August 28, 2014

The end is beginning… The end of summer, that is. Why, what end were you thinking of?

Days are visibly shorter. Nights are notably cooler. The lawn is a little greener. Plants that had barely held up in August heat are looking perky. A few have started setting fruit again. Yet the garden has that ragged look, with gaps opening where one crop or another has finished its life cycle.

I know I still have time. Some crops may endure as long as Hallowe’en. But for most of them, the clock is ticking.

I don’t want my garden to end. For all the beauty I’ve built to fade and then blacken with frost. For silence to fall as the bees and birds vanish. It’s the cycle of the year, I know, but it still makes me sad.

Coming up on September 6, 2014 — Friends of Manito Park fall plant sale. Open to Friends of Manito members at 8 am and to the public at 9 am. All kinds of plants, indoor, tropical, native, annual or perennial, even a few trees and shrubs. All proceeds support park programs.

Sunflowers are dominant in my yard right now. They’re thriving even with very little water. Some longer stems have fallen over, yet they lie on the ground, still blooming.

The blackberries are fading, and I’m now just getting a handful of berries every day or two. Next year’s fruit grows on this year’s wood, so it’s about time for me to start cutting back.

Cooler nights mean that I’m starting to see new fruit on my pumpkins, acorn squash and cucumbers. A new crop of tomatoes is growing larger.

Golden Bantam Corn — the ears are small, but lovely. I’ve made succotash and boiled the corn in bite-sized sections. About time to do something with my beets, too.

Indoor Garden
I thought I’d lost my Christmas Cactus when my son neglected to water it during a trip in July, but at last it’s starting to look like itself again. However, the Hen & Chicks isn’t looking like itself at all. Maybe succulents just aren’t my thing.

We still have goldfinches, because we still have sunflowers. I’ve noted another new native bee, a very striking Sweat Bee that has thin yellow and black bands on its abdomen, but a shiny green thorax.

I suspect, after racking my brains to identify my bumblebees, that I have more than one kind. Some might be Rusty Patch, a native bumblebee, and others Impatient, a feral bumblebee used in commercial pollination. There’s also my large Nevada bumblebee, which I see very seldom. Whatever kind they are, it’s a golden time in my garden.

Until next week, enjoy those summer evenings.


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