Saturday, October 22, 2011

Summer Wants to Stay

The weather this October has been nothing short of spectacular.  There's been some rain, well a lot of rain actually, and wind, but this has been tempered with plenty of days like today.  Warm and sunny, blue skies, perfect gardening weather.

Only the blush of colour on the birches betrays
this as a fall day instead of mid-summer
I've been taking advantage of this long drawn out fall to get my chores completed.  Rusty hollyhocks have been cut back and the leaves disposed of in the garbage.  Tulips, hyacinths and squill have been planted.  Garlic bulbs as well.  Plant pots have been washed and stacked for next spring.  All of these jobs so much more enjoyable as my fingers aren't numb while I'm doing them.

I've even managed to get out into the woods to better see the lovely fall colour.

In some ways it's hard to believe it's fall though.  We've only had a couple frosts to date and they weren't even enough to kill off my dahlias.  Blooms are still bursting forth each day.

The insects are still gathering pollen.

A small bee is busy working on this Ruby Star coneflower
Even more surprising is that there are flowers to gather pollen from.  My lupines have started to put out a second flush of flowers and these Anemone sylvestris are full of blooms after only being planted in mid-August.

Sea holly has been a constant in the garden this year and continues to provide for those insects that are still active.

Do you see anybody visiting these flowers?
I might almost be tempted to think it was spring except for the one constant reminder.

There are no apples in spring.  And apples are constantly on my mind these days.


  1. Oh heavens! What will you do with all those apples? Can you store them somewhere on shelves in the attic?

  2. still makes think of Baby Boom all your apples ;o)

    so pleased you have some good weather to garden in and I hope your winter will be milder than the last one, the lake look beautiful, the Anemones look so cheery in the autumn sun, Frances

  3. That's a lot of apples. What do you do with the ones on the ground? Do you make cider?

  4. Great photos! You're so lucky - we had our first hard frost September 7th, and almost every night in October has been below or just at freezing. The interesting question, always, in Manitoba is will there be snow for Halloween! I foresee a little apple sauce in your future! Apples and roasted winter squash, with maple syrup! Butternut apple soup, curried or not, freezes awesome! Links on our Facebook page and recipes on our blog, if you need inspiration!

  5. Hi Marguerite: As usual, your gardening pictures are gorgeous..seeing all those apples makes me wonder how ours are faring on the island? Here in Muskoka I'm buying apples each week..Still organizing stuff, thanks for your comments and ideas..glad your fall is making up for the cold wet spring..being there 3 weeks in May almost made me think of NOT moving out there, ha, ha..happy gardening Lannie

  6. Yes..It smelled like spring today when I very very odd. Incredible in the garden and so are getting a huge amount of work done...and yes, great that the hands and toes aren't' freezing doing that!

    I note a bit of an arbour on the back of one of your buildings. Don't recall seeing that before? Is it new?

    Have you thought anymore about a cold frame? have your bulbs in!! wow..awesome. don't. Wish you hadn't asked ))

  7. You do have a load of apples. I bet you are in the kitchen a lot with them. The color on the trees is pretty nice in your area. Here it is going to be brief.

  8. I see a lot of apple processing in your future! How lovely to have such great weather, though personally even warmth and sunshine fails to disguise the fact that washing pots up is a lousy job... Love the shot of the trees across the water.

  9. We have not had any frosts yet. I am sure one is just on the horizon. I love the photo of the apples spread out on the ground...such a great autumn scene.

  10. Diana - I've never thought of using the attic as storage but that's an interesting idea. We've come up with many ways to deal with apples. Many of the apples are infested with bugs and disease and are thrown away or composted. It's a real shame but the orchard was let go for a long time and the trees are in bad shape. I pick through a lot, cutting around bad bits and use them in pies and cider. We freeze a lot too as many of the apples are soft and not good for storing. The best apples are dried as chips or given away to co-workers and neighbours.

    Frances - I thought I would have to wait until spring to see those Anemones so it was a pleasant surprise to find them blooming now. They're a lovely plant and are supposed to spread so should make a good ground cover under the white birch.

    Carolyn - I do make a hot mulled cider on my stovetop but it's a tedious and long process. Tasty but tedious. I long for a proper cider press but the cost is out of reach at present. It would be the perfect solution to all that windfall though.

    Aagaard Farms - I've roasted squash with maple syrup but never with apples. That's an interesting combination. I will take a look at the recipes. As you can imagine I could put apple in every meal and we'd
    still have apples leftover.

  11. Lannie - this fall really has made up for that late spring. I'm actually able to catch up to chores now that I just couldn't seem to get to in spring and the weather is so pleasant to work in. Not too hot, not too cold. Of course, we keep one eye on the weather channel at all times. It can change very quickly.

    Brenda - I think about the cold frame off and on but at this point hubby is busy on his own projects and I have yet to figure out just how I would like it done. With winter approaching it will be a good time to
    figure out projects like this for next year. The 'arbor' is actually an overhang built on the back of the shed to keep firewood dry! Since it was built though we've relocated the wood to another area. Perhaps it will find a new vocation as a planter?

    Donna - It's one of the downsides of fall. Perfect garden weather but I'm busy in the kitchen cooking and chopping, freezing....

  12. Janet - LOL, it's amazing how many pots I accumulate in a season and how long it takes to clean, sort and stack them. But I do appreciate it in spring when I need pots for my emerging seedlings and they are sitting ready for me.

    Sage Butterfly -glad you liked that photo too. One of my favourites. The colours of all the apples reminded me of autumn leaves spread out.

  13. I just finished eating the most succulent juicy Northern Spy - I do so love this time of year! Having such lovely weather now makes up (somewhat) for the long cold wet spring. I've noticed some flowers blooming again like the snapdragons I have in front of my house and the dandelions are popping up all over. In some ways it seems like spring is coming except for all the leaves on the ground:)

  14. How nice that you've had an extended fall season! I've never seen so many apples and can just imagine the joy of them all. How fun!!

  15. Oh my goodness, it looks like the clouds parted and rained apples throughout your orchard! I can only hope as our orchard matures we're so blessed, although that's a lot of fallen fruit to pick up! Do you make cider or juice with any of them? Like for you, our October, except for a sloppy start, has been absolutely gorgeous, and a number of our flowers are blooming again, providing pollen for the few bees foraging about.

  16. Jane, it sounds like your weather in Ontario is just the same as ours. It's odd isn't it? lovely but odd.

    Cat - I don't think I had ever seen so many apples before either. Having an orchard has certainly changed my perspective on eating fruit.

    Clare - that's a great description. I felt somewhat overwhelmed when I stepped inside the trees and saw how much had fallen. The real kicker is how much is still in the trees. I make cider on the stovetop but I'm dreaming of a cider mill. None of these apples would go to waste then.