Garden Update: September Beauty and Bounty

It seemed like Autumn was in the air for awhile, but we’re back in the 80’s. Meanwhile, a mixture of heavy rainstorms and scorching sunshine have the somewhat neglected garden producing well. I’ve harvested several golden beets, plus continued kale and chard. Radicchio has survived multiple groundhog and earwig attacks, and we’ve got some reseeded lettuce and cilantro popping up in the raised beds. It’s officially pesto season, and the zinnias know it’s September:

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Also, we finally have some love-in-a-mist to keep the snapdragons company!

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Perhaps the biggest news in the gardening world is that just as I was writing about the very precocious and determined Rascal Jr., our next door neighbor succeeded in trapping and “relocating him to a nice place in the country.” Apparently, four other groundhogs greeted him there, and he jumped right into the mix, far, far away from my chard. My garden has since returned to a non-putrid scent from all the repellent sprays that did more to repel me than Rascal Jr.

About a week later, what must have been a close relative of last year’s Kalamazoo Kal lumbered into the backyard. What a fatty! This one was much more well behaved than Rascal Jr., but our neighbor and I only saw him that one time. I had wondered why until yesterday our neighbor caught me deadheading flowers and said, “You seen that groundhog again?”

“No,” I said, “just that one time.”

“Me neither, but I forgot to tell you what I did see, three, four nights ago. A fox!”

Randy didn’t know that I’ve been summoning a fox since I realized what a challenge the groundhogs would pose to gardening. Foxes take over existing groundhog dens, and the groundhogs voluntarily relocate. Plus, foxes are cool. I LOVE foxes!

“A red one,” he said. “It didn’t have a white tipped tail, but it was definitely a red fox. It walked right down the line between our two yards and looked at me for a few moments. Then it went across the street and started sniffing around that groundhog den. I haven’t seen it, or any groundhogs, since.”

I think I might have jumped for joy and whooped enough for Randy to think I’m even a bit stranger than he already thought I was. I ran inside and texted my sister-in-law who had sent me as inspiration a photo of a fox on the roof of their car.

“Woohoo! I did it. We have a fox!” Way too excited about this fox …

In any case, the ecosystem here might change. Our neighbor sits on his porch from dawn past dusk, most days. He’s never in 20 years seen a fox and has never gone this long without seeing a groundhog. Here’s hoping!

The purple kale and dwarf cherry tomatoes continue to produce, and I took today’s flash shower as a reminder to plant more golden beets, spinach and slow-bolt lettuce seeds.

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Along with the fox, I was happy to get a second round of blooms from the foxglove. To the left, you can just see the entryway row of potted chard, salvia, snapdragons, and pansies, with soon to be blooming blue iris and gladiolus to the right of another purple kale.

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Life is good at Dra’Faven. It will be even better if I get to see little fox kittens next spring. Oh, my goodness, that would be too cute for words!

Wishing everyone a Happy Labor Day!

12 responses to this post.

  1. Praying for sweet little fox kittens in the Spring…. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I’m so excited! Thanks for the prayers. 🙂

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  3. Posted by Eliza Ayres on September 3, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Posted by Kieron on September 3, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    The blue of that love-in-a-mist is enchanting. Still getting volunteer Nicotiana grandiflora seedlings sprouting like mad. They have never done this before and I have planted them every spring ever since discovering them some 15 years ago. This year they have turned up en masse by self-seeding clear across the yard where rain/snowmelt must have carried the seeds, and this in spite of a long winter! The seeds are typical of tobacco species– very tiny! It’s crazy to think how such a big plant with a heavenly fragrance is contained in something the size of a poppy seed. So I have been saving seed pods for next year and will scatter them in spite of–still!–not really knowing whether I’ll be here next year. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Posted by Kate on September 3, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Haha, I have kangaroos and feral deer eating my kale, rose bushes and apple trees here in Oz!
    We also have plenty of feral foxes which make keeping poultry difficult 😦
    It’s a shame I can’t export some to you…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your garden is looking so beautiful and bountiful! I have recently moved too (through a series of small miracles I’ve been able to buy my own little place), so I am busy making plans for transforming my garden. I love my new home and for lots of lovely reasons … am going to name it Foxfield 🙂

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  7. Reblogged this on Illuminations Now!!.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations, Susie! What a delightful, synchronous name, too. 🙂

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  9. Just saw this, Kate! Yes, if we had poultry it would be different, but I will take a fox over a genius groundhog any day. 😊

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  10. Here it is! Sorry, it didn’t show up in the comment queue for some reason. 😊

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  11. I would love some seeds if you want to send some my way. We have a spot behind the shed that I would love to plant some. They can spread however much they want!

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