Monday, November 07, 2005

21 September 2005 More season change, get used to it

21 September 2005
Looking out now the sunshine is bright and it is warm, though the calendar tells of cold days ahead. The milkweed is cut down, the pods collected. The only butterfly I've seen visiting lately is the white cabbage moth, it was a good year for those. The others have started on their way to their winter habitat. Bees visit the wild purple asters and the marigolds and Sunflowers and cosmos, they look almost like they make them move they are so thick.
Bees love the mint flowers. I have a lot of mint in the circle garden, though I will probably pull most of it to let the raspberries spread there. The soil there is loose, it is fed with lots of compost, and the mint rhizomes come up easily.
Out front I moved the lemon lily "Prairie Sunrise". It is in a sunnier spot and it is no longer competing with the rhododendron. I put in the lavender I started from seed this spring. It will bloom next year. I pulled out lots of Yucca to make room in the sun. I hope the lily and lavender like being so close together.
I have a 25 year old White Oak in my front yard and as it grows, I have less sun. I must find a good tree trimmer to employ. My mother gave me the gift of a trim 17 years ago, when we moved in, but that man no longer trims trees. He told me city trees need trimming, as they grow alone, do not have a community of trees to keep them growing toward the sun properly. Thus they need human stewardship.
I think of September 21 as the equinox. The internet says for 2005, 22nd to 23rd is the actual date when the sun slips over the equator, leaving us for the south. The sun peaks in my windows as it gets lower in the sky.
Time to get out fall leaf colored linens and think about beeswax for candles. I trimmed the pelargoniums that graced the front porch in a large pot. The name geranium is properly reserved for hardy geranium or cranes-bill. I have a purple perennial geranium and a wild geranium that keeps seeding itself in the shade. I got another cranes-bill over at the perennial exchange Saturday. (Also some large leafed lambs ears, maine thyme, and a spurge. The kind of spurge with a green flower. I know it is invasive and nonnative and will keep it in a pot, but I love it. Perhaps because I remember it from my grandfather's garden. I took some purple geranium to the event and it was well received.)
The large pot of pelargoniums had an exuberant display. It was two years old, so I pulled out the old scented pelargoniums, trimmed most of the leaves off and put them in a long narrow pot suitable for growing on the window sill. The large stems hopefully will make interesting bonsai. Scented pelargoniums don't always like to start roots. Best to keep the roots and discard the leaves. I was loth to compost so much scented material, but could not think of any use for it. I have to pare down in winter, and I have only window sills left. The porch is already over flowing. The frost date for our area is not until Oct 14th. I still have four peppers that ought to come inside, as they grow with vigor. One is "fooled you" and two are hot varieties I acquired this summer. A small one and an ancho. I don't know what the other is. I like to grow enthusiastic peppers in the window sill in winter, they are not prolific in winter, but they get a good start come spring in the cold frame.
I bought a tomatillo plant this July. I put it on the east driveway, very warm and sunny, in a large garbage can. There are lots of fruits on that plant. It sure did grow exuberantly and produce tomatillos. It likes warmth and grows like crazy, is still flowering even with in cold nights of September. I will grow it earlier next year, get a huge crop if I can find a good salsa recipe for them. They don't mind being a little on the dry side, I ought to see how it grows in the house during winter. My guess is it will be like tomatoes and peppers, not do much in the low light of winter.
The "2 large garbage cans on the east, driveway side of our house" experiment was a success. Sweet Potatoes and "spud" potatoes, Tomatoes and Tomatillos all thrived in the warm and often dry conditions. They get heat from the micro-climate of brick and cement. Because they have the radiant heat, they get to stay unharvested for a little while, though the shorter hours of rays will slow their growth.


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