Monday, October 28, 2013

Tommy's Marigolds

Tommy's marigold garden in late October
I stopped to see my cousin Tommy the other day and was astounded by his border of marigolds. The colors of this mix were flaming!!! It's late October here in western PA and we have yet to have a killing frost.
Now most of you probably have no real attraction to marigolds. They are very common place in the garden and have a rather obnoxious fragrance. Marigolds are said to repel certain garden pests - both bugs and animals. I have not made the effort to border my garden in marigolds to protect them from anything. As I was leaving Tommy's, he offered me some seeds for next year's garden. If you know me well, you will know that I rarely turn down free seed, even marigold seed. Tommy ran to the basement to get them. He returned with one of those gallon sized plastic jugs, like you get pretzels or cheese balls in at Big Lots, full of marigold seeds!!! We guessed there were about 3 million seeds in there. Tom just picked all the dead blooms off during the season. He's still picking them. Can't wait to plant them in the spring. Thanks Tommy!!!



Early garden
Late July



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Long Road Home

It's been a while since I last published anything. So instead of filling in any gaps of time, I am going to pretend it was just last week since my last post.
Summer has ended, as usual, and we are mid way thru Autumn. "Fall" as we all like to call it, is a word used instead of Autumn. I googled that and found several perspectives on the use of the word. Long story short, either word is acceptable. The leaves are falling in Fall. Fall/Autumn also means the end of the gardening season here is western PA. Over the passed few days I have moved the tender plants inside, cut back the Zebra grass, and emptied the rain barrel. Freeze is eminent. Snow flurries are fore casted for tomorrow. Not enough to go sledding, as I had to explain to 5 year old Carter but it will start the snow season. It's about time for snow.
Fortunately, I have a small greenhouse that I can find solace in for the long winter months ahead. I cannot afford to heat it so I grow cold tolerant crops. These include spinach, carrots, beets, Swiss chard, arugula, and cilantro. I do cover the cilantro with a frost blanket. It was a great refuge last winter.
Next writing will be a recipe for my favorite Autumn soup.
See you.
p.s. I have to give photo credit to Claire Ann Reeger. This is Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly enjoying a zinnia.