Thurs. Oct. 7, 2021: Mist and Mountains

image courtesy of Eberhard Grossgasteiger via Pexels.com

Thursday, October 7, 2021

1st Quarter Waxing Moon in Libra

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

Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

Misty and mild

It’s been raining for the past few days. So, although the leaves are turning colors, everything is damp and a bit muffled. It’s still very pretty. And, as we drive to our errands, watching how the color palette changes on the mountains around us is beautiful. I worry when I see the river getting high against the banks, but the locals aren’t worried; I figure they’ll let me know if and when it’s time to be concerned.

We brought in some of the plants from the back balcony. Some of them are now on the front porch, at least temporarily, like the Christmas cacti, which are about to burst into bloom. The front porch has southern exposure, while the back balcony faces north.

The red geraniums are still blooming like crazy.

The apples are plentiful this year. I’ve been baking with apples: muffins, cake, etc. I indulged in my favorite apple cider donuts, too, from a local orchard, and they were wonderful.

The days are shorter. It’s too dark to sit on the front porch and write for my first writing session of the day. I write in the living room, on the couch, with the light on. The cats are still curled up with me, though. It’s usually dark when I start my morning yoga practice, but fairly light by the time I finish it. I like the way it lightens as I progress through the sequence.

I’m learning the rhythms of this place, which is so different from the rhythms of the Cape.

The farm-to-table movement is huge here, with plenty of local farms, which means lots and lots of harvest festivals all around. Each has a unique personality, which is why they can all thrive in the same region.

The town re-instated their Fall Foliage Parade last Sunday; we were lucky enough that some of the floats and marchers came down our little street at the end of the parade route, and we could watch from the safety and comfort of our front porch. Still not comfortable around a lot of people, even if we’re all masked and vaccinated. So much work went into the floats; it was delightful. There was a sense of humor and fun about them, and bright colors. Everything’s felt so drab for the last eighteen months, that people want to create and wear color.

Since we keep hearing how hard winter is here, we have every intention of finding lots of joy in autumn!

Thurs. Sept. 23, 2021: The Season of Mums

image courtesy of Suppenkasper via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Third Quarter Waning Moon in Aries

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

Celtic Tree Month of Vine

Cloudy and Humid

Most of the time, it feels and smells like autumn around here. The leaves are starting to turn, which is so pretty. I’m looking forward to watching the transition.

We’ve had a few warm, humid days this week, so I haven’t packed away all the lightweight clothes yet!

The red geraniums on the back balcony are blooming like crazy; the Christmas cactus that was in bloom is fading.

I have dark red mums, cut, in a vase in the living room. They make me happy every time I look at them. Traditionally, they are associated with happiness, nobility, and permanence. I’ll take it!

Now that the Equinox is over, I can start decorating for Samhain, although the bulk of the decorating will happen next weekend.

The apples are wonderful this season, and we’re taking full advantage. I even used apples for the Autumn Equinox dinner last night, preparing the Cornish hens with apple and sage.

I missed having a full garden this year, due to the move, but I’m looking forward to what I can do in containers next year. I want to grow more herbs, which do well on the front porch, and see what we can do on the back balcony.

Funnily enough, I miss having hostas. When we first moved to the Cape, I was overwhelmed by all the hostas, and not a fan. Gradually, I grew to like them. Now, I miss them. Go figure!

Since rudbeckia do so well here, as do coneflowers, I want to have black-eyed Susans and Echinacea in next year’s repertoire, too. I look forward to planning next year’s container garden over this winter!

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy autumn in the mountains.

Wed. Feb. 5, 2014: Sprouts

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Waxing Moon First Quarter Aries
Jupiter Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Rowan
Snowy and cold

Yup, it’s snowing — again. The second of three snowstorms expected this week.

But, inside, we have some fun stuff going on. The apples, pears, and peppers are doing well. The radishes came up — could this be the year I actually grow an edible radish? Two of the three garlic cloves I planted have come up. One little, tiny carrot shoot has struggled up.

Tessa, my big black cat, is fascinated with the pots of leeks I planted, for some reason. They haven’t sprouted yet, but she sticks her nose right down in the pot a few times a day. I wonder, if to her sensitive nose, the seeds have a particular smell?

I need to buy some soil soon, and some more pots — there are seedlings that need to get replanted into bigger pots, to make room for starting more seedlings.

But I certainly won’t do it today! 😉

Devon

Outside Snow, Inside Planting

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Day before Waning Moon
Fourth Quarter Moon in Capricorn
Celtic Tree Month of Rowan

Laugh all you like, but two little mcintosh apple shoots, three little pear shoots, and two pepper plant shoots have come up!

Nothing from the garlic yet, and I also planted small carrots and radishes.

Radishes are supposed to be easy, but I am the only person on the planet who can’t successfully grow a radish. I’m determined to change that!

Snowing heavily today — I’ll be shoveling, and the local wildlife will shelter under the deck again, I’m sure.

First Shoots

Saturday, January 25, 2014
Third Quarter Waning Moon in Scorpio
Celtic Tree Month of Rowan
Cloudy and cold

The first little shoots have come up from the early-planted seeds! I already mentioned that a couple of the mcintosh apple seeds sprouted. So have three of the pear seeds.

I planted some garlic cloves, to see if anything would come up. It’s waning moon, a time to plant anything that does most of its production UNDER the surface.

Jan. 18, 2014: Apples and Lemons and Pears

Saturday, January 18, 2014
Third Quarter Moon in Leo
Jupiter Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Birch
Cloudy and cold

Three of the Macintosh apple seeds I planted a couple of weeks ago have sprouted. I’m pretty excited. What comes after that, who knows, but this part is fun.

Today, I planted some pear seeds (one of which started sprouting in water), the rest of the mac apple seeds, and the seeds from the peppers I grew last year. I SHOULD have planted them two days ago, on the full moon in Cancer and didn’t — hopefully planting them in Leo won’t be a problem.

I’m thinking about setting up a grow light and starting some other seeds early, too, especially greens, so I can keep planting every few weeks and have a lot of edible greens this year.

Every spring, usually around the equinox, I do a big cleaning/repotting thing — my many lemon plants definitely need repotting this year. All of those were grown from seeds from lemons I got at the store. Hopefully, they’ll grow up and have lemons of their own someday! The tangerine tree (which I started from seeds from store-bought tangerines about four years ago, when we first moved here or just before) is doing really well, and will also need replanting soon.

The bamboo I was gifted with while still working on MISS SAIGON (which closed in 2000) is still going strong. Other bamboo I’ve purchased since hasn’t survived, but I’d like to start or get another plant in time for Chinese New Year at the next new moon at the end of the month.

I’m still battling with the decisions of what it’s practical to plant this year and what I WANT to plant. I have to mix in some out-of-the-box stuff, or I’ll be disappointed. But, as far as edibles, it makes sense to plant what I actually like to eat, and what I use most in cooking. I definitely want to expand the medicinal herbs this year, but they seem to do better in pots.

The fantasy/design portion of winter is one of my favorite parts of gardening!

Do I Plant Something So I Can Write About It?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Second Quarter Moon in Cancer
Jupiter Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Birch
Sunny and pleasant

I didn’t post on Saturday. I didn’t have much to say. I nearly went ahead and planted something just to have something to write about.

In any case, the macintosh apple seeds are being gently tended; today I’ll plant some pear seeds from a gift of pears we had at the holidays. One of them is sprouting; we’ll see.

One of the interesting things is to see which of the foods we get from outside sources is fertile, and which is not. That’s part of the experiment.

I’m trying to figure out what to plant this year. What do I eat most? Tomatoes, eggplants, leeks, radishes, carrots are right up there. We had a great year for tomatoes last year — my only real limitation is space. It was a lousy year for eggplants and zucchini, a good year for peppers. For some reason, although radishes and carrots are supposedly easy to grow, I am the exception and can’t seem to grow decent ones of either.

That doesn’t mean I won’t try again!

I want to grow leeks this year. And more Asian vegetables, such as bok choy (which did pretty well) and lemongrass. I’d like to grow celery, and maybe garlic and onions.

I was light on the herbs last year — most of them did not grow well. I’m hoping for a better herb year this year.

I’m trying to decide what I’ll plant on Imbolc, the important celebration of “what stirs beneath” — it needs to be something important to me, but something likely to grow well!

Decisions, decisions . . .