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October Bounty

A full week into October here in mid-Maine, and still I’m harvesting a bounty from good earth. A few peppers that are supposed to be hot came out sweet in the chill, but hundred of sweet peapods are a special delight, since these cost me nothing but the light work in August of shelling [...]

Autumn Growths

At the same time that an unusually long growing season is bringing me a second, smaller batch of flowering onions, consistent rains have stimulated other fruiting bodies in my garden as well.

Puffballs, fly agaric mushrooms and this rather extravagant orange fungus have emerged from the ground.

What growths are taking place where you live?

[...]

Vegetables at the Brink of Autumn

My August plan to chance a second batch of snap peas has borne fruit:

Even though the plants are shorter than their summertime parents, they’ve got some delicious pods.

And what does a hot pepper taste like if it’s grown when the frosts are nearly here? I’m about to find out:

Meanwhile, garlic [...]

Reclaimed for the Sun

When I moved up to Maine 3 years ago, the place I moved into had a deck of pressure-treated wood shoved into a south-and-east facing corner. It wasn’t connected to the steps, so you had to walk to it. It didn’t face the street, so it wasn’t made for socializing. It got splintery and rickety.

[...]

Autumn Chives

While the presence of September chive blossoms themselves isn’t unpleasant, their reminder of the significant shift in climate we’re seeing is unnerving, and brings to mind questions of what kind of winter we’ll have this year. Unpredictability grows into insecurity, in the garden. [...]

How I Know Autumn is Coming

I hear the sound of acorns falling. I feel acorns underfoot beneath the oak tree. The blueberries and blackberries are gone. The second round of snap peas has sprouted. The lily stalks look like they could be part of a basket. The trees swarmed by Japanese beetles are brown.

How do you know autumn is [...]

Little plant disaster: a touch-me-this discovery

Dad: Why did you take so long coming up the hill?

Son: Oh, I was just looking at those pink plants by the road.

Dad: Did you like the flowers?

Son: They were OK, but I really like the seed pods. Do you know what they do?

Dad: Yes; just be sure not to bring [...]

Vegetable Gardening 2012 Continues as Vegetable Gardening 2013 Begins

In the automobile industry, the end of a calendar summer is the beginning of the next model year. So it goes with vegetables, but in carbon-neutral fashion.

Garden fashion magazines depict the cultivation of flowers and food as a thoroughly bright, clean, color-saturated experience. But this yesterday I find myself at a desaturated end, [...]

Better Homes and Garden Porn

Gardening is more difficult, and more rewarding, and more complex, than what’s shown in Better Homes and Gardens. The magazine I’d like to see instead might be entitled Actual Homes and Gardens. [...]

Propagating in August

Two garden activities await me this morning. The first looks forward – I’ll be trying to propagate lavender cuttings, which are supposed to do well when started towards the end of summer as well as in springtime. The second looks backward – I’ll be cutting down all the dead stalks of the many plants that [...]

If You Mow Your Lawn

People who mow their lawns to be neat and tidy and short miss the pleasure of bronze colored seed heads.