Sunday, October 25, 2015

Their Last Glory

We have had a busy week. Perhaps the best part of the week for the garden was rain, much needed rain for two days. Previously, October had record setting heat. The lawn had started to brown just as the deciduous trees were beginning to change color. So while the lawn greened up, the wet leaves heavy with rain began to fall to the ground, dusting the ground beneath each tree with a blanket of gold. The two ash trees are two different varieties, each with their own personality. The first one in the row is full bodied tree on fire with reds, oranges, deep browns. It is probably my favorite tree. Second in line, the yellowed ash is the slowest to bloom and the first to shed her leaves. We have 3 ash tress on the property, which I treasure because they bring on the color.








Standing tall next to the  with patio, the honey locust isn't a bit shy with her color; bright with yellow, her leaves easily find their way into the house, especially when damp with rain, sticking to the bottom of our shoes, the dog's feet, the cat's paws. The largest of the leafy trees, it had immense  growth over the summer due to the large amount of spring rain. Soon these lovelies will be bare and asleep for the winter.


With the rain pouring down, I drug out my old London Fog rain coat. Oh, such good memories. The coat has been around for a long time. I bought it in 2001 for my first trip to England. It was water proof, light weight, easy to carry or pack. It traveled again with me when I packed it again for a wonderful tour of Ireland in 2003 and once again when our tour returned to England in 2003. At the university where I taught, one of the tenured professors whose field of study was the Romantic Period of English literature put together these tours for the  English majors studying English literature. They were wonderful tours so well planned to trace to steps of England and Ireland's great writers, the highlight of my life. So now to take out the old coat when it rains, I wrap myself in sweet memories, protected from the foul weather. The zipper doesn't work any more because Mo the cat went through a fabric chewing phase and the coat fell victim. He ruined so many of my favorite garments. The London Fog has a row of snaps, too, so I can snap it shut if it is really cold. I wore my old friend this week. It felt good. We had a bit of a chat and decided that perhaps we should travel again.



                           

The roses are in their last flush. Gertrude Jekyll looks amazing here at the end of the season. Drenched in rain with the dust washed off, she looks as sweet as she smells. Next to her, First Prize, blooms, proudly displaying her huge blossoms. It seemed to take all summer for the roses to reach their full potential. They were slow to break through in the spring, slow to bloom, and slow to reach their mature sizes. Well worth the wait, I'd say.

                              

Veteran's Honor out did herself again at the end of this season. Huge and red with perfect rose buds. For some reason a camera just does not capture the glorious shade of red. In fact, I used my iPhone camera for all of tonight's post.



 Glorious in their mosaic, I hope they look good for Mosaic Monday. Be sure to check out all of the great mosaics at Lavender Cottage.


Desperate for interesting stuff to add to the post this week, I'll share my Facebook post titled "We have a very bad dog."

This Boone Doggle will go to any lengths to root out the cat, even destroy the bed skirt. Shame on him.

There you have it. Another week down as we move through Autumn. I hope you are enjoying the cooler weather, the gorgeous colors, hot soups, and a slower pace. 

Happy Halloween, too.

Thanks for taking time to visit.



Sunday, October 18, 2015

Doppleganger

Finally peace and quiet in the house after a weekend of out of town company, who I always love to entertain, and grand daughters who don't come over nearly often enough. The friends brought their two granddaughters, so the girls (five of them) made new friends.

I have been reading my blog list everyday, commenting along the way, but my own blog suffers from my lack of attention. So I have some catching up to do.

Fall slides into Colorado slowly with Summer holding her hand, telling her, "Not yet, Autumn, for I am not ready to let go. I'll let you know when you can have full command of the land. Not just yet." Summer has been quite reluctant to leave; instead showing that she is still in control with record setting heat in the last few weeks.

Today's mosaic features Autumn's indignation to Summer's reluctance to leave. There are just some things that Summer can't control. Most of the trees here at the Garden Spot are pine trees that keep the same temperament year round. But we do have a few deciduous trees such as this Autumn Purple Ash. Outside she is brilliant red, and from my bathroom window, I can see her warm glow. I guess the iPhone photo doesn't really do the tree justice. The honey locust on the other side of house radiates as the delicate leaves turn golden. From my living room window, her glow shines through the lace.




                           

There are more signs of fall around the Garden Spot. Behind the haystack, for example, grow a variety of squash growing from seeds and old squash last year, discarded there last season for birds to pick at. We have a better squash crop out there than in the garden, including the stripy ones that could be watermelons. Most of the squash are spaghetti squash and crossovers, including what the green striped ones might be. 


Then there is the Head Gardener and his new toy, an old Case tractor, one that he confessed to other to having wanted since he was kid. This one has a bush hog for cutting large areas of grass. This is his first time to run it here. Happy Anniversary, Dear. (41st last week).


My Doppelganger


(I easily could lie and say that I am in such good shape that I look 40 instead of 68 or that I spent the week at a spa. Ha). 

Instead  I called in my doppelganger to help with the center circle project that has been a thorn all summer long.


Before:  Most of the ground covering weeds had been cleared away. The Head Gardener bought a trailer load of bagged mulch. Before they were done, they put down over 50 bags and ran out.


The HG rototilled to get a clean surface (or to till the weed seeds in).


Then Heather applied the industrial strength chemical weed barrier, Snap Shot. The weed barrier will probably thwart the sprouting of volunteer good plants, but that is okay since the spot is full of thistle, spurge, and other sorts of nasty annual weeds. I want a clean look with little work. After she applied the weed barrier, she and her dad spread the mulch. 


After: a clean pallet that I will have fun filling in with perennials--or not. Just a nice clean look. Of course, the bind weed will return and we still have vinca to get rid of, but at least we made some progress.




Before I left the university Friday, it was such a beautiful day, I wandered over the vegetable garden next to where I park behind the Sciences building. Last summer the university offered urban gardening courses. There are two green houses next to this small plot, which already had faded in to fall. But I was quite impressed.


Here, the gourds use the apple tree as a climbing support. The garden is enclosed with a nice split rail fence that is lined with a variety of fruit trees. I don't know much about the garden itself, but I am very encouraged that the school is encouraging gardening. As a liberal arts school, it does not offer much in the way of horticulture.



I had to take a photo of this part of campus of the new residence halls. The campus is so gorgeous this time of year. I used my iPhone and was so pleasantly surprised to see this effect. It would be nice to say that the angles are watching over the students, but I was shooting into the sun, but don't you just love the effects?


I took a second one. The flashes didn't show on the phone screen, so I was quite amazed at the results.



These gorgeous trees are in another parking lot where I parked that day. I am not sure what kind of trees they are, but they slowly turn turn a brilliant red. Autumn Red maples, perhaps?


As I cross the street to enter campus, these fire red trees make a spectacular view.


Past the vegetable garden, the campus sprawls on with the residence halls, library, and class building.


There was a time when the campus looked rather ratty, but some years ago the university hired a horticulturist to beautify the campus. He and his crew have done a wonderful job of bringing color to the campus and keeping it well groomed and beautiful.


A tree line avenue welcomes college students along with the citizens who travel 11th Avenue. The trees will turn deep red as the season continues, unless and early snow or heavy rain ruins them.


And look what we found hanging out the pond the other day. We never know what we will find out there.  

We picked all of the tomatoes the other day, so the garden has officially closed. Finally. We have hopes of doing a better job next year. Too many other projects this year I guess to keep a neat garden. But gardens have a way of forging on despite neglect, don't they?

We said farewell to Elizabeth of Cornish Cream this week as she announced that she was leaving Blog Land. I know many of you followed her. I will miss her; she was always so cheerful, shared good stories, and wonderful photos. I do wish her the best and will miss her. She sent me a few scraps of lace and ribbon that I am using in the dollhouse, making the those little projects so special. 

And now, dear friends, back to reality. I have some grading to do. I am loving the freshmen. We are half way through the semester and I am beginning to connect to the students. I am enjoying every single moment because I don't think there will be anymore. 

I wish you a good week, and thanks so much for keeping up with me, even as I neglect the Garden Spot for a while. 

















Sunday, October 4, 2015

Salsa




Colorado Color along the Front Range slowly arrives. This is an odd shaped photo only because I took it out of window at an angle. But what a view early in the morning while the dew lingers, making the pasture damp.


Wednesday Jen I made salsa from our tomatoes. We began with 15 pounds of tomatoes thatI weighted out the night before so that we knew how many batches we would have. We used all of the tomatoes for 3 batches of mild, hot, and hotter. Batch one had no jalapeños, batch two had jalapeños that Jen purchased at Sprouts, and batch three had jalapeños that I purchased at the regular supermarket. Batch three was the hottest. Pretty tastily. We didn't make nearly enough because everyone loves the homemade salsa, I will take the last of the tomatoes over next this week to finish up this year's tomato crop, the best the Garden Spot has produced.


When the cooking was done, I was served tea by a very sweet little hostess. A great ending to a a great day.

Today we have very chilly weather. I put on the gas fireplace early this morning as I drank my morning coffee. I do love these cloudy, chilly fall days. We had rain last night and while the garden beds needed the moisture, our cut hay did not. Hay this year has been a total loss with both cuttings ruined by rain. The Head Gardener is pretty upset about the loss, but there is not much we can do about it.

I've linked up with Judith at Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday. Be sure pop over there to see the others. 

My days fly by now with a job. I have to say that I am enjoying the students immensely and I love seeing my friends, and making a difference. None the less, a job does cut into fun time, doesn't it? 

I hope you are well. Thanks for visiting. Have a wonderful week.