Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Garden Notes and Summers End

Even though the official day of Fall is still another month away, I have been feeling its peacefulness coming our way. You know when the sun shifts, and gets softer, and the mornings are a little slower and more golden and there is slight cooling off, that's the feeling I mean.  Its my favorite time; it feels like peacefulness is being infused in the air.  I am so glad for it, I'm not by any means ready for Winter, and this soft lingering season is a wonderful preparation for that season.   Last year at this time we went on an Alaskan Cruise with my parents.  What fun that was.  I wouldn't mind doing it again.   I have been having impressions of Falls gone by for many weeks now.  You know how smells will sometimes invoke certain memories, that's what this whole season seems to be doing for me.  Somehow memories of the Fall seasons are stronger to me than the other seasons.  Not sure why that is. 

Summer is coming to its end, and with its passing, we feel the changing seasons in our lives; Changes are coming.   One of the changes in our own lives is in our nest.  Eddie spent the summer with his sister, Olga, in Phoenix, and has decided to finish his last year of High school there;  it has been in the making from the beginning of Summer, but its reality has been felt as the school year started, and the bus has gone by, the mornings are quiet; there is no Eddie.  It is definitely a strange difference; slightly melancholy. Our nest is empty again.  But Steve and I are peaceful.  In times past, I have mourned the empty nest.  But today, I feel the flow of life, soft and gentle, moving forward.  There are grandchildren that help fill the holes of the empty nest. They are not underfoot as I would wish them to be but they are close at heart,  close as a phone call as close as Skype.  I long to grab them, kiss them, do things with them. They are our joy.  Our grown children likewise fill the places of our hearts in different ways.  These are our blessings.  Luke is home for a bit.  He is in between school courses, and we are enjoying having him.  I get fat when ever he is home, because he's a great cook, and loves to cook for us. 

My garden beds are overflowing.  Our land has transitioned from a grasshopper infested drought, to a green, flourishing abundance.  Remember the flood video earlier this summer.  Well, we have had several of those, with abundant rain all summer.  The grasshoppers have not returned in the hordes that they had been; the grass is getting thick once again, and the garden in the  raised beds  that Steve made me is thriving.  Due to its late planting, I am about a month off from the rest of you, but I am eagerly waiting for those bumper crops to ripen.  Thought I would show you the pictures so you could enjoy the before and after aspect of our square foot gardening experiment.

Here is a "before"picture with the marigolds and Cilantro on the left, and little pepper plants coming along.  Let me clarify by saying this is not a beginning "before", but  middle "before" picture… it is about a month after we first planted.

A few weeks later… peppers filling out, on the right and on the left again is the Cilantro filling out, tomatoes spreading out over the top of the beds

 Here is the Cilantro a couple of days ago;  the Cilantro (is on the right this time) and taking over the front row spot.

… and here it is on the back side of that same box; my first red tomato hiding there in the back underneath and beets coming along in between the gaps there in front, pepper plants on the left, just beginning its pepper fruit.

Parsley in pot on the patio.

I know that when the rest of the tomatoes ripen, they will probably come all at once.

The beds are bursting with plants and flowers now.

My cucumbers and tomatoes are all growing into each other, but getting along nicely. 

This plant was labeled as a Citronella plant when I bought it.  It has that beautiful Citronella smell.  I have since read that this isn't the true Citronella, but a type of Geranium, and apparently it doesn't have the same bug repelling effects that the true Citronella plant has.  That was a disappointment, but never the less, I like the plant, and it adds beauty, which is always a nice element and smells lovely.

 The green beans are coming along.

 Look at that beautiful Basil

 I never do get over my love for the look and smell of Basil.

Here are some before pictures (from the "before" pictures from the beginning):  The Citronella plant in the back right, Eggplant in the middle, pepper plants  in the front and middle right.  You can't see the tomato plant here, but it is on the back left.

 Here is a picture farther back. Tomato plant on the left was a nice healthy plant to start with but still small here and every thing is skimpy… the grasshoppers had eaten down the basil and some of the others.

 A couple of weeks later, it is beginning to look better.

And a few weeks later, The Eggplant is growing nicely.

and look at it now.  Mr. Tomato appears to own everything;

But Mr. Eggplant isn't doing too badly either.

Eggplant ideas are flourishing in my mind.  Another week and I will be cooking some favorite recipes. I'll be doing a little freezing and a small bit of canning this year, and look forward to that in a couple of weeks. I won't be going all out this year though, don't need as much in the pantry as times past.  Thanks for sharing my updates and garden notes.  Have a great week everyone.


  1. Oh, Pam...it all looks so lovely! What a cute eggplant you have peeking out from under its green top! And...hmmm....the empty nest. How it must sneak up on us!! I am imagining it as it will be upon me before I know it, I am sure! Hugs to you, my friend. With Love, Camille

  2. Your boxes look so fruitful and I love to see someone else as proud of their veg boxes as I am of mine! I can almost smell that lovely basil too.

    It must be strange having the empty nest after so many years of it being full but I suppose at least we live in this age of technology where at least if your loved ones are far away in miles they don't seem so far away.

  3. Dear Pam. It all looks so fresh and the best garden yet! The empty nest is all going to happen to all of us!
    I am always so happy my kids and grandsons have stayed so close, but I also miss the ones who have moved to the sunshine...
    Thanks for the fall smells and memories. Some days we are just flowing in them! Tell Mr. Luke we said hi!
    Love, Roxy

  4. I enjoyed having a look at your garden, I to would love to be able to visit you and walk through your garden and look at all of the plants.

    Empty nest is a change, it was so different when our daughter moved back to where we use to live where she grew up. Like you the grandchildren help to fill up the next again. I am blessed our grandkids only live a few miles from us. Today was a milestone, our oldest grandson got his drivers license. A new stage of life.

    I also love the change from summer into fall, for me the garden is coming to an end, the busiest time is winding down.

    Have a wonderful weekend.


  5. Oh my Mom, everything looks so GOOD! The plants, the colors and I can smell it right off of my screen. Dad did such an amazing job building. I can't stop admiring your boxes. Hurray for your water and rain! Praise the Lord!!

    I just saw this post! I can't believe I missed it earlier! I am always chomping at the bit to see your latest. I love you!

  6. Mom, loved looking through your lovely garden pictures. The boys as well. There was a lot of "gasp, that's Grammy's garden?", and "look at those tomatoes Mama!!". As you can see they are clearly missing their Grammy and Grandpa.

    Miss you and love you Mom!
    ~ Marie