My garden is donning it’s autumn wardrobe with it’s palette of deep burgundy, rust, purples and gold.
The hens are finished molting and are ready for the cold winter months with their fluffy down.
I have slowly begun to put the garden to bed as it is still quite mild. Plants are still producing and flowering among the seed heads and fallen leaves and we are still harvesting a few crops.
It was my first attempt at growing peanuts this year. I grew them in a pot and we just recently harvested a small bowlful. Not a huge harvest but a whole lot of squeals as we unearthed those legumes!
Today I picked all of the green cherry tomatoes left on the vines before the first hard frost hits. I plan to pickle them with onions and horseradish (another crop growing in our garden to be harvested soon).
Last night after dinner while Hannah and I were sitting on the back porch chatting, she began picking and nibbling on mint leaves from a plant growing in a big terracotta pot. As I watched her, I remembered a fun idea I had read about and told her to pick a small bowl full of the largest mint leaves she could find. Looking a bit puzzled she followed orders while I poured chocolate chips into the double boiler to melt.
My chocolate loving girl’s eyes immediately lit up once she realized that we were making after dinner mints!
Chocolate Covered Mint Leaves
20-30 fresh peppermint leaves
a few handfuls of chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
Wash and dry mint leaves. Heat up chocolate chips and coconut oil into a double boiler and stir until smooth. Turn off heat and with tongs or tweezers dip leaf into chocolate and lay on a sheet of wax paper. Freeze for a few hours. Store in an airtight container in fridge.
Every year I make quite an extensive list of all that I would like to accomplish in the garden. The list includes the introduction of new plants, transplanting, dividing as well as several infrastructure projects. I am relaxed and realistic about my list and know that we will most likely not get to all of it.
This spring I hit the jack pot when my mother’s neighbor (who was moving) opened up his garden for us to dig up and transplant an amazing variety of plants!
I am happy to report that so far many projects have been crossed off this year. Some, we are in the process of and others are planned for the fall. What doesn’t get done will simply move on to next year’s list.
2015 Garden Plan
:: Incorporate more evergreens in to my landscape
I have planted rhododendron, a few different varieties of Laurel along with Leucothoe, Sweet Bay and Holly.
:: Plant more deciduous flowering shrubs
I have planted several varieties of Hydrangea along with Fothergilla, Pieris, Nandina, Deutzia and Callicarpa (Beauty Berry).
:: Remove dead climbing rose around kitchen window and replace with autumn Clematis
I have removed the rose. My aunt Patty has dug up an autumn Clematis from her garden for me.
:: Remove English Ivy on house
A big project that we plan to do this fall.
:: Plant a Liriope hedge in front of rock wall
:: Plant peanuts, broad beans, purple sprouting broccoli and elderberry
I planted peanuts and elderberry. I have always wanted to grow purple sprouting broccoli but have not had luck in finding starts for sale. Next spring I will be sure to order the seeds to start along with broad beans.
:: Plant more flowering bulbs in fall~ Narcissus, Tulip, Muscari, Allium, Crocus and Galanthus (Snow Drops)
I’ll wait until late fall for sales and deals on bagged bulbs.
:: Prune pear tree
Will do so in late winter.
:: Rebuild back porch
We are almost finished!
:: Build stone wall around the front of house.
This will most likely move on to 2016’s list.
:: Hook up rain barrel
:: Lay stone path in back garden
This is back breaking work and I have decided to use my “just a little bit” rule with this project. With a pick ax and shovel my goal is to fill 4 buckets with dirt every other day for Chris to haul away. Once the path is dug out we will begin to lay a pile of foraged stone.
:: Build cob oven
Moved to 2016’s list.
:: Rooftop beehive on top of shed
Moved to 2016’s list.
When Chris and I were first looking at houses to buy before we got married there were a few “must haves” in my mind when considering what was important to me in a home. The house needed to have a fireplace. It needed to have a decent size kitchen (large enough for a sitting area). And a backyard of some sort was also very high on the list too. Original woodwork, radiant heat and a corner property in the heart of town were all bonuses when we found our house.
As we settled in my “must have list” began to grow with built ins, a claw foot tub, wainscoting, cedar shakes, a chicken coop, an edible garden and a place to hang window boxes to name a few. Lucky for me my Pop was kind enough to grant many of those wishes including the boxes that live under my kitchen and dining room windows. Maybe it was all of the Beatrix Potter and Eloise Wilkins books from my childhood but I always envisioned my house having window boxes overflowing with geraniums and begonias.
Since my boxes live in very shady conditions I am limited to shade loving plants. This year I planted a variety of begonias along with Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ and Helichrysum petiolare. I love the ever blooming nature of the begonia mixed in with the deep purple Tradescantia and the grey, trailing Helichrysum. I used straight compost to keep the plants well fed and lush until frost.
Relying on annuals each year for planters, pots and window boxes can be costly. Both begonia and Tradescantia are easy to root in water and I have already begun to start new plants to winter over and supplement into next year’s boxes.
I love how the boxes transform both the outside and inside of my home. They cast beautiful little shadows on my walls indoors and their colorful scenes are so soothing as I wash dishes and sit down to a meal.
Head on over to Tend where I talk about my love for plinths and pedestals in the garden.
Enjoy your weekend my friends.
We are headed to the beach!
Oh autumn how I love thee! Yet another excuse for me to create new little vignettes to reflect the change of season. Like I said before mother nature doesn’t need much help in creating the most beautiful of scenes but I can’t help it sometimes to lend a helping hand.
At this time of year it is hard for me to walk past the many varieties of gourds and pumpkins sold at the market. I like to combine different colors and textures and stack them on top of one of one another and then look for places in my backyard space that could use some height and dimension as well as a pop of color. I choose places close to the house like the patio and by my back door. They bring a smile to my face each time I pass by.
Although there is still much blooming and growing in the garden, I have had to remove a few plants from some pots that have petered out, a perfect place for a few pumpkin towers. I love how they look nestled in with trailing vines and herbs.
Oh and speaking of herbs, head on over to TEND where I write about one of my favorite herbs, Lemon Verbena.