Sunday 27 September 2015

A Beautiful September Day

I love autumn. I love the colours and cricket sounds and pumpkins and sweaters. Autumn also means yard work for me. Today I managed to get a few things done before I knew I should stop or I would not be able to move tomorrow morning.
I had two beautiful crazy mandevilla plants hanging on my front porch which got chopped up and added to my compost as well as my red geraniums that hung at the arbour. There used to be a time when I would pot up those geraniums and try to keep them alive over winter so I could use them again next year. Yup, well, I don't do that anymore. I have gotten over my plant guilt.
Years ago I received two little clumps of forsythia from a wonderful woman that I worked with. That wonderful woman has since retired and amazingly survived an almost fatal brain aneurysm. Her two little clumps of forsythia have thrived and grown so much that they got a little out of control. They share a bed with perennials and have shaded and crowded out some of their neighbours. So today I ruthlessly cut back the forsythia. It was a big job. My son helped by pulling the "Gorilla Cart" filled with branches back to the burn pile about four times and dumping it.
Although it just looks like some sticks coming out of the ground right now, the forsythia will put on some new growth in the spring, although it probably won't bloom like it usually does.

As well, I have cut back the dead hollyhocks from various places around the property. I love hollyhocks when they are blooming, but when the blossoms fade they just look mangy. Not only do they look horrible, but their big circular shaped seeds drop everywhere, like the walkway, the grass, and the soil all around them, and they reseed very well! Of course as I am cutting them off and moving them to the cart, the seeds are scattering anyway.
We have a very big Norway Spruce in our front yard and it is now dropping sticky cones all over the grass and in my beds. I raked a whole bunch up and added those to the cart to be dumped in the burn pile (which now has taken on rather scary proportions). My leather work gloves can now stick to things all by themselves, they are so covered in sap.
big spruce with lots of cones

Although I have only just put a dent in things (WHY do I have so many perennials??), it feels good to get some things done. It is warm today, but there is a lovely breeze. Unfortunately it is a breeze from the south. Why is that a problem, you ask? Well, because there is the world's most gargantuous pile of turkey manure in the field to the south of us. Every year or two the farmers who own the land around us clean out huge turkey barns and create this behemoth which sits there for weeks, even months until it is spread on their fields. The stench on certain days is unreal.
You can't really grasp how huge this pile is by looking at a photograph, but trust me, it's massive.
One job I didn't have to do was "tucking the pool in" for the season. Husband and son did that.

I grew up in the country. I am used to the smell of manure. In fact, I quite like the smell of a horse barn! I rode along with my uncle in his tractor when he spread manure on the fields from his dairy cows. I have shovelled my share of chicken manure when we had our little backyard flock. But where I grew up, NOBODY created giant mountains of manure like that! Oh, and the farmers do not live here, they are a couple of concessions away, so they do not have to smell this.
O.K., back to something a bit more positive. For supper tonight I am putting in a beef roast. It will cook away in the oven in something I like to call my "magical cooking pot" because everything I cook in there ends up moist, tender, fall-apart succulent. It is made by Kitchen Aid and I got it at a greatly reduced price last year. It is called a Dutch Oven.

Magical cooking pot. Love it for anything from roasts to stew to chili!
So we shall have potatoes from the garden, the last of the beans from the garden, tomatoes from the garden, roast beef and some wonderful french bread (no, I did not make that!).
Hope everyone's weekend was productive and enjoyable!


  1. I love the look of that Dutch oven and can only imagine the taste of the beef! Don't wish to imagine the smell of the turkey pile though.

    1. I love red in a kitchen! The beef turned out well, and the leftovers became an oriental stir fry with brown rice.