Sunday, November 24, 2013

Season of Mists

I've been thinking of Keats lately, especially his poem "To Autumn." It is still autumn, isn't it? I find myself getting rather confused about the seasons around here, largely because Florida seems to lack them. I was just saying the other day that it is difficult to notice that time goes by here because there's nothing really to mark the passage of time. In summer, it's hot. In fall, it's hot. In winter, it's often hot. There's never that delicious moment when I have to pull the box of my beautiful sweaters down from the attic and go through them as if they were fresh out of the shopping bag. But there are other satisfying moments in fall, and they mostly take place in the garden.

I have never successfully grown a cucumber here. The giant leaves of cucurbits are too-often beset with powdery mildew. It's the same fungal disease that attacks my zucchini plants, that had almost convinced me never to grow zucchini plants here again, knowing that I might never get the flowers I so desperately wanted to stuff with cheese and fry in a light batter. But I was victorious this spring, and propped up by that victory, I decided to give cucumbers one more chance. I fear my head might swell to even bigger proportions now.

One baby cucumber

Two baby cucumber
You may be able to see that the cucumber plant is stressed, though, so I am quite nervous for my little babies to mature before everything goes downhill. Hopefully, they will make it to our plates. And speaking of zucchini, I planted more this fall. They are covered in powdery mildew, but I'm still harvesting the wonderful flowers.

Hello, lovely!
The garden is really groaning with growth right now. The tomatoes are a little out of control, even though I thin them out weekly. I'm beginning to see why one variety I'm growing is called "Gardener's Delight." So far, it's the only one that officially has fruit on.

Four tomato plants, arms flopping everywhere
We're still happily watching the pineapple mature, hoping it will be ready for cutting when a special visitor from Austria is here in December. We're snacking on radishes all the time, so I've planted more seeds. And I'm anxiously awaiting the harvest of my beets, another crop that has always failed for me but which seems to have gotten the memo that that gardener needs a little encouragement. The sugar snaps and snow peas are climbing, and I'm hopeful that flowers will shortly appear.

Overall, it's a great time to be in the garden. Anyway, if Keats says autumn is a great season, then it has to be true. 


  1. It's winter here....24 degrees and snow. Enjoy your veggies!!

    1. Kristin, I used to turn up the heat in the Michigan house till I felt like I'd sweat to death. Then I'd light pineapple scented candles and watch movies set in tropical places. It was all a way to get me through the winter. Now I will take photos of my garden and try to get the rest of you through!