Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Late Fall Flowers

The frost has killed the zinnias and the dahlias, most perennials are all through blooming and most places in the garden look rather ragged. But here and there in little corners the hardy cyclamens are beginning to bloom. I started a bunch of these from seed over 20 years ago and they have reseeded themselves here and there. I often dig up a plant and move it to a quiet shady spot where it will show up in the fall.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Old Apple Tree

Thursday night one of the branches of our 100 year old King apple tree fell down. We were in the house and awake and didn't hear a thing. It must have gone down slowly. There had been a crack developing between the several main stems and we had been worried about it.
The three main stems had been held together by a graft made by twisting small branches together. This has to have been done when the tree was quite small. The angle between the trunks was too narrow to be strong and whoever did this hoped to give strength to the tree. Well, it did work as the tree lived to be over 100. One of the remaining two trunks may be salvageable, we'll have to see. Meanwhile we are planning to plant a new standard sized King tree this winter a ways away from this one so when the last of the old tree finally goes we will still have King apples. I grew up with a King tree and my mother made applesauce from its apples. To me the taste of applesauce from King apples is the way it is supposed go taste. We have gotten many, many boxes of great apples from this tree over the years and we will miss it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Grapes

The huge grapevine that covers the front porch is covered with grapes. The light shining through it this morning was so pretty. I'm afraid the grapes probably aren't going to ripen this year. there just hasn't been enough heat, but the birds will be happy. They don't care if they are ripe or not.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


We came home this morning from a couple of days in Friday Harbor to find that several nights of real frost had killed all the tender things in the garden. The squash vines, the zinnias, zuchinni, pumpkins plants and any tomatoes and peppers not covered with row covers were toast. This meant it was time to bring in the winter squash. Only a few of the fruits were actually touched by frost and we will eat those right away before the frost damage can cause rot,
but we found that the rats had gotten into several squashes, especially a new to us one called Uncle David's Dakota Dessert Squash famed for its sweetness. If the choice of the rats says anything these must have been doggone tasty. I think we got one to try for ourselves.
With our usual good help we brought in several wheelbarrows of squash to stash in Siri's room in the attic and sell and eat all winter.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkins Again

It's pumpkin time again. We have been a bit worried that the cool summer weather might mean that the squash and pumpkins wouldn't have time to ripen this fall. But thanks to quite a bit of Indian summer sunny days and nights above freezing it looks like we'll have a crop after all. We harvested a wheelbarrow of pumpkins before the last market. I love it when the vines finally start dying back so that you can see into the pumpkin patch and finally see what's growing there. It's like a large Easter egg hunt.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I had a great time this weekend participating in Artstock, Friday Harbor's fall studio and gallery tour. I was a guest artist at Kristy Gjesme's studio in town. My studio, after all, is a bit hard to get to if you don't own a boat.
We had a wonderful flautist, Pam Presley, playing for us and visitors signed the guest book from Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and of course, from Friday Harbor. My things sold well and I had fun. What more can I ask.