There is beauty, certainly, at all seasons: in winter, when the skeletons of the standard currants and gooseberries, the espaliered apples, show cleanest against the snow-covered rows, all plastid like seersucker; in early spring, when the rows, fecund and mellowed from their winter sleep, lie ready for the seeding of the first crops–radishes, lettuce, board beans, and mesclun; in late spring, when neat green lines of sprouted seed give further definition to the rows and the promise of so many good highs to come; in high summer, when the integrity of those rows, their pattern on sprawling stem, creating a maze to wander through; and in autumn, when frosts threaten and all the work of the growing year must be hastily undone, stripping tomato vines, gathers potatoes, searching for squash and pumpkins, trundling all under cover in the hurried exhilaration of final harvest. But in high spring and early summer, when the pea vines produce their wan, white mothlike flowers, the garden is at perhaps its most beautiful. It is then, most certainly, that we know why we are here, and what we are doing.
Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd in Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill
While I do appreciate and enjoy all the seasons of the garden here in NE Ohio, I especially love the exuberance in the this time of year. I have to agree with the authors above, it truly is the most beautiful time in the edible garden.
What season do you think is most lovely when it comes to the garden?Filed under Quote, Seasons | Comments (4)
One morning the whole world was delicately silvered. Every blade of grass was silvery and the path had a thin sheen. It was hot like fire under Laura’s bare feet, and they left dark footprints in it. The air was cold in her nose and her breath steamed. So did Spot’s. When the sun came up, the whole prairie sparkled. Millions of tiny, tiny, sparks of color blazed on the grasses.
It seems like winter has been long in coming this year. Lately we’ve been waking up to a heavy frost blanketing the ground and the temperatures in the 20′s. It’s a beautiful thing for sure, I love seeing the frost glittering as the run rises.
I’m excited for winter, both for the snow that brightens this dark season and for the sweet rest it provides. I’m a seasonal gal for sure. I keep telling Mr Chiots that I really want to take up snowshoeing because I love being outside in the cold so much during this season.
What’s your favorite cold weather activity?Filed under Seasons | Comments (14)
I was lucky enough to inherit this beautiful ‘Sweet Autumn’ Clematis (Clematis terniflora) when we moved in here at Chiot’s Run. It’s planted in the worst spot, almost in the gravel driveway, but it doesn’t seem to mind. It’s always grown well and bloomed nicely despite neglect and the tough conditions. Last year, I planted a comfrey at it’s base, to bring up nutrients from deep within the soil. The comfrey leaves also provide a nice mulch in the winter, protecting the soil and composting down in spring.
As you can see, the clematis is really appreciating this partnership. This year it looked better than ever, blooming profusely and providing food for all kinds of pollinators during a season when food is scarce.
This is a fantastic clematis if you’re looking for an easy care tall flowering vine. It blooms on current season growth and should be cut back to about 8-12″ in spring. It’s a vigorous plant, topping out at about 20′, so it can cover a trellis in no time flat. I now prune it several times during the summer to keep it to size. Before I pruned mine as often, it would grow to the top of a dogwood tree nearby.
Some people say this plant invasive, as it puts off seeds. I have only found a few seedlings in my gardens in the nine years I’ve lived here. I find that the deer eat all the seeds in the winter. I’ve never seen one growing in the wild around here, so I think the seeds only survive a mild winter with the right conditions. Since I deal with a few very invasive plants, this one doesn’t strike me as too much of a problem. Be aware though that it might be invasive in warmer climates than my zone 5 garden.
I’m truly amazed by the tenaciousness of this vine. For all the mistreatment it received early in it’s life, it is one of the most beautiful and easy going plants in my garden. Each fall I relish it’s season, happy that it survived the previous owners to grace our fence with such beauty each fall.
What’s your favorite fall blooming plant?Filed under Seasons | Comments (14)
Monday I spent the day cleaning out the closets, pantry, the floors and doing some general cleaning. It was quite nice outside, warm and sunny in the morning with thunderstorms in the afternoon, but I needed to get a few chores finished inside. By early evening, it was quite breezy while we were out on our evening walk. It felt like a beautiful late summer evening. Tuesday morning we woke up to a cool crisp morning and leaves scattered around the lawn. It no longer felt like late summer, it felt like fall.
It’s funny how that is, one day feels like one season and overnight it changes. There comes that day in spring, when you walk outside and you can smell the earth, winter is gone. A few months later you wake up one morning and it no longer feels like a damp cool spring day, it’s hot and humid, summer has arrived. Summer is replaced with the refreshing coolness of autumn and the winding down of the garden. Winter replaces the musty smell of fall on that day you notice there is no longer any distinguishable scent in the frosty air that burns when you take a breath.
It’s usually a feeling or a smell that triggers the change of seasons for me. It certainly feels like fall here at Chiot’s Run. The mornings are cool, the days are bright and sunny, the dying plants make a very specific rustling sound in the breeze, the air is filling with the smell of damp decay, signaling a time of rest and renewal. The coming of fall is filled with satisfying garden chores: clearing out the gardens, building compost piles, mulching, wrapping hydrangeas, planting cover crops and maybe a few last winter vegetables. I’m happy that it’s fall, even if it’s not “official” yet.
What things signal a change in the season for you?Filed under Seasons, Weather | Comments (17)
Each year we wait patiently for the dogwood trees to burst forth with their display. Some years we get a big wind storm right as they’re coming out and we miss their graceful blooms entirely. Every couple years we have the perfect weather and they bloom profusely.
This year is one of the good years. The trees on our property are blooming beautifully, thanks partly to the perfect weather and partly from my efforts to improve the soil around them.
In our area they are plentiful along the edges of all the woods, they produce seeds and propagate freely. I’m constantly pulling baby dogwood trees out of my flowerbeds. We have two very old dogwood trees and a handful of younger ones as well, all of them of the native wild variety. One of the oldest ones is in rough shape and may need taken down one of these days.
Dogwoods are such graceful trees. I love the way they look against the sky, the open airy feel, the curvy branches and the creamy white blooms. They are one of my favorite spring blooming trees!
What’s your favorite flowering tree?Filed under Seasons | Comments (15)