Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Into Fall Mode

Our weather has definitely said so long to summer time and ushered in the cool temperatures of autumn.

Unfortunately, most of September has also been gray and sprinkled with intermittent rains.  If that's what it takes to drive away the heat and humidity of our summer just past, we'll take it.  But it does make it difficult in our attempts to wind up the last of our outside summer/fall tasks before we close the doors and go into winter hibernation mode.  (We are so looking forward to that this year.)

Last Saturday I finally got the window boxes decked out in their fall finery.  This is the small one outside our bathroom window.  I had to trim away some of the Virginia Creeper vines that had managed to imprison the whole window box.

As with all the changing of the colors this particular fall season, the Virginia Creeper seems slow to turn to its brilliant red this year.

I went out into the garden a couple of days ago to pull some carrots for addition to a soup.  Looks as though we'll have a good crop of them.  The longest measured nearly 12".  The little stub in the picture was a surprise when I pulled it.  You see, we had some little urchins looking for "something to eat" in the garden previously to this harvest of mine.  I said they could each go pull a carrot.  This carrot apparently broke off so the little "pullee" carefully planted it right back in the hole from which it came . . . and pulled another carrot more to her liking.

Carrots, potatoes and cabbages are still in the garden as our root cellar where they'll be stored hasn't had a chance to cool off enough yet.

I'm debating harvesting the Brussels sprouts before we get a hard frost (which supposedly makes them sweeter) because the stalks are so heavily laden that they're starting to topple over.  It's a tipsy row of plants out there right now.

Although certain areas around us have had a nipping frost or two already, we haven't gotten close to that yet.

Papa Pea spent the day today, among other tasks, spreading gravel in the needy spots on our quarter mile driveway.  The whole drive would really like to be completely redone (we've been ministering to it ourselves for the past 20-some years), but the significant $$$ for that job isn't in the budget this year.

My main outside job today was scraping paint off old windows.  Do I know how to have fun or what?


wisps of words said...

Your window boxes make such a pretty statement!

Your vine is slow to change. Same with things around here. 'Slow' seems to be the pace being set, so far. So glad that they aren't farther along today though.... Because we have rain. Rain/wind make for loss of foliage.

You are both still doing much, to prepare for winter. Which is seasonal of course. We have only bits to do, compared to you... But the flowers just keep blooming, and can't pull them out, while they are doing that. We don't have anything to take their place, like your window boxes.

Scraping paint! Yes Girl, you do know how to have fun!!!! -giggggles-

Here, I was a complete 'slug.' But some days, I have to be thus. Or that's my story and I am sticking to it!!!!!!

Hugs, hugs, hugs....


Mama Pea said...

wisps of words - Oh, I was thinking of what you said in your blog today (as I was getting colder and colder outside as the sky got grayer and grayer) about wanting to take a little nappy while your rain came down outside. Sounded so good to me!

I'm not complaining about our s-l-o-w fall colors. It is going to seem to make them last longer. Never fails that when colors are at their absolute peak, we get a wind and rain storm and the colors are gone over night. Drat. Hate it when that happens.

Although I know it's hard not to, at this stage of life we should never feel guilty about being a slug now and then. We need to remember there were many years with jobs, raising children, etc. that doing so was simply impossible!

Angela said...

Getting much needed rain here in Ga and slightly cooler temps (mid 80s). Other than grocery shopping, I am refinishing all doors one by one and repainting some door frames.Also great fun!

Mama Pea said...

Angela - For this northern Minnesotan, mid 80s temperatures are not slightly cooler! ;o} Well, okay, only if you're comparing them to 102 or 103 degrees maybe, but if it ever gets that hot here, I will be an unhappy, oozy puddle, for sure. Glad you're getting your rain though.

Ooof, refinishing doors and repainting door frames has got to be a barrel of monkeys, too. Why do we take on these jobs??

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MrsDuncanMahogany said...

The vine is just so pretty! I love it when it turns the vibrant red. We have some around our property too - mostly on the fence surrounding the pool so makes for a pretty backdrop. Some has fashioned itself onto other trees and makes for a little viney statement.

We have had nothing but miserable September. Literally and figuratively. The weather has been cold, rain mixed with snow (not us but further west of us) and no relief in sight. I am really hoping October will show us some beautiful weather.

Have fun scraping paint! I would rather do that than actual painting. I would rather get a root canal than paint. :)

Mama Pea said...

MrsDM - I'm lucky in that I do like to paint and have done a lot of it (!) in my time. I've even painted over very ugly wall paper with success. Nothing spruces up a room (or house trim!) like a new coat of paint.

I'm right with you in hoping for some gorgeous weather the whole month of October. (What? Is that too much to ask?)

We're getting more rain today. Sigh. But I guess I complain about it being too dry, too. Never happy. ;o}

Goatldi said...

So love your window boxes. I would love to put boxes on the two front windows that are our bedroom. They are perfectly suited as there is a lot of room to show them off. You did a super job decorating also!

We also do the gravel on our driveway as Papa Pea does with yours. Ours is roughly the same length also. I am wondering if our soil is more packed than your area. We don't need to do it every year and it is different areas of it each time.

Removing old paint from windows? Are you getting in a new paint job before wet and cold set in for good?

Leigh said...

I love how you decorate for the seasons. I always intend to, but usually having trouble finding my boxes of stuff until after the fact.

I'm impressed with your carrots. You must have some nice deep topsoil to grow them like that. And couldn't you just harvest some of your Brussels sprouts? Leave the rest for after frost?

Vera said...

We are still lingering in the remnants of very late summer / early autumn here in SW France...the courgettes are still blooming although slower in setting fruit, and I even have a few tomato seedlings bravely deciding to have a go at growing into adulthood, although I fear that their chances of surviving are nil, a thought I am also giving out to the self seeded pepper plant near to them.

But the temperatures are dropping, winter is on its way!

Katie C. said...

Oh my word! Those littles remind me of something that I did. My dad gardened. He started the three of us kids with those punch and grown mini plastic garden starters that you then transfer to the garden. Well, in the mix, there were some carrots. My dad couldn’t understand why they were doing so poorly in the actual garden, until ... he caught me pulling one to inspect it and then cramming it back in the dirt. Oops.

On another note, we got back from a lovely Quebec to Boston cruise yesterday evening. This morning, we found that last night (!) a tree fell on our community garden plot. It’s a total disaster. We are going there tomorrow to see if anything is salvageable - tomato cages included before anyone helps themselves to them. We still had tomatoes coming in along with banana and jalapeño peppers. I hope I can save my rosemary and thyme plants. The fencing that we just replaced this year is flat. It was a huge tree that just fell over because of all the rain. The roots just couldn’t hold on.

Mama Pea said...

Goatldi - Thank you for the nice words re my window boxes! I decorate them for every season except spring. Have never gathered artificial spring flowers (real ones are something our climate doesn't give us until June!) for them but do deck them out for summer, fall and winter.

We suspect we have some springs underneath parts of our driveway because the same "holes" reappear not matter what we do with them. Then, of course, heavy rains love to carve rivulets as the driveway is slightly downhill. Always fun to stay ahead of it all. ;o)

Yes, we're trying to get in some more trim painting yet. We usually get some really nice, warm days in September (had very few of them this year!) and in October. Keeping my fingers crossed this happens.

Thanks, Leigh. I grow our carrots in one of our raised beds and don't (usually) have much trouble getting nice, long, straight ones.

Yes, I certainly could harvest some of the bottom (bigger) Brussels sprouts as they grow, but I guess I'm too lazy (and un-limber!) to do so. Gotta get down on the ground nearly under the plants to do so and I've never been able to just "snap" them off like some books say you can. Mine are so securely fastened to the stem that I have to literally take a sharp knife to cut them off. Because of that, it's so much easier to pull the whole plant, work on them on a table out in the yard . . . do the whole plant at once. Make any sense? Then I bring in the bowls of individual sprouts for cleaning before blanching and freezing.

Vera - Your climate is much more forgiving than ours! Still no frost (even a light one) here but it. is. coming!

Katie C. - Oh, I laughed and laughed at your "carrot checking" when you were a wee one!

Well, drat and blast! Gardening is hard enough without facing the destruction that tree falling on your plot did! I'm hoping you can salvage more than you might think. Good luck!