Friday, September 03, 2021

November Hill farm journal, 136

 I just glanced out the window and noticed that my early indicator dogwood is showing its first blush of fall color. Such a nice thing to see after the very hot days we’ve had here lately!

Everyone on November Hill is, I think it’s safe to say, ready for autumn. The horses and donkeys are tired of the heat, the insects, and no one wanting to stay out for too long. I’m tired of all of the above. As I’ve said before, the beauty of four seasons is that they change! 

We’re still in jungle mode but now to the other side of it. As the leaves turn and then fall, we gradually become much more open to what’s around us. Summer is our most lush, most protected time. Which is one of the things I enjoy about it. 

I’ve done some walkabouts during the past week, checking in on various plantings and beds. The southern bayberries are looking good. Many have grown quite a lot this spring/summer and I’m hopeful we’ll experience their year-round screen in a couple of years. I spied a red berry on one of the still young winterberry hollies. The shade beds are looking better this year than last. The two original pollinator beds are in their late summer/early fall glory. All full of bees. We have had a huge bloom of wildflowers in the side strips this summer, and the bees are loving that as well.

Everything perennial in the potager is thriving, and the trees we’ve planted in Poplar Folly are all looking good as well. 

It’s nearly time to put in native perennials and I’ve got several things planned to put in this year. I’m working on the two shade beds + the bird haven area specifically, and thinking about finally putting in the mailbox bed. 

Two new for this fall projects: removing the three remaining butterfly bushes. It’s hard to take them out, but they attract butterflies who then lay eggs that hatch out and starve because they can’t feed on the foliage. So I have two spaces to fill with bushes that not only attract the butterflies, but offer food the caterpillars. We have milkweed, but I’ll add more of that and in proximity to the new plantings. I’m still researching what to plant. The other new project is purchasing a chipper/shredder that we can use to mulch some of the brush piles we’ve accumulated over the past few years. Primarily in Poplar Folly, where the brush piles are so plentiful we’ve invited habitat for copperheads. I’d like to tip the scales the other way for a few years, and will use the brush to make a wood chip pathway back there and make it a bit more obvious what areas are naturalized and what are for walking. 

Other than that, I have a few blueberry bushes to transplant, two heirloom (local to our county!) apple trees to find a place for, and that will be it for this fall’s gardening plans. 

The heat wave finally broke yesterday. We had a high of 80 and this morning it is 52. I am in heaven! The feeling of cool, even chilly air outside is like a tonic. The horses are standing in total bliss, the donkeys are playing, and I’m grateful for the opening night of the season to come.

A glimpse of early fall on Max Patch:

And on November Hill:

We’re having a bumper crop of figs this year! The colors in these two photos make my entire being happy. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

Sounds like everything is coming along nicely and your plans for new projects should be more enjoyable in this weather. We actually had some cooler days too. Our area had some flooding that closed schools. That’s never happened before. The figs are looking good. Enjoy the weather and be careful of those copperheads.

billie said...

I’ve been thinking about you and the flooding up there. I hope all is well on your gorgeous farm. Admittedly, I’m a little overwhelmed with stuff to do right now, but I did some heavy-duty wrangling with my brain this week to remind myself that life is not one giant to do list and I do not have to get everything done in day/week/month/year. :)

Grey Horse Matters said...

All is well on the farm and at home. Thanks for thinking of us. Have a great weekend and relax a little.😊

billie said...

Thank you! :)