by Leslie Cox; Saturday; October 7, 2017
It is getting chillier. Had a couple of dips below 0 °C (32 °F) which did not produce much in the way of frost in our garden, thankfully, but you could see the frost on the fields behind us. It was enough of a push to hustle us onto more winter prep chores.
I emptied my two fountains and scrubbed them out. They are now drying under the eave before storing them away for the winter under cover.
The umbrellas from the garden table sets are back in the garage for the winter; the tables and chairs are neatly stacked with a tarp thrown over…just in time to beat the rain.
I picked all of the tomatoes off the tomato plants I was growing in pots on the driveway and in the front garden. They were all green or just half-ripe but I have placed them under newspaper in beer flats to slowly ripen indoors.
We have yet to trial three of the new tomato varieties I grew this year: ‘Ghost’, ‘Patio’, and ‘Valencia’. Something to look forward to!
‘Ghost’ looks really interesting, I must say. It has a slightly fuzzy skin which I have never seen before on a tomato. John theorized the fuzzy skin contributed to its name. Could be. Along with the semi-ripe, pale yellow colouring, the fuzz does appear to give the tomato an ethereal appearance. Being a yellow tomato, I am anxious to compare its taste to that of ‘Snow White’, another yellow tomato which we both love. And that is saying something since John is not fond of any tomatoes which are not deep red in colour.
All the apples have been taken off the espalier tree as well. The winds are starting to pick up, along with the change in weather, and a couple of apples had dropped from the tree. Best to take the rest to save bruising them. Was thankful the raccoons had not bothered with the apple tree. Being an espalier, I am not sure it is strong enough to support a mother and two or three kits.
Certainly, the four of them have been having a ball up in the grape arbour, gorging themselves on unripe grapes. It was high time for John to cut all the grape bunches down. They are not a table grape so are not worth trying to save from the coons.
A shame really. This grape is inherited from the original owners of our house so it is at least 50 years old now. And since we have turned it loose onto its very own arbour running about 43 ft (13 m), this one grape vine has been very happy, covering the entire arbour in lush green growth. A lovely shady spot to spend a hot summer day. But who plants a grape that is as sour as all get out? Really.
We planted a young ‘Interlaken’ grape…a delicious table grape variety…about three years ago to take over from ‘Old Sour Grapes’, as I call it. Unfortunately, it is going to take this new one a little while to grow big enough so we can take out the old one.
The last rays of sunshine this week, before the rain, certainly lit up the colour changes beginning to happen now. The Virginia creeper vine (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), above left, on the fence is resplendent in its blaze of brilliant red. Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’, above right, is also strutting its autumn colours of red, green, and yellow.
And the leaf edges on the umbrella plant, Darmera peltata, are starting to tinge a lovely red. Bounces nicely off the fall colours on Berberis thunbergii ‘Sunsation’ just behind it on the other side of the path.
The numerous herbaceous peonies and various sedum cultivars…such as ‘Matrona’, ‘Purple Emperor’, and ‘Garnet’…are also adding their fall colours to the display.
As much as I am saddened at the ending of another gardening season, the autumn tapestry of the back garden is truly a sight to behold. Especially in the light of a Full Harvest Moon. Happy Thanksgiving!