Putting the Garden to Bed

Dear Liza,

After a whirlwind summer of watering and harvesting, the garden is suddenly, sadly, done.

Our shorter days and colder nights have put an end to further ripening. These tomatoes and tiny pumpkin are the last of the bunch. My garden neighbors are hauling their plants out as well, not wanting to be caught with ”slime”. Apparently, once the plant dies and the rain hits, things get ugly quickly.

So, I took the wagon over to the plot and pulled my gigantic zucchini plant out by the roots. I had to cut it into smaller bits to fit into the buckets! I lay down some burlap coffee sacks to slow the weeds and erosion during the winter.

Then, with all the hardware stacked on the top of the burlap and just the catnip and lavender sticking up, it was time to say Goodbye to the Garden until March of 2022, when I’ll give it a nice dose of compost and we get to play again.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Fall is Whispering

Dear Liza,

And just as summer is kicking into high gear, fall is getting in line. The change in seasons is told in all the gardens in the neighborhood.

Lantern flowers glowing in the afternoon sun

The oranges and reds of autumn are some of my favorite colors, especially when they are backlit by afternoon sun. They make me happy for the summer’s glory, and for the coming of the cozy holiday season.

Leaves are starting to fade…

The larger than life leaves of my pumpkin plant seem to be fading. They are getting age spots and some even are getting yellow.

Linus the pumpkin is getting all grown up!

And Linus, my own Great Pumpkin, is getting more orange and hefty by the day. His stem still shows no signs of giving way and he seems quite content to ripen right where he is.
Love,

Grandma Judy

On the Cusp

Dear Liza,

It is still a week until Fall, but the weather is starting to change. The awful heat seemed to have passed, though I expect there will be one last Indian Summer heat wave before we kiss summer completely goodbye.

The summer flowers are still blooming…. wisteria, roses, and dahlias.

Summer fruits are reaching their peak… apples, tomatoes, and grapes.

And yet, we are getting rain, lots of rain, cooler temperatures, and it’s dark by seven o’clock. Fall is on its way.

Pumpkins are ripening in the Sunnyside School garden, reminding me that we need to use up the frozen pumpkin purée from LAST fall so we can go get more pumpkins!!

When I grew up in Southern California, all my relatives there lamented the lack of “seasons”. A friend from Oregon once said the bright blue skies of Salinas were “obscene” in January. I had no idea what she was talking about.

Now I do. The seasons changing are like breathing out after breathing in, or hearing the splash after you throw the rock into the pond.

They are what comes next.

And now I understand that.

Love,

Grandma Judy