Garden Update ~ Hints of Autumn

The light has turned in Michigan, along with an array of late summer flowers and fruits. Even though the temperatures remain warm, I can feel and see the shift. Maybe you can, too:

The silver planter got seeded with colorful lettuce for (fingers crossed!) a decorative fall crop once I cut back the spent sunflowers, marigolds, salvia and bachelor’s buttons. Hidden amidst the flowers are brightly colored rainbow chard plants, which have so far survived the groundhog’s occasional forays into the yard. I have a vision of that planter with green and purple lettuces intermixed with yellow, pink and ruby chard, but we’ll see how it grows. Everything’s an experiment!

I also added some mum’s last week. I have a few perennial ones, and we’ll see if these new ones take.

Out back, the Evening Sun sunflower finally bloomed. I suspect a bunny ate the rest of the sprouts, so I’ll let this one go to seed. Hopefully next year we’ll have some more. To the back left, you can see amaranth making its way to the huge, crimson heads. I’m a little afraid to let that go to seed, lest I have amaranth EVERYWHERE … but it would be fun to harvest my own superfood. The fall clematis should start blooming white in a couple weeks, and you can see the sedum just starting to blush. The bees are thrilled!

I pulled out the butternut squash plants and got a modest harvest. It would have been much more prolific if I’d followed my intuition to add gypsum before I lost twelve to blossom end rot. It appears the prickly squash vines and leaves were protecting my sweet potatoes from a voracious groundhog. Out came the stinky spray, because someone munched almost all the leaves, even inside the low fencing. I might need to make that higher next year. I know those leaves are a groundhog favorite, but I hope I get at least some sweet potatoes. They were an experiment in an area that doesn’t really get enough light to their liking. If I get anything from that bed, I’ll consider it a success.

The Taiyo sunflowers have grown well back there. You can see one of many happy honeybees in the photo below:

Last week, I harvested one of our aronia bushes. I froze many bags of berries and also made a dessert that David loved. Part of that is frozen, too, for special treats throughout the year. You can see I need to harvest the other aronia bush, which is bowing over from the weight of the berries.

To the left, you might be able to make out an elderberry bush, also almost ready to harvest. These are not my favorite berries, but they’re easy to grow and loaded with nutrients and health benefits. Unlike blueberries, these bushes don’t fall prey to birds or bunnies. From a medicinal garden standpoint, I love having an easy source of antioxidants and immunity boosters. Next up a gluten free aronia berry pie with monkfruit and a hint of stevia instead of sugar. Anyone know of any savory aronia recipes?

As we approach the change of seasons, it feels good to plan next year’s garden — with hopes of another harvest before the big freeze. How are you celebrating the coming shifts?

10 responses to this post.

  1. Just beautiful and yes I can see the shifting of the season peeking through! I miss my garden, but am grateful for the abundance of incredible garden blooms we have here. On our way to hikes we have to pass through the neighborhood and I’m floored by how many people have gorgeous varieties of flowers as gardens and even lots of greenhouses. Your sunflowers are a portal to here since they’re my fav, as we found a giant sunflower patch that makes my heart dance with joy. I am hoping I don’t miss my sunflower blooms back home on the 6 new plants that were flourishing before I left. I sure hope all of my plants are doing alright. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Thank you! I was thinking of your garden yesterday. I hope it’s doing well, too. So glad you have beauty around you — but you always do!

      Liked by 1 person

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      • You’re welcome and thank you! I guess I will find out how well the drip line did, how overgrown things got or how hot it was to damage…or who knows…hopefully the energies and my forest friends are holding strong! Grateful we both create and magnetize the beauty abound!

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  2. So lush! I’m hoping all these photos and dessert prep mean your toe has healed?

    Liked by 2 people

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  3. […] a few photos today, as much of the garden looks similar to photos from August 28th. A few things have […]

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