Single Focus Living
I can’t seem to gardenblog and attend to my actual chores at the same time, so posting has been sparse. Fall is always one of the busiest times in the garden and this autumn has been spectacularly wonderful for getting things done.
Which is a good thing, because I am now very slow and have been very behind. Not that this is a new condition of life!
The rhythms of seasonal change indoors means putting away summer clothing and bringing out the woolies. A similar set of tasks in the external areas of my home is an autumn ritual.
Tasks we have completed:
- Packed up al the outdoor cushions in plastic bags and stored in the shed.
- Ditto for most of the outdoor furniture and the grill.
- Cleaned off and stored planters
- Vacuumed and washed down porch walls
- Done first sweep of leaf raking, started on second
- Weeded the overgrown veggie patch to get it ready for next year
- Cut down a lot of damaged tree branches.
- Stacked firewood for the coming winter
- Cleaned out the chicken coop
One of my cherries was 3/4 dead. After my husband cut away some large branches we saw that insects had eaten away the heartwood. Carpenter ants were noticed… was that the sole culprit?
That tree had taken the brunt of the Japanese Beetle invasion, being defoliated every year since they arrived. It is also in the drift of farmers poisons. What contributed to its demise? As in all mature trees with problems, it seems there was a confluence of factors.
I left the lone living branch, but there is little hope that I won’t be removing it completely in a year or two. But still… there’s a chance.
We took out lots of nuisance mulberry trees and saplings, removed old lower branches from some of the oldest spruces.
It is surprising how much cleaner the landscape looks when scrubby stuff is removed.
- There was a self seeded cotoneaster growing next to a sidewalk. I pried it out and planted it near the original, which has suffered loss the past few years. I hope it takes.
- Newly planted rose was blooming and looked beautiful in the focal point given it. It was bought at discount during this horribly hot summer. Planted where the old fir tree stump stood. It had looked, disconcertingly, like a groundhog popping up to stare at our garden. Now the graceful pink shrub rose delights me, instead. Peace in the garden.
- The new hydrangea has done well, looking forward to its settling in and coming into its own next season.
THIS OLD DOG LEARNED A NEW TRICK
This year I learned how to mow with a zero turn mower. When very young (pre-teen) I learned to use a reel mower; married with children found me using a push power mower…. through several upgrades to self-propelled; then learned to navigate the yard with a Woods West deck mower on the back of a tractor.
When the Woods West gave up. in time we bought the zero turn. I was a bit scared of using it and didn’t have to since my husband had a short term interest in mowing (the new toy syndrome), and then my son took over.
But young men get jobs and go to school and it becomes the woman at home who mows. Yes, I had a few times of “runaway mower”, but mastered it and can finally get the lawn mowed the way I like.
‘Zero turns’ are pricier, but much better than the small tractor mowers (which I’ve also used). Few people use the big tractor with a Woods West deck!
MORE FALL ACTIVITY
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Also managed a trek to Old Man’s Cave. With my less than athletic walking abilities, had to skip this annual trip the pst couple years, but I am trying to regain mobility.
Pleasantly surprised to see how improved the Old Man’s Cave hike has been made for “challenged” hikers like myself. Very safe stairs, new tunnel, rather than precarious old trail, railings, all make this a hike I was able to master.
Not being a Granny Gatewood, it was my own little triumph to be back in the beautiful Hocking Hills on a perfect Ohio autumn day. And on the way home we bought real cider!
So there it is, my autumn accomplishments. I hope your season was enjoyed… and now we can all look forward to the holidays!
…and true confession: started putting up Christmas lights to beat the cold and damp.