Thurs. Sept. 16, 2021: It’s Starting to Turn Colors

image courtesy of RebekkaD via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Second Quarter Moon Waxing in Capricorn

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

Celtic Tree Month of Vine

Cloudy and humid

The weather has been all over the place this past week. Some days have been cool and crisp; yesterday was hot and humid and summery again. Plenty of thunderstorms coming through, although I don’t live in constant fear of flooding anymore.

One of the Thanksgiving/Christmas cacti on the back balcony is blooming like crazy, as are the red geraniums. The maiden hair fern has berries, which I’m sure the birds will enjoy. The peace lily continues to be a drama queen.

The leaves are just starting to turn to glorious shades of yellow, gold, and red. It’s already beautiful; it will be stunning in a few weeks.

Whenever I can, I walk to my errands, so that I can enjoy the beauty.

I was worried about being able to access fresh produce all winter. We’ve gotten so spoiled here with the farm-to-table commitment. But some of the farms have heated greenhouses, and, as for other produce, we’ll lean more on what’s seasonal.

Autumn is my favorite season anyway, and I’m excited to experience it here in the mountains.

How is your autumn, where you are? Or your spring, if you’re in the Southern hemisphere?

Thurs. Sept. 9, 2021: The Difference in Air (and Earth)

image courtesy of Kevin Craft via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 9, 2021

First quarter waxing moon in Libra

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

Celtic Tree Month of Vine

Cloudy, rainy, humid

Yesterday, we drove to the Cape and back, doing a storage run. The contrasts are so amazing,

The air here in the mountains has a tartness to it. Even though it gets very humid (especially with all the rain), when it’s not humid, there’s a crisp dryness to the air.

I’m looking forward to watching the colors turn and reveling in all things autumn.

The air on Cape is saltier, of course, because the Cape juts out between the bay and the sea. The tang of it is different. It was sunny yesterday, and bright, but still, the air felt heavier. Also, because of all the increasing traffic, especially over the bridge, and the fact that so many trees are cut down daily, the pollution hangs more over the area, and there’s an oily layer from it that coats everything.

The air smells different in both places, and feels different when it hits your skin.

I’m surprised how different the food tastes, too. Part of it is that the water is much harder here. But also, the soil is different. So a tomato grown here in the Berkshires has a very different taste than one grown on Cape Cod. They both taste good, but the taste is very different.

I’m starting to understand what is meant in wine when they discuss “terroir.” It affects everything that’s grown.

And it’s one reason why recipes made from local ingredients in both places taste so differently on Cape Cod than they do here.

It’s fascinating.

The Canal looked beautiful as we went over the Bourne Bridge, and it was busy with boats.

I still love the Cape’s beauty, although I’m deeply saddened how those who are supposed to protect it, instead allow its destruction.

Not that everything is so perfect here, either, pollution-wise. But I love living tucked in amongst the mountains, and within the neighborhood trees that people aren’t constantly trying to cut down.

Thurs. Nov. 19, 2020: Last Tomatoes

image courtesy of congerdesign via pixabay.com

Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020

First Quarter Moon Waxing in Capricorn

Neptune and Uranus Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Reed

Sunny and cold

We are finally having some cold weather! It snowed in Western and Central MA, but not here. We had some winds, and it’s colder. It’s supposed to warm up for the weekend, so, while I will take in some of the garden decorations and more pots, I’m leaving out the furniture. Wouldn’t it be fun if we could sit outside over Thanksgiving weekend?

Our virus numbers are going up, and nobody who’s supposed to handle this is doing so. Governor Baker, who did a better job than I expected early in the pandemic, is now acting like the Republican he is and not shutting things down again. The curfew means he’s treating us like naughty high school students, although I don’t miss the drag racing at 2 AM waking me up.

We are hunkering down. Instead of the big Thanksgiving dinner in Maine, with everyone at the VFW Hall, we are having a small dinner at home, just those in the house. We will do a Zoom dessert party to catch up.

As someone online said, better a Zoom Thanksgiving than an ICU Christmas.

I dragged the brush the landlord cut and left to the brush heap in the back. The lawn guy promised to come on Saturday and suck up the rest of the leaves. I cut back a bunch of stuff in the beds, and will cut back more.

The big pots will probably come in sometime next week to overwinter in the garage. I’m leaving the furniture out as long as possible. Even when it’s cold, I like to go out and sit for a few minutes.

I still have to oil the teak furniture one more time before I put it away for the winter. I might to that this weekend.

It will be interesting to see where we are next year at this time, and what the garden adventure will have been.

I planted some organic lemon seeds in a pot and put them in a sunny window. Even though it’s not “growing season” I wanted to see if they would sprout. If they do, I’ll try the apple and pepper seeds I’ve been saving.

The last of our garden tomatoes are almost ripe from sitting in a sunny window. We will eat them in the next two days and enjoy them.

Soon, I will have to decide which tomatoes I want to grow next year, even though they might be seedlings here and then be transplanted elsewhere.

I won’t have a post next week, because next Thursday is Thanksgiving and I’ll be cooking – so it’ll be two weeks before I check back in with you again. Have a safe and happy holiday.

Thurs. Nov. 12, 2020: Mild Days and Blooming Cacti

image courtesy of Shinichi4849 via pixabay.com

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Dark Moon Fourth Quarter in Libra

Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Reed

Foggy and mild

I have one calendar saying today is the new moon and Mars goes direct, and another calendar saying today is still the dark moon and that all happens tomorrow. Go figure.

The last week’s weather has been quite lovely and unseasonably warm here. I pulled out all the faded annuals from pots and put the pots away in the garage. I repotted the cherry seedlings, which somehow survived without much attention all summer. I pulled out the spent tomato plants, but haven’t put away the pots yet. I’m going to leave the large pots that usually overwinter out as long as it remains pleasant.

But the deck is tidy and it’s still a pleasure to sit out there and enjoy the final nice days of the year. Because the deck is covered and there are skylights, one can even sit out in the rain. The deck is one of the things I will miss most about the house when we move in spring.

The landlord came and did some of the heavier pruning that’s too hard for me to handle, and the lawn guy is going to come by and do leaves soon.

We’re in decent shape.

I am sick of the neighbors and their leaf blower obsession. It’s autumn. One of the beauties of autumn is the falling leaves. If you don’t like it, don’t live in New England!

The moron using his leaf blower at 3:30 AM in the rain really angered me today.

I intend to wring every moment of pleasure out of autumn that I can. Who knows what winter will bring?

Our Thanksgiving cacti are starting to bloom, and should be gorgeous by the time it’s actually Thanksgiving.

The quality of light is very different now, too. The second floor doesn’t get as much afternoon sun, but the first floor gets more. Tessa, whose domain is the second floor, blames me personally for the change, which is pretty funny.

How’s your garden doing?

Thurs. Nov. 5, 2020: A Stretch of Warm Autumn Weather

image by Anja courtesy of Pixabay.com

Thursday, November 5, 2020

3rd Quarter  Waning Moon in Cancer

Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Sunny and warmer

Celtic Tree Month of Reed

We’re in for a stretch of 7 to 10 days of weather in the 60’s and 70’s. That means I can work outside, cutting back the plants that need it. It also means I will not bring in the deck furniture this weekend, although I will be clearing out the annuals that have died back.

I want to spend the last few days enjoying the deck!

Today is a planting day, so I’m putting some saved seeds from an organic lemon into a pot and seeing what happens.

We’re in Leaf Blower Season (although, around here, every season is Leaf Blower Season) where all the men in the neighborhood with no inner lives spend each morning and night in their tiny yards making noise and mess with their Freudian implements.

I plan to make this weekend one of healing, especially for myself, since I was sick as all getout yesterday. I want to enjoy sun and good weather, and give myself a reprieve from the darkness in the world, especially post-election.

Votes are still being counted as I write this, and I’m not counting on anything until they’re counted.

Thurs. Oct. 29, 2020: Almost Samhain!

image courtesy of pexels via pixabay.com

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Second Quarter Moon in Aries

Neptune, Uranus, Mars, Mercury Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

Rainy, cold, raw

Today is my mother’s 96th birthday, which I believe is cause for celebration!

On the garden front, nothing much to report. Last Friday, the wonderful guy who mows came and took care of the leaves – which is good, because I was NOT looking forward to it.

Of course, by Sunday, the yard was full of leaves again!

But it’s autumn, and those who don’t want leaves on the ground should live somewhere without seasons.

The tradeoff between having wonderful trees and raking leaves? Happy to have it.

Today or tomorrow, I’m going to harvest the last of the basil and make another batch of pesto. There are a couple of tomatoes hanging on. We’ll take in the herbs.

The rest will have to be cut back, and the pots put away over the coming week. Next weekend (not this one, busy with Samhain, Day of the Dead, Tending the Dead this one), I will take in the furniture out on the deck, and give it a final scrub for winter.

The plants we’ve brought in are happy to be inside. They’re doing well. The angle of the sun is very different, much lower than it was in summer, so I have to adjust where I place the plants for sun.

It’s fascinating to watch the changes in the sun’s angle and the way things grow, though.

For Halloween, I still have to put up the lights outside, which I will do on Saturday morning. It’s stormy today and tomorrow, so I’ll leave it. I’m then setting up a table in the front yard, with information for socially-distanced Halloween, the jar candles I made with spider-web netting and battery-operated candles, and the treat bags. If we have trick or treaters, they get a bag with 3 edibles and 3 non-edibles. If we don’t, I have bags for next year, wherever we may be, and we’ll eat the candy between now and the end of the year!

It’s positive, whichever way it works.

How’s your autumn?

Thurs. Oct. 22, 2020: First Frost

image courtesy of Art Tower via pixabay.com

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Waxing Moon First Quarter in Capricorn

Neptune, Uranus, Mars, Mercury Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

Foggy and warm

Last weekend was our first frost.

I rearranged my bedroom so that I could bring in a low bookcase that holds the two large geraniums. Two smaller plant stands hold two more geraniums. The gigantic peace lily, which I bought in a 4” pot the first winter we lived here, is on my vanity table – where the cats can’t get at it.

My mother took in some of the smaller geraniums to her bedroom. Geraniums help with love, acceptance, and balance, so these are good plants to have in a bedroom. The peace lily is about comfort and harmony (and about purity and sexual energy). Again, fine for the bedroom.

The maiden hair fern, which was so unhappy in the back bedroom last winter, but revived out on the deck, is now in a sunny, warm spot in my office. Maidenhair fern is used for purity and beauty. A paste made from the fronds helps with some insect stings.

The yellow begonia is in the living room. Its association with caution, gratitude, and justice make sense there.

We’re tucking in the rosemary, tarragon, chive, and parsley where we can fit them, and where they can get decent sunlight.

Slowly, I’m clearing away the space we use for quarantine in the garage (moving it to another section), so the large overwinter plants (rose of Sharon, forsythia, lilac) can overwinter there. I plan to get them in this week.

The pansies are still blooming like crazy, so I’ll leave those baskets out longer.

As the other annuals die back, I’m removing them from the pots and stacking the pots in the garage, on the side for pots we don’t need to water all winter! We’ll harvest the last few tomatoes this week, and then scrub and put those pots away.

I still have to put up the lights for Halloween and some of the exterior decorations. It’s been so windy that it hasn’t made sense.

I’ll start putting away the furniture this weekend and next weekend – while still trying to steal a few minutes to sit outside and enjoy the deck here and there!

I am so tired of every day hearing chainsaws and leaf blowers. No one is making things beautiful. It’s all about destruction. Everything that makes Cape Cod wonderful and beautiful is being destroyed.

Thurs. Oct. 15, 2020: Quiet Autumn

image courtesy of Mabel Amber via pixabay.com

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Dark Moon, 4th quarter in Virgo

Neptune, Uranus, Mercury, Mars Retrograde

Cloudy and pleasant

Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

There just isn’t a lot to say about the garden right now. I need to cut back some more as the lilies suck the chlorophyll back into the bulbs. Soon, I’ll start raking leaves.

This weekend, we have to take in some of the plants to overwinter. I’m not taking in all the furniture yet. Sometimes, it’s still nice enough to sit out for a few minutes.

We have to figure out where to put the enormous peace lily and the maidenhair fern. We thought the fern died in spring, but it’s come back and is gorgeous. Last winter, it wasn’t in a sunny enough spot. We will fix it this year.

We’re still in drought. I’m still planning gardens for various stories (and still not happy with any of the software). I’m fantasizing about next spring’s garden, but it is more likely to be spring 2022, since spring of 2021 has so much transition in it.

How’s your garden doing?

Thurs. Oct. 8, 2020: Dreaming of Tulips

image courtesy of Clemens Lettinck via pixabay.com

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Second Quarter Moon in Gemini

Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

Stormy weather

Now you have an ear worm of that old standard, don’t you?

Not much to say, garden-wise. I haven’t been doing much to put the garden to bed, but I’ll need to start raking leaves soon.

I’ve put up some of the outdoor decorations. I’m waiting to put up the lights until closer to the holiday.

The new furnace works, and we’re not cold all the time, which is nice.

I’m not planting bulbs for spring, because too much is up in the air about spring. But I’m looking at the catalogues and dreaming of what I can plant NEXT autumn for the following spring. Tulips and daffodils have become favorites, and I hope, next autumn, I can plant a lot of them, so that Spring 2022 will be beautiful.

Tulips have such a tumultuous history, tied in with the history of the Netherlands. There was a time when their value was like that of gold. There’s an interesting article on History.com about how the stories coming down about that time are inaccurate and overblown, and there were indicators of a coming crash that were ignored. So the tulip is not at fault!

What are you doing to put your garden to bed?

Thurs. Oct. 1, 2020: Chrysanthemums Start Blooming

image courtesy of Manfred Richter via pixabay.com

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Full Moon in Aries

Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

Cooler

Not much to report on the garden front. We had some more tomatoes, which were luscious, and enough beans for another meal – so good. In the next few years, I want to grow more beans.

The chrysanthemums are starting to bloom. I have some that are in a hanging basket on the deck, acting like vines, and then the pots I bought for the front. The one in the barrel is still considering its options.

I put lawn food down on Sunday. It rained quite a bit Tuesday and Wednesday, so I hope it soaked in rather than washing off.

Leaves are falling; soon it will be time to rake. Neighbors have started up the daily leaf blowing. Not that most of them ever stopped.

Of course, all this leaf blowing means all the leaves in the neighborhood eventually end up in MY lawn (because the neighbors blow them into corners of their property and the wind takes them here). Since I am the only person who actually brings the leaves to the dump. . .

Pretty soon, we’ll have to start taking in the big pots to the garage to overwinter, which means setting up our quarantine area in the garage somewhere else.

Today, however, is the first day of October, which means the decorating starts, both inside and outside. I’m looking forward to adding bits and bobs to the yard and gusseying up the house for the holidays.

We get two full moons in October, which makes me happy.

I will take and post pictures on the Instagram account, which is @devonelllingtonwork. I use that account for garden, cats, cooking, textiles – very little book promotion!

How’s your garden doing?

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