The garden that was slow to produce this year has yielded two dozen juicy heads of garlic, many pole beans, two waves of tomatoes, endless basil and arugula, a steady supply of lettuce, 6 wizened bell peppers, three hot peppers, and a disappointing enormous vine with huge yellow flowers but blossom end-rot. The prize goes to the lone pumpkin, which appeared as a softball sized orb about two weeks ago, and by the time I cut it ten days later, it was enormous, at least by this gardener’s standards.
This leads me, in my more delusional moments, to consider engaging in some serious pumpkin growing next year, and enter the Topsfield Fair pumpkin contest.
Soon the tomato plants will give us their last fruits, and it will be time to clear out most of the garden, except for carrots and arugula, and plant the garlic.
In the flower beds at home, I did battle yesterday with blue Siberian iris, mallow, black-eyed Susan, and ever-expanding tickseed plants, pulling or digging up as much as could and potting them up for your friends who’ve recently bought a house whose yard sorely needs perennial beds. The drought has not fazed the stonecrop or the aster, so there’s color, lots of pink and white, to carry us through the next few weeks as the nights grow colder and even on the sunniest days, the thermometer hovers at 70F.
That pumpkin, still green, perfectly formed, with a nice, sturdy stem, sits on the kitchen counter next to the electric kettle.
Taking apart the garden at the end of the growing season is never easy–I have stop myself from ruminating on. ..where did the summer go? What have I accomplished? I think back to June, when the New England perennial garden is in full swing, the hosta leaves unfurling, iris showing their flags, the catmint’s small purple blossoms poking out everywhere, the ninebark’s white flowers brilliant against the dark purple foliage.
The freezer is filling up with small batches of pesto and slow roasted tomatoes. Lavender blossoms are spread out to dry on newspapers in the sunny entryway. No doubt about it– summer’s over, but there will be pesto pasta dinners ahead, and those slow roasted heirloom tomatoes on our Friday night pizza, clear through February.