Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Painted Ladies and Garden Doings

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Balkan Sage

There must have been at least thirty "ladies" dancing about in a clump of Balkan sage up the road this week. Beau and I stopped for a few minutes on the way home from a morning walk and watched them flutter exuberantly about, a perfect marriage of purple and orange, my favorite colours. Alas, it was a windy morning, and most of the images we captured were fuzzy. There was only a single acceptable capture.

In the garden, the last generation of Monarch butterflies has hatched out, tested their wings and headed south, so the milkweed has been cut down and tucked into the compost bin. The corner where the Aclepias syriaca colony resided this summer looks rather forlorn, and it is certainly less fragrant than it was a few weeks ago. The pods and their enclosed treasure of silks have been harvested and are drying out in the potting shed, to be tossed into new germination areas early next spring.

There are still a lot of green tomatoes in the garden, and many will not mature before the first killing frost, so I will harvest them this week and bring them indoors to complete their journey. The good news is that there is enough curly kale in the veggie patch to do the whole neighbourhood until winter arrives. My favorite brassica does not mind cold weather, and it tastes even sweeter after few frosts. I am planning to blanch and freeze tender young leaves, and they will be used in soups and casseroles and stews when the snow flies. The stuff available in supermarkets during the winter is old and tough and bitter, and I usually avoid it.

My Mojito mint, lemon balm, Vietnamese coriander, sage, rosemary and lavender continue to run riot, a happy thing. I am going to miss the herb garden when winter sets in, and the idea of not having fresh herbs to cook with boggles my mind. I can't quite wrap my sconce around it. How does one live without homemade pesto, and what about glazes and marinades? A hydroponic herb kit may be the answer, and I am thinking of giving myself one for my birthday in December. It would (however) have to be a fair size.

By all accounts, Saturday (Mabon or the Fall Equinox) was the first day of autumn, but my personal clock runs a little differently. Fall is here when I find myself thinking about planting garlic and acquiring other varieties of crocus, and I am certainly doing that. By the reckoning of this Old Thing, autumn has arrived!


Gill said...


Dee said...

Beautiful! Autumn is such a delightful time of year.

Tabor said...

You reminded me that I am redoing my herb garden. I have to move it and not sure where!!