Sunday, August 25, 2013

From this window - 8/25/13

There is evidence that winter is close upon us.  The River Birch on the south side of the house is dropping leaves, the sumac is turning orange, the birds are quiet, the hummingbirds are drinking sugar water like it's the last bottle left in the world, the sun is coming up on the right side of the window now instead of the left, the grass is starting to crackle as we walk and the apples are falling from the trees.  We are looking over the list for our trip to Wisconsin which always falls the Saturday before Labor Day to the Saturday after Labor Day.  Early fall in the Northwoods - can't beat that.

This summer just screamed by.  We were busy with a vacation, new gardens, new cat (and that's a whole other story), and crafting.  Carl added gutter guards, his days of cleaning gutters hopefully finished.   We have another flower bed to transplant but it may wait until spring now if weather conditions don't improve after we get home from Wisconsin.  The plants need enough good weather to establish roots before it gets cold, not 90 degree weather, either.  We've had weird weather this year - a week of beautiful 70s and then 90s and then 70s and then 90s.  Not conducive to transplanting.  I was just out at the new bed - yeah, weeds are at a minimum, so few I didn't even bother to pull them, I'll wait for a cool morning.  The peony I was worried about is hanging on by a thread.  It's a pink and white beauty with a fabulous fragrance, I would be sorry to loose it.  Peonies should be transplanted in the fall, but it was holding up progress so was done early.  Everything else we transplanted is either doing well or doing really well.  Some things like the new bed better than the old one.  The first raised bed has lots of weed - that horrible vine I've been fighting since the dirt was hauled in is rampant again.  No matter how often I pull it or spray it, it refuses to die.  And it hides inside plants until it really gets a hold.  I imagine a huge root lies under the bed sending up shoots the whole length of the bed.  The first cool day I need to spray and pull again.  Other than the weeds that bed is also doing well.  The rose we transplanted was doing really good until the Japanese Beetles discovered the yellow flowers.  I sprayed them every day.  Since our beds are created for butterflies we can't blanket spray, so I have a small spray bottle with bug killer that hangs from the fence next to the rose, I hit it with a shot when I see the beetles while avoiding the plants next to it. 

Carl found a new platform feeder at a garage sale and we installed it on the honeysuckle fence for the winter.  We have six feeders on the south side that we use from early spring to late summer.  But in the winter I like the feeder on the north side so I can see the birds while I craft.  In the early spring we take it down because it's next to the bluebird box and we don't want anything to interfere with our bluebirds.  The birds seem to know where the food is. 

Some people are sad about winter coming but gardeners know that winter is a time of renewal and rest, something every living thing in the world needs, especially gardeners.  I'll start planning changes to our gardens in November, ordering seeds in December and I'll have a full game plan by February.  Early March, the greenhouse will go up and I'll start planting seeds.  So, although gardening is a full time hobby, some of the work is cerebral instead of physical.  I have to admit I love pouring over new seed catalogs even though I'm worn out and semi-sick of gardening by the time they arrive.  Which proves that gardeners may be just a tad crazy.

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