Thurs. Nov. 10, 2022: Crisp

(image courtesy of Ulrike Leone via pixabay.com

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Third Quarter Waning Moon in Gemini

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Reed

Sunny and cold

Weird weather, all over the place. It was unseasonably warm last weekend. The weather was beautiful on Saturday, so we trekked up into Vermont and over to New York. Being in this upper corner of MA, we can joke about traveling to three states in one day!

Sunday and Monday it rained. Tuesday and yesterday, it was much colder, and pretty windy.

I finally planted more cat grass for the cats (Willa is very disappointed in me). It should be ready by the weekend, and then I’ll plant another pot, so that’s ready by the time they finish this one.

Either Saturday or Sunday, we’ll plant the tulip, hyacinth, and daffodil bulbs, finally. I need to clear some annuals from the front porch, and bring in the last plants from the back, and finally take everything in from the back balcony. I’ve enjoyed having extra sunny and warm days, but it’s time.

Yesterday, a bird came to roost on the rail of the balcony, as soon as it got dark. It was still there when I got up this morning, and I wondered if it was hurt, or if I should take food or water out to it. But once the sun came off, it flew away (leaving a big mess on the balcony that I have to clean up). At first I thought it was a pigeon, but it wasn’t. I have to get out the bird book and figure out what it was.

I can’t believe it’s going to be Thanksgiving soon, and then Christmas. This year went fast!

The wreath we got for the front door (and later kept inside, on the living room door) stayed green until June. We got it from Whitney’s Farm in Cheshire, so you can bet that’s where we’ll get it again this year!

I have the needles I stripped from the wreath in June, and I’ll get an orange and put some cloves in it and make a nice scent for the potpourri dish at the top of the stairs. What we have in there now has faded, and I don’t like the store-bought, overly perfumy stuff.

We have to start thinking about what we want to plant next year, already, so that I can order seeds in January. More herbs, I think, and medicinal plants. And zinnias. I didn’t plant any zinnias this year, and I missed them.

I have to go through the garden journal I kept (not this one, the one where I paste in the seed packets and take notes), to do an assessment. That will factor into the decisions.

The tomato plants are growing like crazy on the porch. Christmas tomatoes this year!

How’s your garden doing?

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Thurs. Nov. 3, 2022: Unseasonably Warm

(image courtesy of Valentin via pixabay.com)

Thursday, November 3, 2022

2nd Quarter Moon Waxing in Pisces

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Partly cloudy and warm

Celtic Tree Month of Reed

We’re in for an unseasonably warm streak, at least through the weekend. That’s good news for our heating bill, and, I think, for most of the plants still out back and on the porch.

The chrysanthemums are blooming beautifully, and so are some of the marigolds. The tomatoes are thriving. I’m telling you, this will be the year of the Christmas tomatoes.

But I’m not sure what to do about planting the bulbs for spring. If it’s too warm when I plant them, will they behave like forced bulbs and come up early? I’m trying to find out that information, so I can plant them properly. Today and tomorrow are planting days, and then not again until next week.

It’s the Celtic Tree Month of Reed right now. Reed is about adaptability and bending without breaking. Definitely good skills to have during the holiday season, and with Mars retrograde. The plant is also associated with health, music, and learning one’s destiny.

Most of the leaves have turned by now, here I the mountains, and fallen. The evergreens are stoic, waiting for snows to decorate them for the winter months, although who knows when that will happen? Some predictions are that we will have snow the first week of December; others than this will be an unusually mild winter.

All we can do is ride it out.

I’m looking forward to burrowing down in blankets and pillows and not being out and about more than necessary for the winter!

How are things in your area?

Oct. 27, 2022: Wet and Mild

(image courtesy of hartono subagio via pixabay.com)

Thursday, October 27, 2022

First Quarter Moon Waxing in Scorpio

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

Cloudy and mild

We’ve had weird weather the past few days, sometimes going up into the 70’s. Bands of rain come through, then it’s bright, sunny, and humid, more like spring than autumn.

The tomato plants are loving it; like I said: tomatoes for Christmas.

We haven’t finished rearranging the front porch and bringing in the last of the plants out of the back because we want them to enjoy the last bit of warmth until spring.

But temperatures are supposed to dive down in the next few days, so we’ll bring in the geraniums and anything else that needs warmth, and setting up the plants that need the cooler weather on the front porch.

I forgot the plant the bulbs yesterday, although with the warmth, that might be a good thing. According to my calendar, the next planting day isn’t until November 3. (I have a Llewellyn calendar that notes planting days and harvest days).

I’m sure I’ll spend some time arranging and rearranging plants over the winter, as the light shifts. We’re lucky to have wonderful, large windows with lots of natural light. Unlike the neighbors, who keep blinds and curtains drawn tightly shut, we  open up in the day to let the sun in.

I miss having a philodendron, so I’ll get another of those at some point over the winter, and maybe a couple of other typical houseplants, too.

We are already talking about what we want to plant next season, so I can order the seeds in January.

Looking ahead at weather predictions, we’re supposed to get snow starting the first week of December this year (it didn’t start until January last winter). The cats are all very fluffy, so I think we’re in for a harsh winter.

How are you putting your garden to bed? Or, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, how’s your garden waking up?

Thurs. Oct. 20, 2022: Frost

image courtesy of Perez Vocking courtesy of pixabay.com

Thursday, October 20, 2022

4th Quarter Waning Moon in Leo

Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

A little cloudy and cold

We’ve had frost several times in the past week, although it’s supposed to go back up to the 60s over the weekend. Plant rearranging time has come. By Sunday, we will move more plants in from the front porch, such as the geraniums, and probably bring in the last few from the back balcony and put them on the front porch for the winter.

We have to sort out the different pots, too, and figure out where we can store them.

The tulip, daffodil, and hyacinth bulbs arrived, and we will plant them on the next planting day, which is Wednesday. They will live out on the front porch all winter. In spring, when they come up, they will go out on the back balcony.

Pretty soon, we have to sit down and figure out what seeds we want to plant next year. I think we’ll focus more on medicinal herbs, and maybe some zinnias.

Although. . .the tomatoes are suddenly growing like gangbusters. Go figure.

The trees are absolutely gorgeous. The colors are spectacular.

How’s your garden?

Thurs. Oct. 13, 2022: Larch

image courtesy of sergei_spas via pixabay.com

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Third Quarter Moon Waning in Taurus

Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

Cloudy and cold

We’ve had frost, which means the foliage is finally turning. I’ve become rather fascinated and obsessed by larch trees. Their color is such a vivid orangey yellow. I wasn’t familiar with them before moving here, other than hearing the name. I should have been familiar with them: I grew up in Rye, NY and took ballet in Larchmont, NY, which was named for larch trees. But I didn’t realize it at the time.

We’re watering the plants inside, letting the annuals outside finish, and then we’ll dig them out and take in the pots. The porch is still warm and lovely in the afternoon, sort of like a greenhouse, since we keep it shut all night until it’s warm enough to open the doors.

The cats love spending the afternoon on the porch. Tessa, in particular, is determined to wring out every last moment on the porch before it’s shut for the winter.

I’m having trouble with the tulip bulb order. That’s what I get for ordering from John Scheeper’s instead of Color Blends, with whom I had good experience. I wanted smaller quantities than Color Blends sells, so I went to Scheeper’s, and their customer service is awful (and ableist). So we might not have any bulbs after all. I’ve been trying for over a week to fix the issue. I keep getting the emails, and I respond, and they ignore them. It’s a simple fix that could be done in 2 minutes, if anyone on their customer service staff gave a damn. Not doing business with them again.

What a shame. I was so looking forward to having tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths again next year. And it’s too late to order from anywhere else.

Anyway, I’m getting ready to hunker down for the winter. Virus numbers are going up again, there aren’t enough protocols in many places, so I will not put myself in dangerous situations.

Oh, and tomato update: the plants are growing the way they should have been in June. Go figure. Tomatoes for Christmas, I guess?

Hope things are going well in your garden!

Thurs. Oct. 6, 2022: In Stasis, in Fog

image courtesy of Joe via pixabay.com

Thursday, October 6, 2022

2nd Quarter Waxing Moon in Aquarius

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus Retrograde

Foggy and mild

It’s been foggy/rainy/dreary for over a week now. Not much is going on at the garden front. A few plants are still out on the back balcony. The black-eyed Susan vine, morning glory, and moonflower are in their last stretch. When they are finished, I will dig out anything left and put away the pots for winter.

The plants we brought into the house and/or moved to the front porch are doing well. We shut the porch off at night, because it gets cold, and open it about mid-morning. Often, it’s like a greenhouse out there.

Temperatures have gone down, and we’ve had frost advisories, but no actual frost yet. While some of the leaves are turning, there hasn’t been that pop of color yet, and business are worried that it will be a dull leaf-peeping season.

I need to update the notes in the plant journal. Soon, it will be time to decide what to plant for next year. We’ll try some different things, since we had such a hard time with some of what we tried this year.

The tomato plants started growing, after staying small shoots all summer, so I don’t know what’s going on there, but we’ll see.

We’re in the process of putting up the Halloween/Samhain decorations. I can’t believe how close we are to Christmas already. I’m already thinking in terms of holiday cards.

How are things where you are?

Thurs. Sept. 29, 2022: The Season Starts The Turn

image courtesy of uniquedesigns52 via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 29, 2022

First Quarter Moon Waxing in Scorpio

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury Retrograde

Mostly sunny and cool

Celtic Tree Month of Vine

It’s like someone flipped a switch, and we’re into autumn temperatures, but not autumn colors. It’s still lovely and pleasant during the days (when it’s not raining), but going down into the 40s and even the 30s (F) at night.

Which meant moving the plants inside, from the back balcony. The large peace lily is in my office. The night blooming jasmine came in from the front porch to sit next to it. The peace lily was a drama queen for the first few days, but has settled down. The maiden hair fern went up on top of the bookcase in my office, where the cats can’t get at it. The slip of Mother’s tongue that fell off the big plant, and the lemon tree are both still in my office.

The jade plant and the Christmas cacti went into my mother’s room. The aloe plant came into the kitchen. The large Mother’s tongue is in the living room. The geraniums all went out onto the front porch.

That leaves the black-eyed Susan vine (still blooming), the morning glory (still blooming), the moonflower (never bloomed), the marigold, the lilac, the chrysanthemum, the mugwort, and the mullein out on the back balcony. The lettuce is finished.

I have to cut the peppermint and the lemon balm and let it dry.

We have to close off the front porch in the evening, and open it in the late morning, but during the day, when it’s sunny, it’s like a greenhouse there.

You know what that means?

The tomato plants we grew from seed, which did nothing all summer, are suddenly growing. Does this mean we’ll have tomatoes for Christmas?

This coming weekend is the big turnover to the spider web curtains, the Halloween fabric, and the Halloween decorations. One of the fun things about living here is that people start decorating for Halloween in September, and keep layering it on until November.

How’s your garden doing?

Thurs. Sept. 22, 2022: Equinox Rains

image courtesy of Markus Spiske via Pixabay.com

Thursday, September 22, 2022

4th Quarter Moon Waning in Leo

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Vine

Autumn Equinox

Rainy and mild

Plants are waning, although the morning glories are blooming nicely. Of course, Spiro Squirrel eats all the blossoms he can reach, that little troublemaker.

The black-eyed Susans and black-eyed Susan vine are still blooming well, too. I think I will plant more black-eyed Susan vine next spring, maybe in different colors.

I think we’ll have to take the Thanksgiving/Christmas cacti in soon; the nights are getting cooler. Pretty soon, we’ll have to figure out where to put the plants that need to be inside all winter, and which plants can stay on the front porch when we close it off for the winter.

I wonder when the tulip bulbs will arrive.

It’s been gray and rainy for days now, but I guess that’s better than snow!

Today is the Autumn Equinox. It only gets darker from here.

How are you winding things up in the garden?

Thurs. Sept. 15, 2022: Harvests and Marigolds

image courtesy of yganeshbabu via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Third Quarter Waning Moon in Taurus

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Vine

Sunny and cooler

The morning glories finally bloomed, just before my friends arrived for their visit. Finally! Really pretty, too.

The marigolds are blooming – well, the ones where the squirrels didn’t eat the blooms.

The night blooming jasmine is starting to bloom, too!

We’ve used the last of the lettuce. That did well.

I’m giving up on the tomatoes and yanking them out. The plants never grew beyond shoots. It’s time to harvest the rest of the basil and make pesto. The chives are just about done. The rosemary gave up (I’m so tired of it acting like an annual). The parsley still has some life in it, thank goodness.

Slowly, we are putting plants to bed, and we’ll start bringing in some of the ones that need more warmth as things cool down.

While this season was disappointing, I learned a lot, and hopefully, I can apply it well next year.

I want the hummingbirds to be happy next year, so I’m going to grow flowers out on the back balcony that they’ll like. I’m even thinking about growing some Angel’s Trumpet (datura). Since the balcony is up on the second level, random people won’t mess with it to get poisoned, and the flowers are so pretty. We’ll see.

I need to update this season’s garden journal and then do an assessment. That way, I can plan for next year. I need to get a bigger binder. The plan is to keep that season’s notes in the smaller binder, and put the previous season’s notes in the big binder, with yearly dividers, so I can go back and see what worked and what didn’t.

Now that we have to factor climate change into every evaluation, too, that will also make a difference.

How’s your harvest coming?

Thurs. Sept. 8, 2022: Finally Rain and Too Much Rain

image courtesy of Steve Bussinne via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 8, 2022

2nd Quarter Waxing Moon in Libra

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus Retrograde

Mercury turns Retrograde TOMORROW

Celtic Tree Month of Vine

Cloudy and cooler

I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll say it again: it feels like we’re in a seasonal limbo. The calendar says September, but it doesn’t feel or smell like it. Although it’s a little cooler, thank goodness, it still doesn’t have that crispness, nor are the leaves turning colors yet. Some of them are turning brown and giving up, but there’s not that wave of color change.

We finally got rain, and then it rained steadily for more than a day. While we needed it, it was a little too much too quickly, and many of the plants and shrubs outside got battered.

Mercury goes retrograde tomorrow, to pile on to all the other retrogrades, so September will be a challenging month on multiple levels.

We’re in the Celtic Tree Month of Vine right now. It’s about harvest and passionate emotions (both good and bad). Pile that on top of the retrogrades and yeah, challenges.

On the garden front, the marigolds out back are starting to bloom and are lovely. The black-eyed Susans and four o’clocks are doing well. The rosemary has had it. I don’t understand why, here in MA, rosemary behaves like an annual. The dahlias, which had died back and regrown, are dying back again. I have friends coming to visit this weekend with lovely gardens, and I am digging up those damn dahlias and giving them away. In spite of all the coddling they got, they were spiteful and didn’t bloom. Outta here!

The annuals are starting to fade, so I will cut them back and pull them out as needed. The lettuce is done and has bolted; some of the basil is bolting, and the rest I’ll turn into pesto in the coming week or so.

We’re in the process of emptying/scrubbing pots and storing them for the winter. Pretty soon, we’ll have to bring the plants inside to overwinter – and decide where to put them! That will be a challenge, at times. But we’ll figure it out.

How’s your garden doing?

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