Friday, September 27, 2013

blackberry wine and a white fence

At various spots in our town and country I'm sure I smell the blackberries turning to wine on their bushes - even as I am driving down the street or road that particular scent of summer-into-fall invades my car. I've never noticed it's probably all kinds of fruits breaking down into soil and earth and giving out their last sweetness on the way.

The sweet olive is blooming at the same time, and I must say, this is almost too much deliciousness to absorb in one day. I roasted pimientos from the garden last night, to loosen their skins, and that filled the house with...what shall I call it...Old Mexico? If Autumn has its special atmosphere, it must include all these ingredients in the recipe. We haven't initiated the wood fires, and I'm wondering if I put off generating smoke, maybe I can prolong these other more subtle experiences. But pretty soon -- maybe tomorrow?! -- I will be shivering too much to care about that aspect of the season's loveliness.

And there is plenty of visual feasting to do, with various plants making their seeds now, or putting out the last blooms, the flowers seeming even brighter in the slanted light. They are brave to emerge into the cold mornings when any day now they might get cut down by Jack Frost.

Echinacea Sombrero Hot Coral
October is the best month to plant any kind of peas in our area, and I haven't had sweet peas in the garden in too long. The excitement of the fall garden is making me feel up to helping the little pea seedlings through the winter, so I went to the nursery to buy some seeds. Look what I found - an Echinacea Sombrero Hot Coral. When Kim at My Field of Dreams found something like this last month I ran to the store to get my own, but found nothing. Is this the name of yours, Kim?

Not all the fall colors are orange.

A few weeks ago we had automatic irrigation installed, in the form of a system of plastic tubes running just under the surface of the ground all over the yard. Little black plastic emitters stick up at various places and cover the soil with a spray of water at whatever time intervals we program into the control panel.

Little fence is in the background near the street.
Not a week had gone by before one emitter very close to the front sidewalk was broken off, so we had the guys return and move that line back a few inches, Mr. Glad installed pieces of wooden fence with stakes that poke into the ground. The paint was a little thin, so he put another coat over it first. I think it's cute, and when the plants nearby have grown up bigger the white picket look will complement the foliage and flowers nicely.

This afternoon I'm headed back out to plant that echinacea, and also some stock and snapdragons. I'll clear the pine needles off the cyclamen and trim the rosemary, and sniff and breathe in all these goodies of my garden. 


M.K. said...

I think your fencing is charming! And I adore that lambs' ear - wow, it's happy! You're right about all the sights and smells of autumn. They're certainly in the air!

Lorrie said...

Delightful fall gardening in your corner of the world. Here I'm just pulling up vegetable vines to compost and cleaning out the annuals. Oh, and planting spring bulbs.

Farm Girl said...

Oh I think you found it!! Oh I am so glad. When I saw your picture I thought you did it. I keep trying to figure out how to keep mine safe from the frost this winter. Did you plant yours? I left mine in the pot.
I love how you describe the smells today. I could almost imagine the smells, the roasting pimento made my mouth water.
My plant didn't have a tag but the color and the shapes look very close. Is that the nursery that is close by?

Jeannette said...

Autumn gardening...that lovley burst of energy to hide promise in soil for spring...Maybe I will get to tuck a few things away too! My long season of no seasons is soon a past season!

debbie bailey said...

I envy you your Lambs Ear. We can't grow it here in South Georgia because of all the heat and humidity. Seeing your nasturtiums reminds me to hurry and plant some seeds. They're one of my favorites but can only be grown here in the winter, like pansies, because of the two h's mentioned before.

Martha said...

You write beautifully. I know what you mean by smelling the blackberries turning into wine smell... It reminded me of the rhubarb wine we had over the summer, for the first time. ♥ Oh, the lamb's ear, so soft and pretty.

GretchenJoanna said...

FG, yes, I planted the echinacea in the ground. My other common purple coneflowers just die back in the winter but their roots live on and grow up in the spring. I didn't find it at Lowe's as you did, but at a closer nursery that is at a local home improvement store.

It's interesting to me that all of you who mention it call that woolly plant by the singular Lamb's Ear, while I've always heard it Lambs' Ears. :-) Must be a California thing?

Emily J. said...

I was introduced to the scent of sweet olive at a wedding in Natchez, MS, years ago. Someone had told us before we went that Natchez smelled horrible from the river, but when we arrived, the whole town smelled heavenly from the tiny flowers of the sweet olive. I planted a little tree of my own right by the front door when we lived in Norfolk. Love it. Miss it.

wayside wanderer said...

I love your yard, flowers and fence! Do you just spend hours out there enjoying it? It is beautiful...a work of art.

GretchenJoanna said...

to W.W. - ha! It really looks pretty messy and cluttered, so I have to take pictures carefully, pose my pumpkin and frame the shot of my new cheap fence so that they show their good sides. I have been out there enjoying it a lot more the last week or two...maybe it's the winter coming on that is making me treasure these days.

Gumbo Lily said...

I just love that earthy smell of leaves decomposing into the soil and so I can imagine your blackberries turning into wine or raisins on the vine. I love soaking in the last of the flowers and the grasses and leaves before winter comes and covers it all over. Your garden looks so inviting and beautiful.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

What a wonderful post, GJ--you should be a garden writer! I'd never thought about growing my own pimentos, even though pimento cheese is a summer staple around my house.