Winter is long in this part of the country. One way I try to postpone the quickly approaching “fall garden goodbye” is by planting some fall edibles in August. Now that autumn is just days away, these plants (beets, onions, carrots, Swiss chard, etc.) are happily getting established and will provide a mid-to-late autumn harvest.
But even with these late veggies, the closer we get to our first average frost date around October 8, the more lonesome the garden becomes. The towering tomato stalks get dismantled, the lush bean and cucumber vines get chopped, the herbs start bolting one by one, and the milkweed releases its fluffy seeds.
Thankfully, there are still some beautiful swan songs yet to be performed by Mother Nature. For example, soon the bright red pineapple sage blossoms will grace the garden, and the lemon verbena will unfurl delicate white blossoms. These two plants look more like shrubs this time of year. And then, there’s the garden’s final curtain call — the turning of the majestic autumn tree leaves! They will eventually sacrifice themselves into huge mounds in my compost bin, where by next spring they will complete their miraculous transformation into rich compost.
Because it was the first year I started chronicling my experiences as In The Garden With Grandma, reflecting back on this season was particularly fun!
I am grateful for what Mother Nature and this humble gardener have accomplished together. I am inspired by the bubbly enthusiasm of my grandchildren, and the supportive encouragement of my family, friends, and followers. So come on Fall and Winter! There will be plenty to keep us busy until spring comes again.