Friday, October 30, 2015

Gardening for nature

I've been gardening for nature and encouraging others to do so for over three decades, now that I'm thinking about it.  Hmm.  It's good work and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to do so.

Doing another program tomorrow morning has me musing --

I thoroughly updated my presentation to suit Western North Carolina and the Southern Appalachians, where I now live, but not without a bit of wistfulness for our old garden in the Piedmont, too, as I deleted images that I'd talked about for a long time. 

I'm not sure that the stewardship and care of planting has been particularly appreciated by the new "owners" of the site, just from a remark or two that came our way.
Glad to come home (late August, 2015)
But, whatever, gardens and landscapes change, and that's the story.

How do we, however ephemerally, change the places where we live for the better?  My gardening companion and I plant natives, plants that work for a living, and ones that have great meaning.  Those have been our screens, and my talking points over the years.

So I'm glad to look back at the stewardship that we've done, too, in our landscapes.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fall sunset

Fall color is at its peak now in the Asheville basin, spilling down from the higher elevations to, perhaps briefly, illuminate the ridges surrounding the city and our neighborhoods.

The view of our neighbor's hickory in sunset light was wonderful this evening after a couple of days of rain.

Hickory and sunset

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

View from the deck

The fall colors are muted this year, because of rain and warm temperatures, but are still wonderfully vivid.

They're close to peak now, a good couple of weeks late, I'd think,

Hickories, maples, black gums, buckeyes, etc. illuminate the ravine view.

ravine forest view in fall

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Planting more greens

I rescued some transplants from my local Ace hardware store yesterday, and planted them today, in newly cleared beds, free of green beans at last.

The transplants were rainbow Swiss chard (looking OK), some very nice looking Pac Choi (which will be taken out by the first hard frost, but I'll enjoy how attractive they are, in the meantime), and some Mizuna (ditto).

Maybe I'll even get a few sugar snap peas from the vines that are now tentatively climbing up the trellises -- it's all about whether the mild weather holds for a while through next week and early November!

It's totally nuts (from a gardening perspective), but we live in changing times (in terms of climate) as well as many other things...

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Being at home and in the garden

After a wonderful trip to Ireland, it's good to be home in the Southern Appalachians.

Tall trees, green hills, and the start of vibrant fall color, late this year, I think.

We've just about finished the last of the green beans after returning home (darn, I hoped the freeze/frost last weekend would have finished them off, but they've actually been quite good, developing slowly over the weeks we were gone, especially the broad Romano and Cranberry beans, not to mention the Emerite and Kentucky Wonders). Now it's on to the last of the lettuce, before harvesting mustards, etc.  We might even get a sugar snap pea or two if the weather holds.

I'm thinking I might put in some very late transplants from the local hardware store (just for fun), as well as sowing some more greens. Might as well take advantage of the increasingly warm climate, I suppose...

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Coming down Healy Pass

My gardening companion took this photo (with my iPhone) coming down Healy Pass on the Beara Peninsula, on his way back to meet me after my writer's retreat.

Coming down Healy Pass
We looped back through the pass again on our way back, through the Dingle Peninsula, and then back to Shannon and home.

Here at home, there's fall color, still lots of leaves left on trees, and final green beans to harvest. But that waits for another post.

The western Atlantic coast of Ireland we visited, and especially the southwestern coast and peninsulas where we spent the most time, were magical.  

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

A last Beara dusk

It may not be the last time I come here, but walking the high road back for dinner, for a final evening session, it was still magical in a dull light.

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