Garden Update ~ Last Photos Before the First Frost

In anticipation of last Friday’s potential first frost, I spent last Thursday and Friday on a mad dash to harvest in between phone and in person sessions. Although extremely busy, I also realized that Friday offered the last chance to capture the summer and early fall’s visual bounty, as well. Here are some of those photos, and yes, the frost faeries did arrive on Saturday and Sunday nights. All those lovely zinnias, cosmos and nasturtiums are now on their way to compost. What a feast for the eyes, soul and tummy we had this year! I feel so much gratitude to the Land for bringing joy and nourishment into so many lives.

front paths

This little strip of chard and geraniums still lives happily under a mini tunnel.

This little strip of chard and geraniums still lives happily under a mini tunnel.

The backyard was getting sleepy, and, as of yesterday, has largely been put to bed for winter.

The backyard was getting sleepy, and, as of yesterday, has largely been put to bed for winter.

The newly mulched areas should be a riot of tulips next spring.

The newly mulched areas should be a riot of tulips next spring.

a very small snapshot of Friday's harvest

a very small snapshot of Friday’s harvest

Thursday's harvest

Thursday’s harvest

The pineapple sage (the red flowers) said goodbye, but not before I took a cutting for next year.

The pineapple sage (the red flowers) said goodbye, but not before I took a cutting for next year.

We still have a few marigolds, which the bumblebees love at this time of year.

We still have a few marigolds, which the bumblebees love at this time of year.

Most of these flowers gave up the ghost this weekend, although the yellow calendula and pink four o'clocks have survived for now.

Most of these flowers gave up the ghost this weekend, although the yellow calendula and pink four o’clocks have survived for now.

I had left yesterday mostly open for yard clean up, and I enjoyed a gusty day full of sunshine and rustling leaves as I piled up frostbitten plants for David to run over with the mulch mower. Quick compost for raised beds! Yesterday also included distributing another six or seven bags of used coffee grounds delivered by the owner of our local coffee shop. He delivers probably 25 trash bags of spent grounds to me each season. As a thank you, I left him one of the “medium sized” green striped cushaw squashes, which as you can see in the photo above, are still huge.

I joke that I’m on everybody’s waste stream, but I truly am. Knowing I don’t drive, people here are kind enough to deliver large bike boxes, coffee grounds, and truckloads of wood mulch, pretty much all season long, whenever I ask. Friday, the yard will gratefully receive another waste stream created by attempts to manage an invasive species. the The yard will stink for a few days, but those hundreds of spring bulbs and new fruit bushes will be mighty happy for the boost, especially in the yard next door, which has never received a treatment.

I’m down to my last 200 bulbs to plant, LOL, so faeries willing, I’ll get those in by Friday in between sessions and with the much appreciated help of a gardener in training. The front easement below used to be a horrid patch of weeds and uneven ground. Last year, I had the city plant two serviceberry trees, but the rest of it sat under two feet of cardboard and wood mulch, through which grass and weeds still managed to grow until I planted everything this year. I loved the colors this summer and fall. Hopefully, all those bulbs I scattered among flowers will put on quite the welcome show for spring. Cheers!

easement

12 responses to this post.

  1. Your garden has been so amazing this year, Laura! What a lot of love and work you’ve given to growing it. Wish it could stay forever! Frost hit here two days ago. I had some cherry tomatoes still on the vine and they were frozen solid in the morning, so I bagged them up and popped them into the freezer for winter soups and stews down the road. I thought that was a clever solution, rather than lamenting the fact that I didn’t get them in “on time” for fresh eating, so I am sharing. Bet it would work for green beans, herbs, etc, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Diana, and that’s a great solution! Now that we have the extra freezer next door, I’ve taken to freezing tomatoes for soups, chili and sauces this winter. I might eventually can some of them to make room for pumpkin once those ripen, but what a relief this year to bag them up and freeze them, especially with the unexpected addition of a second yard! I had dehydrated so many, but sometimes you just don’t want to deal with another tomato project. We sure do love those dried tomatoes in winter, though. πŸ™‚

    I cleaned off the many coat hooks in the laundry room next door, and those will become herb drying racks — with bonus aromatherapy for that not so fresh smelling space.

    One nice thing about having such massive garden projects: it sure does make me appreciate winter! I used to dread it, but now that I know hundreds of flowers will bloom in early spring, I’m looking forward to some R&R — and finally getting to my delayed studies.

    Oh, speaking of freezing herbs: https://laurabruno.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/this-guy-knows-everything-about-gardening-and-food-preservation/ . Kevin also has tips for rolling up herbs into “cigars” and freezing them. It’s supposed to make for easy cutting and one of the better ways of preserving them. I’ve not tried it myself, but it sounds intriguing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Posted by Kieron on October 20, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    We had a light freeze last weekend but I managed to keep some things from getting nipped to oblivion, including marigolds that can be used in my ancestors altar in a couple of weeks. And I repotted into planting tubs a few plants (including some succulents kept outdoors all summer) that I want to try to keep alive over winter, and planted sets of bulbs outdoors and potted up others in clay pots for forcing, and collected wildflower seeds for planting in November (they need the chill in order to sprout in the spring), and so on.

    I always say we never know how we will affect others, and between you and Kevin, I felt inspired to push along further than I usually do this time of year. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

    And I am gonna get that package in the mail TODAY, dangit! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, you have been busy! You’ll love it next spring. Oh, that’s a good idea about potting up some bulbs for forcing. At least I have a backup if I don’t get them all in the ground! Thanks for the package. πŸ™‚

    Like

  5. Posted by Laura on October 20, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    LOVE your garden!!! Its so beautiful!!! & I love the way you heal and nurture Mother Earth! Fairy Blessings to you!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Posted by sky on October 20, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    What a riot of color and food your yard produced this year! And I saw the fairy pumpkin twins on one of your shelves! I am amazed at how much you are able to do in a day. Must be your healthy eating…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you, Laura! Yes, Mother Earth needed some major nurturing here, but I have to say, She’s gotten a lot of TLC in the last few years, especially this one. Fairy Blessings to you, too! ❀

    Like

  8. Thanks, Sky. I actually was wondering about those long days, too. Last week was a blur of jam packed sessions and jam packed harvesting. No jam, though. πŸ˜‰ It’s true, David and I have gotten spoiled with the freshest food possible, often picked just minutes before preparation. We were saying the other day that even though we eat less technically “raw” food than we did when we lived in Madison, we’re eating far fresher, more nutrient dense food even if it’s lightly cooked, since it has traveled only about 15 yards from ground to plate. If you were closer, I’d share some with you! πŸ™‚

    Like

  9. Posted by Jane Derbenwick (Mom) on October 20, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    Such a wonderful closing to summer and great preparation for winter. Very lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Momma! Wish you were closer. You could have some yummies. πŸ™‚ xoxo

    Like

  11. Posted by Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature on October 21, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    What a beautiful garden, Laura, tended with such love and care. The beauty of the flowers, and the gift of those for the bees and butterflies – as well as the bountiful food harvest. I look forward to seeing pictures of the spring bulbs blooming! You are an inspiration.
    Peace,
    Mary

    Like

  12. Thank you, Mary! I’m so excited to see those spring bulbs. LOL, I don’t even remember what I planted where! Peace to you, too. πŸ™‚

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: