Farewell Summer Flowers, Hello Pumpkin Beer!

Happy October!  I love this time of year.  Cool, crisp mornings, changing leaves, lots of apples and, soon, pumpkin-flavored everything.  Call me crazy, but I like to wait until it really feels like autumn before going on pumpkin overload.  (My one exception is pumpkin beer… Southern Tier Pumking is the best!)

The only thing that I don’t like about fall is that my once-lush summer garden inevitably wilts and dies as the temperatures drop and the days get shorter.  Luckily it appears that my garden hasn’t yet gotten the memo about it being October because everything is still vibrant and perfect as of today.  It’s hard to believe that in a few weeks I’ll be tearing out those zinnias, dahlias, pepper plants and other summer growth as I prep the garden for winter.

I took numerous photos of the flowers in my garden over the summer and thought that October 1st would be the perfect day to share their summer beauty before the garden transitions to fall.  Farewell, summer flowers, and hello, pumpkin beer!!

Is there anything about autumn that you don’t like?
Does the arrival of pumpkin beer make up for it?  🙂
What’s your favorite pumpkin-flavored item at this time of year?

The Bee’s Knees

First of all, congratulations to Pami from Pa-BLAM and Om Nomalicious for winning the Digital Kitchen Scale in the Slimkicker Giveaway!  Pami, please e-mail team (at) slimkicker (dot) com to claim your prize!

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Matt is at a lacrosse tournament this weekend so Bailey and I enjoyed a lazy Saturday.  She spent hours lounging in the shade watching for groundhogs, birds, and squirrels (her favorite summer pastime) and I browsed the aisles of Pier 1 (I love looking at all of the plates, trays, and glasses… is that weird?) and spent some time enjoying my garden.

There are several flowers blooming in the garden now including gladiolus, superbells, canna lilies and cosmos.  We planted the cosmos in May and recently they have really taken off.  There are dozens of perfect orange blooms and several bees happily buzzing around from flower to flower.  Here are a few photos of them, enjoy!

Pink Zinnia!

We grew this lovely pink zinnia from seed and it now resides outside our front door amidst a volunteer squash patch.  Isn’t it pretty?

Also… don’t forget to leave a comment in my Slimkicker Giveaway post to be eligible to win a digital kitchen scale!  🙂

Gardening Update – One Month Later!

You may remember that back on St. Patrick’s Day I prepared my little garden plot for the new year and planted spinach and beans.  I posted several photos of the signs of Spring at that time (crocuses, our first daffodil, cherry buds, etc.) and, as one would expect, everything has continued to bloom, bud, and grow since then.  I figured since a full month has gone by it’s time for a new garden/yard update so here goes!

Last Fall Matt and I planted close to 200 daffodil, tulip and crocus bulbs. Since the first daffodil sighting in mid-March we’ve had dozens of these cheery flowers blooming at any given time. I think the key was to buy a mixed variety pack because as one type of daffodil starts to wilt there always seems to be a new type of flower coming up to replace it!  You can also see one of our tulips blooming in the background here.  (Photo from 3/30/12)

The beautiful weeping cherry tree in our front yard surprised us this year by blooming about a month earlier than last year.  This photo is from about 2 weeks ago so by now the blooms have already been replaced by tiny green leaves.  (Photo from 3/30/12)

Even our vinca is blooming!  This groundcover vine literally holds our front yard together — we have had some major erosion and the water has cut paths in our front lawn.   Luckily this vinca is the last line of defense before the road and it seems to withstand the gushing currents of rainwater pretty well.  We’re going to try to divide it so that it covers more of the front yard.  (Photo from 3/30/12)

We have two flowering bushes near our patio that smell absolutely wonderful.  I did some searching on the internet and I’ve concluded that they are most likely Viburnum Carlesii (but if you think otherwise please let me know!!).  The bushes have clusters of sweet-smelling flowers that start out as dark pink buds and then open up to pale pinkish-white blooms.  We may try to find and plant more of these fragrant bushes around the yard.  (Photo from 4/7/12)

OK, OK, I know that this is not technically a photo of the garden and I know that Bailey’s face is completely out of focus here, but I think that this photo captures the feeling of Spring at our house very well.  The grass is getting greener, the sky is nice and blue, the trees are budding, and Bailey is spending most afternoons lounging in the sun.  When we’re outside (and she’s not busy hunting squirrels) Bailey loves to play catch.  In this photo she was scooting towards me in the grass on her side.  By this point she had pushed about 10 feet and she REALLY wanted me to throw that tennis ball!  (Photo from 4/7/12)

Last Saturday we braved the crowds at the Home Depot Garden Center in Glen Mills, PA and picked out several container plants including these two mint plants.  The one on the left is “Chocolate Mint” (so named for its chocolate-brown stems) and the one on the right is “Sweet Mint.”  (Photo from 4/15/12)

While at Home Depot we picked up a flat of Marigolds and I planted them in a large container with a Day Lily, Onion Chives, and Sweet Marjoram.  On our drive home a huge bag of potting soil fell on the Marigolds but they seemed to have recovered from this traumatic experience and are doing quite well now.  (Photo from 4/15/12)

And here’s my garden!  My spinach is coming up nicely and we were even able to use some of the thinned spinach shoots in our Sausage-Corn Scramble on Sunday morning.  The bean plants were much slower to sprout (I guess they don’t like to be planted in March??) but now they are above ground and growing fairly quickly.  I just planted moonflowers and morning glories in the bare strip in the back there so hopefully they’ll be working their way up the trellis soon!  (Photo from 4/15/12)

Last but not least, here’s a photo of our front yard.  We have cherry, crab apple, and dog wood trees and they were all in full bloom this weekend.  Beautiful!  I think mid-April is quickly becoming my favorite time of year simply because of these gorgeous trees.  🙂  (Photo from 4/15/12)