Monday, September 30, 2013

Miracles Are Afoot

This is the season I love the most. I always have. It's not quite as wonderful as fall in Ohio or Michigan, when the leaves are set aflame in those vibrant autumnal hues. And though there really is no chill in the air here, no anticipation of days wrapped in lovely sweaters ahead, we have begun the gradual slide into tolerable temperatures. And unlike in the North, now is the time that we gardeners can really get outside and start our fall vegetable gardens. It has put me in a rather poetic mood. I find myself quoting Keats out in the garden as I dismantle the bean supports and reconfigure them into structures for cucumbers. Of course, it's "To Autumn" that springs most to mind:

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

I'm preparing to be loaded and blessed, so I'm hard at work, just as our now beloved bees are. 

A dream realized. Bees have called my garden their home.

The fig tree is allowing me to imagine the possibility of one pot of homemade fig jam.

Figs all around

Another beautiful, miraculous pineapple has started its journey toward my dessert plate.

Our third pineapple is on its way

I've grown three varieties of tomatoes from seed, nursed them along in the house, hardened them off outside, and now planted them in their own outdoor bed. 

I've built a new contraption for the tomatoes.
Another experiment in growing.

I've filled a bed with beet, rainbow carrot, and radish seeds. The radishes have already started to appear, just two days later.

Radish rows popping up

And the watermelon and cantaloupe plants seem to be coming along nicely.

My first attempt at baby watermelons

I have so much more work to do. There's still lettuce and peas and broccoli and other things to get in, but the vegetable garden is beginning to take on new life, which always feels a little backward to me. Autumn in Florida feels very much like spring, a time of rebirth. Hopefully for those of you who are beginning to put your gardens to bed, the coming months in my garden will provide some welcome green.

The beginning...again

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