Friday, October 23, 2015

Autumn Joys

Virtually everywhere I go my pack of Icelandic Sheepdogs follows and watches to be sure I'm doing things right. They're not exactly critical but - they watched while I cleaned fallen leaves out of the pond today and -

wandered around in the north garden. When I bought my land here I had to cut the wild shrubs in the north garden to the ground, the red twigged dogwoods and viburnums were hugely overgrown. They've recovered in the three years since and look really nice now. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

Their red stems will be very nice against the white snow this winter. The autumn leaf color is nice now too.

I went down to the beach to add beach gravel to the inside of the fire- pit I dug last week by the bluff; Kathy and I will cook hot dogs and s'mores hopefully after her new Golden Retriever puppies leave. Later I picked the rest of the yummy Bosc pears; I ate my first one today and it was absolutely fantastic. Boscs are my favorite pear. This was the second picking all from one tiny tree I planted last year. I probably got three dozen nice sized pears in total. (As an old man I swore I would never plant the "old man fruit tree" but - I did. Why not?) What I like (so far) is that none of the pears are wormy or damaged. I never sprayed or fertilized - and won't. There were bugs on the leaves but they were easy to kill.

I also recently found a small volunteer pear tree growing in the north garden. Someone probably threw away a core and one of the seeds grew. I will transplant it to a better spot next spring and let it go - I believe volunteers should be encouraged, don't you? I love my volunteers. They are such happy, serendipitous surprises.

While working in the yard, I've been eating concord grapes from my vine also planted last year. When I was a kid we had three vines at home and we made quarts of grape juice and grape jelly from them every year. Well worth the work for the delicious results.

We have not had a frost up here by the water yet; Lake Huron moderates the temps so the dahlias, cleomes, candytufts, lavenders, and cosmos are still going strong. It's been a great year for the garden.

These might be the last rose(s) of "summer".

This viola is a volunteer I found growing in some Vinca; the viola must have self-seeded from a few that I planted about fifty feet away last spring. It's done better than any of the ones I bought.

Yesterday I finished planting some recently delivered bulbs, almost 400 of them, that I ordered last summer when I optimistically thought that it would be a piece of cake to plant them by myself. Ha! It turned out to be a back breaking task but they're in the ground now and I feel great. I also moved a few autumn flowering colchicums to better spots. I think I'm ready for serious fall weather now - at last.

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