Friday, September 12, 2008

The Beginning of the End

September marches in. With it the Pacific morning fogs. Dew bussed squash. Sun parts the gray curtains by noon, diligently warming tomatoes and ripening peppers.

In our front, with winter in mind, a black squirrel clambers up my second tallest sunflower and it crashes to the ground. Tiiimmmbbeeerrr!!

The Cosmos that colored our front yard go to seed in a host of yellow finches. Orange butterflies swarm the ranging passionflower vine, scoping out the best place to lay eggs. Our lemon cucumber plants struggle to spit out a couple handful of golf ball sized veggies and the raccoons make off with the long awaited San Marzanos.

It is the beginning of the end. Of my summer garden. My sunflowers did better than I had hoped for - even when deer nibbled them down to the dirt last spring. The pumpkins never came but banana squash overtook the sidewalk strip, birthing thirty pound toddlers that lay in the weeds like sleeping children. The Hungarian pepper plant yielded far more than I had hoped for - causing several hours spent in front of the computer and then the stove.

The strawberries plod along, offering a handful of scarlet berries week in and out. Purple Peruvians and La Ratte fingerlings slowly tilt, hiding their treasure under mounds of compost. Ground cherries are a distant, and disappointing, memory.

Ruthlessly, I yank out the last of dilapidated and fruitless tomato plants, shell the dried Calypso beans and the bolted lettuce. I'm clearing space.

It feels like yesterday that I typed out my dreams for a summer garden. For bountiful tomatoes, burgeoning pumpkins, sprinting pole beans. Some of those dreams came to pass. Others? That is why they are called dreams.

But it is the promise, the hope, the excited uncertainty that has me poking pea seeds into the ground this September. Scattering carrot, radish and beet seeds in a thick blanket throughout the raised beds. Removing tired wildflowers from the butterfly garden to make way for cover crop - fava beans, vetch, bell beans and snap peas.

It is that promise that keeps me coming back, year after year.


Tameson said...

I didn't beleive you when you said "Black" squirrel...I had to google them. Boy are they cute. Tell me are they playful like a grey squirrel? Are they destructive like red squirrels? How big are they? Our grey squirrels are about twice the size of a red squirrel and some are bigger than guinnea pigs. I wonder what other kinds of squirrels are out there that I don't know about.

Robj98168 said...

I hate the change of summer into fall- then I have to step back and realize that the fall rains come and that's why this is called the evergreen state (even though over half of the state is a dry desert) but it's the rain that I am willing to take to live in a green area!And sigh I am still waiting for my sunflowers to make one final push and form some flowers!

Abbie said...

Beautiful post! I love the sunflowers. Our sunflowers were beautiful, but then Hanna came through and they all fell over. I'm going to pull them out today and then plant some winter veggies.

Green Bean said...

Tameson: They are the CUTEST! We actually had a couple baby black squirrels born last spring in my neighbor's backyard tree. They were so sweet and so little!

Rob: Lucky you! California could use some rain for sure.

Abbie: Oh wow, Ike knocked them down. Well, I guess it is time for winter veggies but still it is nice to keep them as long as possible.

Abbie said...

I decided I'm going to tie them up to the fence next year, just in case.

On the bright side, now you can collect the seeds!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...