I've never been a big fan of fall. Chillier temps. Back to school. Dark mornings. Bleccch. What's to like?
Well, being a little more in tune with the rhythms of the garden has actually brought me an appreciation of the autumn season. Who'da thunk? I'm experimenting with a fall planting this year... broccoli, brussels sprouts, LOTS of kale, leeks, some late carrots and beets, winter spinach. Not to mention a whole bed of glorious garlic that I'm hoping will yield some scrumptious spring garlic scapes and about a metric ton of stinking rose to cook with for a season or more. We shall see.
So far the mozzies haven't completely dissipated, but as the temperatures drop, so will the pests. I did notice a spate of cucumber beetles -- spotted rather than striped -- on the last of the sunflowers. I'm far less annoyed than when these critters decimated my squash beds earlier in the season. On a more convivial note, a fat brown grasshopper has been hanging out in the wildflower bed near the front door. His presence sparks a vague memory of fables about hard work, but every time I spot him all I can do is stop and gaze in wonder.
There are still a few stalwart tomatoes and peppers waiting to be harvested. At this time of year, it's anyone's guess whether we'll get frost or 80-degree days. I'm willing to hang onto the last bastion of summer crops as long as I can. But, I have to admit, I'm looking forward to those autumn veggies!