Nothing like a bit of cool weather to get us feeling like autumn again. Finally. Many of the trees on our property still cling to their leaves; no fall colors to see here unless you’re counting mums and pansies.
Our life, as usual this time of year, is fraught with activity. With the 1st-Nine-Week period of school come and gone, kids all earned their hard-worked spots on the Honor Roll. It was sweet Angie who was awarded Citizenship Award (two per class given); that’s an award I want all my kids to have! For the time-being, full throttle with math, reading, writing and PTA duties have the summer doldrums filed into distant memory.
The pumpkin carving exercise is well-deserved. All Hallow’s Eve traditionally punctuates the beginning of the long holiday stretch here in Texas, beginning with decorating jack-o-lanterns — one to represent each member of our family — and ending with New Year’s late night sweets. These days are a constant reminder that not only is Thanksgiving right around the corner (when holiday lights go up), but Christmas and all it’s sad human consumption habits are only weeks off now.
The holiday season has a love-hate relationship with us.
In The Garden
There is still much going on with little hands-on effort. We bid farewell to the lone pumpkin volunteer, viciously attacked by vine borers (we don’t use chemicals, remember?). It instead became chaw for the lawn mower, ultimate fertilzer for the turf grass.
It’s looking to be a good plum year and four of eight fig trees are exploding with the second crop of the year.
People, there is something to this lasagna garden business if you’re looking to eat from the yard with minimal effort. Really. I am way too busy for gardening these days, but food keeps growing to spite me. In addition to the beets and kohlrabi who are just now peeking out of their beds, here is currently what’s growing, maturing, or otherwise waiting to be picked and eaten here:
- Arugula (none of the spinach made it)
- Cushaw squash
- Broccoli greens (no crowns yet)
- Bell Pepper (still going!)
Planting a Camellia and not a rose variety is a first in my yard, with Dianthus and Cyclamen in pinks and whites welcoming all to the front door. For the first time since we moved her, invasive grasses are no more! Soon the other side of the walkway will be mirrored, replacing sad, but still flowering periwinkle from early summer.
“Pretty” is the goal at the front of the house (for the neighbors), while “functional” is relegated to the back (for me).
Mo, the ox-beetle grub and his cohorts continue to eat and grow on the porch in a 5-gallon bucket. We are still awaiting the pupa stage.
Now, for some not-so-nice news. With the sadness of the previous week still fresh in our minds, another horrible accident unfolded only days later: my friend’s toddler fell into her backyard swimming pool and was pulled out by a sibling — unresponsive. It was a blow to the gut of our school community, but this potential tragedy ended well. He was revived by paramedics on the way to the hospital, suffered no long-term damage, and is home resting and being loved extra hard by his family and friends. The big, beautiful sister — who saved his life — is now a hero.
Life is so very precious, my friends.
If you want to see photos in hi-res, click on a photo to start the gallery.
What’s growing in your garden?
Do you have any Halloween traditions?