Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brightening the Autumn Garden (September Bloomday)

By the time the first day of Autumn rolls around, I am tired! Tired of tying up tomatoes, fighting weeds, mildew, and pests - tired of it all! This fall season, I fought the urge to let it all go to seed. I added new cool season annual flowers: impatiens, pansies, alyssum and added some cool season vegetables as well: savoy cabbage, red romaine, chard, kale. My radishes and arugula (a type of bitter lettuce) have emerged from seed. My one saving grace to my gardening fatigue is that cool season vegetables are considerably less work that their hot season counterparts. I have two more beds to plant with cool season  vegetables, but that can wait until next weekend!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Turn, Turn, Turn

The weather in my corner of Southern California has been very eerie. The late summer has brought with it a summer storm that dumps cool rain and hot gasps of rare humidity to the region. The storm brings with it a primordial scent of wet earth, dank plant material - a veritable perfume bottle of life and growing things. I do not mind this hot weather with nuisance rain. I love its strange alien quality for we seldom have such an adventure in the temperate dessert.

The storm brings with it the turn of the season, the lazy summer days shortening as we race to the Autumn Equinox. As with the season, so go my tomatoes. I hacked down the Black Pearl, Copia, Aszoycha, and both Momotaros. They were spent from their harvest, their burnt brown leaves crackling in the humid breeze. The work was tough going, not because I regret the loss of the tomatoes or the season, but the storm's impending deluge distracted me with thunder and  bursts of wind that sent the wind chimes into fits of laughter.

The end of season brings with it strange dichotomies, vegetables dying on the vine, dried up annual flowers, basil bursting with seed while the roses continue their late summer bloom, and the plumerias coat the garden in a tropical veneer. 

Overgrown Marianna's Peace and basil
Spent Tomatoes
Mother of Pearl Rose
Hybrid Plumeria
Visitors cannot escape the fragrance!