Daylight hours shortening, the evening to morning temperatures drop a bit as leaves begin to change colors…autumn is close.
For many many years, every fall, gardeners have cleaned and put away their tools in the garden shed saying goodbye to the growing and harvesting seasons. Now, with much more interest in gardening and growing produce over the last two decades, this is no longer the case. Now, the season often extends to the first hard frost of early winter.
The growing season in the garden can easily continue…all decked out in fall color glory. That is if you have planned ahead to include annual and perennial autumn blooms, foliage and some cool season vegetables. I know, I say the same thing every year…so take this as just another reminder.
See what you could have blooming in your garden NOW, if you planned ahead…this is Sweet Autumn Clematis and the fragrance is delightful…Such a welcome part of the fall garden. This easily grown vine, once planted, takes off quickly and grows rapidly to the top of a structure in one season. Most importantly, part of the care and maintenance of this vine is to cut it back to about 1/3 of growth every early spring. I like to include this vine in all my landscape designs, especially growing on an arbor or wall trellis. Some other perennial plants to include in your garden for fall blooms: Autumn Joy sedum, blue mist shrub, New England asters, hardy blue plumbago, pineapple sage, pomegranates and sunflowers…Annuals at this time of year are many colors of mums, snapdragons, dianthus, violas and pansies.
Francais au coeur…the very first time I drove through the countryside and hills of Provence, I thought and felt that I was finally home, in my heart. Now, after 12 years living here in my home in the woods, the view from my back porch is something that always gives me that same feeling of peace, contentment and welcome quiet. I take great comfort in knowing that I have created all this from “scratch” and all built with hard work and a great deal of love.
Radiant late afternoon sun on the back garden focus on the masses of Black-eyed Susans and phlox…the butterfly bushes are white so their color doesn’t show very well in the bright sun….also, there are several purple and pink butterfly bushes just out of the photo. To the right is a vitex that is now blooming purple. A garden whether rustic or refined depends on the details…it’s about relaxed versus perfection, as I always say! Mine is so relaxed it takes care of itself…mostly!
Naturally Serene…When all around us becomes much too busy…it’s time to take a moment to listen and hear the leaves rustling in the wind and birds chirping in the trees and at feeders…Coming home, I enjoy the cocoon of quiet, but for the sounds of nature…I never tire of the sounds or the view from my back porch.
Preserve the Tastes of Summer…there is no better way to let the flavors of summer linger than turning a bumper harvest of fruit into jewel-bright jellies and preserves! Let summer’s bounty last into winter…enjoy the camaraderie of gathering with a few friends as you work together preserving fruits and friendships along with the fragrance of fresh fruit and spices permeating the kitchen.
Think ahead for Christmas Gifts from the Garden…Aside from gifts of fruit jellies and jams, a special jar of preserved peaches would be welcome on a chilly winter night. Peaches are fresh, ripe and ready to preserve…or, as I like to enjoy…biting into one while the fresh juice runs down my chin. Make Spiced Peaches now to enjoy later…especially nice with ham and venison.
To make Spiced Peaches…You will need 2-3 sterilized jars, I like the kind shown in the above photo with a clamp and rubber seal.
Combine 1 1/2 cups of white wine vinegar, 1 1/2 cups fine golden raw sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, 2 tsp sea salt, 12 or so cloves, 4 bay leaves a LARGE cinnamon stick or 2 …all in a good size cooking pot.
Bring to a boil and let SIMMER for 5 minutes. Add 10-12 “not-too-overly-ripe” peaches, peeled and sliced to the pot and bring to boil again. Let peaches SIMMER for five minutes until soft.
Remove from heat and put peaches and spices, using a ladle, into HOT jars. Press peaches down with back of spoon then pour enough liquid in jars to cover the peaches.
Seal jars and allow to cool completely. Store until ready to serve or give as gifts. Once opened, peaches should be stored in refrigerator. Make sure fruit stays submerged in liquid.
Enjoy the cooling days and nights… til later, Love from Holly and me!