October charm…

October strawberries
October strawberries

relaxing isn’t lazy when it’s planned”
From Questioning the Cult of Busy by Lisa Jakub

I don’t usually think of fall as being a favorite time for me, mostly because things are fading out and dying off and looking messy and bedraggled. But there is something about this year that feels special. Maybe it’s because it’s my first real year of “retirement” – of having the freedom to come lay in the hammock in the middle of the day – because that’s what I feel like doing! It’s taking some real conscious intention to do things like that – to get over the feeling that I need to be doing something useful most of the day! But I’m getting there. Learning to just “be” in the garden has allowed me to notice more and appreciate more. Like the pink and lavendar asters that are blooming so profusely this year – and the color that the grape leaves are taking on…

Mass of low growing fall asters
Mass of low growing fall asters

Another thing that makes this October feel different is that I planted kale, lettuce, broccoli and mustard all over the place – willy-nilly! So there are fresh young plants in among the old tired ones! I usually put them in the greenhouse or all in a couple beds that are covered with a hoop cover all winter. But the last two winters have been warmer than usual, so I thought I would take a chance on things just making it.

Black-eyed Susans
Black-eyed Susans

Tall black-eyed susans decorate every corner (and middle) of the garden this year, too. Perhaps some part of me knew how cheery they would be at an often bedraggled, bug-eaten time of year and so I either left them wherever they planted themselves, and even planted a few in empty corners. Now they are everywhere – sturdy and perky and persistant – blooming on and on week after week!

Heath asters in bloom
Heath asters in bloom – abuzz with happy honey bees!

We had 3 or 4 chilly days a while back that included just a wee bit of rain – not enough to do anything much – you would think. And yet, now, there is a spring-like flush of tiny new seedlings popping up here and there – too small to tell what they are yet. I look forward to finding out. I love it when Mother Nature plants things in the garden. I like surprises! I can’t tell you how often interesting new plants have shown up from who knows where and happily added themselves to the garden. Sometimes that’s not such a great thing – but often it is! So I always wait for an unknown plant to bloom or at least get to a size where I can identify it, before I decide.

Sungold tomatoes still going strong in October!
Sungold tomatoes still going strong in October!

Maybe I’m enjoying the warmth now partly because it came after those chilly grey wet days – days that felt like winter coming on. If these warm sunny days had been just a part of a long stream of warm sunny days I may not have noticed or appreciated them. But today I lay in the hammock with Fizzy, feeling gratitude for what may be one of the last hammock days of the summer – and for being so blessed with the beauty and abundance of this place and my good fortune to be here, enjoying it!

October Garlic Chives
October Garlic Chives
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