Returning

My girls haven’t really wanted to play “mud pie kitchen” all summer long.  But, the shift in season has them racing outdoors each day before they’ve even gotten dressed, gathering ingredients for their little back porch kitchen.

I on the other hand, spent the summer neglecting my garden.  At one point I wondered if I even liked gardening anymore.  Looking outside at the mess of weeds only caused me stress, so I mostly ignored it.  But, after two days straight of working to get it under control and ready for winter, I realize that I do still love my garden.  Of course I do!  I’ve been growing things since before I even had a proper place to do so.  My high school aptitude test predicted farming as the best career choice for me.  While farming is not on my agenda right now, growing and tending plants is part of who I am.  But, it’s okay to take a break sometimes, to focus on other things, and to re-evaluate.

Last fall, gardening was impossible for me because I was at the end of a difficult pregnancy, so I am really excited to have put in a fall garden this year, even if I was late to do it.  We have all of the beds cleared and planted with either cover crops or vegetables.  I planted a mixture of buckwheat, crimson clover, and turnips as a cover.  Buckwheat is quick to flower and loved by bees, so I am hoping that it will before first frost.  If not, oh well.  I plant crimson clover every fall and look forward to it blooming the following spring, providing a great nectar source for our bees.  I’ve never planted turnips as part of a cover crop mix, and I was on the late side getting them planted.  They are quick to grow, and hopefully we’ll be able to harvest some late this fall.  Two beds of garlic were planted, along with carrots, beets, cabbage, and collards.  I already had the seeds and figured it wouldn’t hurt to plant them, even if frost ruins my plans.

I should have taken a good before picture of the garden-it was an absolute disaster, with nearly every bed overgrown with weeds.  Now everything looks bare, but as the clover and buckwheat start germinating over the next few days, it will green up.

I’m happy again to look out the window at my garden.

p.s.  I took a photo of my garden once a week all season long in 2012.  Here’s a link to that series of photos, all in one post.

Comments

  1. Beautiful photos! I just love that you can capture the beautiful moments and scenes in what I know to be a very busy and sometimes overwhelming life as the mother of a whole bunch of kids 🙂 It’s so inspiring. I have such a bad track record with gardening. It’s not something I ever learned growing up and I always tell myself that since I can barely keep up with things INside, how can I devote the time needed OUTside for a productive garden?! And so I begin eagerly, get discouraged when the yield is poor (our green peppers were TINY this year!) and then just lose the love. I want to do better next year, but I’m afraid with a new baby coming in March, the garden will have to be the work of my husband and kids!

  2. i, too, have planted a fall garden; its usually more productive than the summer one! where do you purchase your garlic bulbs or do you just divy up ones from the store?

  3. My garden looked exactly the same this summer & I have no new baby as a good excuse! We still have a lot of squash ripening so I haven’t been able to clean ours out, yet, despite my itching to do so. We did plant a fall garden, also late…I think some of my plants have already been affected by frost. You’ve inspired me to look into cover crops next year. Anything to help those pollinators.

    The imaginative play of your children is absolutely delightful & so heartwarming. Wonderful photos.

  4. Oh, I want a fall garden too! I am waiting for a shipment of bulbs from Filaree Garlic Farm, they should arrive this week. I would love to hear how about how the beets, carrots etc. do….

  5. So nice to rediscover that you love something you thought you didn’t. I’m glad this is your story with gardening, because it really feels like a part of you in some way. It really feels like a natural extension or accompaniment of life. Hope you are able to post photos of your fall garden as things grow and develop. 🙂

  6. Oh to go back and be a child again to play pretend, dig in the dirt, etc. I love the photos and they make me long for the days my kids were doing those things. Three teens and a 9 year old – those days have slipped on by. Your family is just lovely!!!

  7. Well you can use a picture of my beds as your “before” picture. I’ll take one tomorrow. I need to weed for two days as well, and sow covercrops and renew my strawberries. Also I need to tend to my bees. Thank you for encouragement and inspiring photos.

  8. drooling over those chestnuts!! What red knitted goodness would the girls be wearing?

  9. I plan on only growing flowers during the summer, berries, and then a winter garden, when I grow up. Until then I will continue to gaze at my weed beds…

  10. Andrea G in Morgan Hill, CA says:

    We had a big row of geranium plants between us and our neighbors when I was about 8. Though they were full of snails I thought geranium leaves would make great perfume! I picked off the snails, and put big handfuls of leaves in an old pot with water and left them in the sun and forgot them. Needless to say, the perfume was out of this world. It was really fun, and is a great memory.

  11. I love seeing those sweet and sour sauce packets!! 🙂 Something my kids would BEG me to bring home for their adventures.

    Kim

  12. good that you are picking this up again, gardening can be so calming and good for one’s soul! much love! candles lit!

  13. When you mentioned putting in a fall garden a little wave of jealousy romped through me. oh well. around here the fall harvest is mostly done and everyone is taking advantage of a few nice days to start tucking in the gardens for winter. my neighbours were putting burlap around the roses. I’ve been tucking in my lavender with shredded leaves and potting my rosemary to bring inside. I hope they’ll survive the winter this year. in little more than a month we’ll be under snow and heading for our annual deep freeze. time to go shopping for snow pants and boots for the kiddos.

  14. Thank you for These wonderful impressions of the Season!

    Best regards,

    Caroline

  15. love your photos – was neat to see your year of pics from before. And all the little tins, and colors and mixtures. Thanks for posting. blessings to you and yours.

  16. Your photos are an absolute visual feast! And – they and your words brought back a flood of memories of making many batches of mud soup growing up. Thank you!! xoxo Silke

  17. simply beautiful <3

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