Gardener's Grapevine 2011.10.05

Written by David Green.

This was sure a week of rain. I drove to and from work in it. Friday afternoon I drove to Archbold on an errand and on the way home I saw a double rainbow. It’s rare to see a double one, but there it was. 

I wasn’t the only one enjoying it either. As I drove on, a little black and white kitten about half-grown was sitting along the edge of the road by a field admiring it, so it seemed. All of a sudden he jumped straight up and did a back flip sort of move. All I could think of is that’s how rainbows make me feel, too. Although a back flip would probably put me in the hospital and be the source of much laughter.

Nature is so beautiful and gives us surprises when we least expect them, like my sunflowers in summer. I never plant them, but spend many hours enjoying the antics of the birds, squirrels and chipmunks as they try to harvest the seed. 

This morning after church I did some dead-heading and a little clean-up around the church yard. The hostas have finished flowering for the most part and have ugly stalks sticking out of them. Some of the leaves are chewed up or have turned brown. I cut the stalks and ugly leaves off and the plant still looks pretty nice and probably will for a few more weeks. 

Hostas are so easy to clean up once they die down in the fall, that I usually let them do there own thing then clean them up. It’s the same with roses. Many people cover their roses and prune them back really short in the fall. My roses stay out with God and all the elements all year round, and every spring they are there sending new burgundy shoots out.

Other than cutting the dead roses back in early to mid-summer and dead-heading them, I don’t fuss too much with them and they seem all the happier for it. I do feed them, of course. Every spring around March I give them a nice few shakes of time release food and let God water it in. Many people fuss with their roses and I guess that’s fine if they are going to be judged or you have the time to do it. I don’t have time for the show or the fussing so I keep it simple. Apparently they are happy as they are still blooming.

Art pulled all the carrots and picked all the peppers and tomatoes since it won’t be long before we get a killing frost and losing good produce is always a bummer. I think we will try pickling some peppers and see what turns out.

I pulled all the green bean vines even though they were still blooming. There were a couple quarts of beans on the vines so we had them for dinner last evening. Fresh beans are always so good and I think knowing the cold is coming makes them tastier. Add some fresh hot apple crisp and you’ve got one fine fall meal! I heard that the long dry spell we had in the summer made the apples sweeter this year. It sure seems like it. They are so awesome, but then I say that every year.

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