hosta beds once they are thoroughly withered.  Not much yard work left.  We are moving into the quiet time around here...

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I have been traveling a lot lately, and need to catch up on yard work.  Our autumn is nearly over, the majority of the leaves are off the trees and in the compost bins.  Morning frosts have shut down almost all the garden plants (except for the spinach, collards and arugula).

We have had cold and windy days with scattered rain.  I cleaned out the gutters, collected seeds pods from the green bean plants for next year, pulled the bean, zucchini, and peppers plants (into the compost bins they went), trimmed some bushes, put away lawn furniture, did a mowing (the final one for the year I think), trimmed the grass, ran the string trimmer dry, cleaned up the porch, brought the potted herbs inside.  Just getting ready for the coming winter.

We have been running the pellet stove almost continuously.  It is getting colder, and the days are getting shorter.

I really sense the change this year as I recently came back from New Zealand and Australia.  It is spring in those southern parts of the world.  Time to enjoy the warmth there...

Auckland Harbor and the Botanical Gardens!  Cherry blossoms, quiet paths, spring flowers...


Sydney, Australia!  Opera House, Botanical Gardens, colorful flowers, tropical birds... 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Autumn Barns and Bridges

We took a little vacation last weekend down to Gettysburg.  We took the long way down, backroads, rolling hills, the changing seasons.

The leaves were really starting to change...

We came across a farm with a whimsically painted silo!

There were a wide variety of well-cared barns about the Gettysburg battlefields . . .

One of the most stately is the Maclean Barn.

I really like the way the doors are painted.  I also have seen this in Ohio.

 The Trostle Barn is very unique - it is built of brick (note the cannon ball hole in the gable end...).

We read about the Sachs Bridge.  With the assistance of a GPS, we were able to find it.  It is the most famous covered bridge in Pennsylvania.  It is quite picturesque.

And yet another stately barn.

The weather was perfect, as was the scenery.  It is good to just travel about and enjoy the simple views of countryside.