Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fast Comes Fall

When the nights got colder and wetter last week, and we had a couple of rainy days, I decided to curtail the Wild Tomato Experience happening in the backyard and bring everything in, in all its unripened glory, because this is prime late blight weather here on the Wet Coast.

That's right, Gentle Reader, averting catastrophe is my new motto. No longer am I going to whinge about the end of the summer, about the mildew on my squash, about the cold wet rain smacking me in the face, about the winds whipping my plastic greenhouse into pathetic shreds. No, I will be a Jane Austen Heroine about it all even though it might make me cry a lot. I will look on the bright side. I will forge ahead. Fall is just another season, albeit a cold wet windy gray miserable dull one...

Anyhow, that's why I have a mini-greenhouse window full of green tomatoes, reddish tomatoes, and red tomatoes sitting on my deck. And newspapers strewn around inside the house with tomatoes and zucchinis and tomatillos and peppers strewn around on top of those newspapers. I am averting catastrophe. Makes for some fun conversations with visitors: "Don't you know you're supposed to pick them when they're RED?" (said with many guffaws) "Do you know you have a lot of tomatoes on your floor in there?" (um, no kidding Sherlock) or my own personal favourite "Why'd you plant so many if you had to bring them all in?" (there really IS no answer to this in polite company, is there?)

So, with this new motto in hand, I decided to revamp the vegetable garden (the one you see here on the left) because it is, and I do hate to admit this, poorly designed.

Who designed it, you ask?

Sigh. Me.

Look at it: those strawberry plants are positively plotting to trip up any hapless passer-by, while that cedar arbour is no longer upright by ANY stretch of the imagination. There's even a mouse in there somewhere. It's being chased around by the snake that lives in there with it. I see them periodically being chased about by the cat.

It is a mess. Well, it WAS a mess. Until my new attitude got a hold of it.

Here it is, greatly curtailed in its activities.

Gone are about 400 strawberry plants, several unsightly Purple Sprouting Broccoli plants (too covered with aphids to be of use to anyone but the compost), a lot of very boring couch grass, and some really nice beach rocks, rocks I had been looking for all summer and were apparently thrown in there by the Teenager, who thought he was going to rid the world of a mouse with the aid of a strategically placed beach rock. Well, several strategically placed beach rocks. We're not one for dead-eyed aim, evidently.

Yes, I said, a mouse will just sit there while you huck large beach rocks at it.

I am SO funny.

I also removed much soil, so that the upper section would be raised, as in A Raised Bed. No more hanging grimly onto the cedar arbour while picking scarlet runner beans.
Hmm, I think I know why the arbour is no longer upright...

I also added some beach rocks. Some steps. I'm still waiting for the rebar sides on the beds, because I need to get more lumber, which is why that bed suddenly ends like that. On the other end is a wheelbarrow path so I don't need to ruin my delicately arranged steps. I also dumped in some bark mulch so that the winter rains (gulp, steel yourself now) won't make a mockery of my new pathway. It's all tidy, tidy, tidy.
More tidyness.

The funny thing about the fall is that it seems to come all of a sudden. One minute you're basking in the sunshine, next you're shivering in the wind and all the trees are losing their leaves.

I wonder if these figs will ripen?

Or if these grapes will fatten up and get sweet?
No dithering for the coral bark maple. It's getting on with fall without any backwards looks.


Heather said...

It all looks gorgeous, Shelia. I bet you'll love how tidy and organized your garden is now. (I'm working at getting better at orderliness and tidiness too - at home and in the garden!). What ARE those little striped things? Are they Piccolo zucchini? If so, are they really delicious? I'm looking for "must grows" for next year's garden.

I wonder if you have plans for green tomato mincemeat or if you are patient enough to wait for all those tomatoes to ripen. I'm at the stage of tired-of-tomatoness where I am almost wanting it to frost (oooh, but not quite).

I hope your figs ripen up for you. Will you bring it right into the house or have they ripened before in your greenhouse?

*jitifori - hmmm, not quite with it enough(no coffee yet) to come up with one of your witty definitions but I really love the sound of it.

sheila said...

Those little stripey things are called Goblin Eggs - from a packet of Decorative Gourds FDPG grew. She wanted to sell them but now she's leaning towards turning them into a group of Halloween mice (Martha Stewart impressed her with some lighted hedgehogs in the latest Halloween issue).

I too am at the tired-of-tomatoes, sadly. I have 60 quarts of salsa and there's still another 30 quarts worth in the living room. My enthusiasm for skinning tomatoes is waning, lol.

I'm thinking of covering the fig with reemay - what do you think? It's outside in one of those oak barrels, far from the greenhouse so I'm not quite sure what else to do. It's never fruited so heavily before - or so late in the season.

I bought a lime tree this summer! Should be fun.