Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Frost is on the Pumpkin!

Just over a week ago we had our second hard frost which finished off most of the flowers in the gardens.

October 29th: Second hard frost

My hubby's pumpkin/squash/gourd patch yielded a wonderful harvest and gave us lots of colorful decorations for Halloween and the Harvest Supper at church.

You can see that most of the leaves have fallen, due to some very windy, wet weather over that weekend (Oct. 27th).

Hubby got creative and did the fall decorating in the front yard.

He found an old wheelbarrow that had been his mom's, and filled it with pumpkins, squash and gourds. I was really impressed with the result. He has hidden talents that I'm only just discovering! (I wonder if I can interest him in cooking........ ;)

I wonder where he's off to now.... ?

I planted those nasturtiums late, and thanks to our warm fall they gave us some lovely late color. For those who asked, the white pumpkins are called Lumina. We used them for decoration only, but I assume they're edible. The catalogue doesn't say they're good for pies, which leads me to believe they may not be the most flavorful. But I'm just guessing.

Early in August we extended the fence garden a little (one of several we made a bit bigger this summer), and I planted a few flowers that I'd started from seed. Not really expecting much in the way of blooms because of the late start, I was pleasantly surprised when they gave us a lovely show, which lasted until just about a week ago.

Calendulars are hardier than some plants. They managed to survive a couple of frosts, and were a lovely bright spot in the yard with their cheery faces of bright yellow..........

..........and orange.

There are a few zinnias and some 4 O'Clocks mixed in, as well as those delicate little pink flowers....

......which are Baby Snapdragons (Toadflax). They were a nice surprise in a seed mix I started. Posted by Picasa

The calendulars made a sunny bouquet for church. Posted by Picasa

This was the view looking up the hill from our farm just 2 and a half weeks ago.

And I caught Pete sitting on a post the same day.

Looking south

There were still a few lovely colors left after the storm on the 27th. This was taken driving home from school on Oct. 29th.

It was a bright sunny afternoon after that very frosty morning.

The geese have flown south.

I miss hearing their honking down on the river, and seeing their v-formation as they fly overhead. Posted by Picasa

The outdoor wood furnace is keeping us warm and cozy inside.

We saw our first snow today!! It was just a few light showers and didn't stick, but seeing those snowflakes and feeling the chill certainly made it feel like Old Man Winter had arrived! That's just a little more of Hubby's pumpkin and squash harvest.

But there's more!
We've been freezing some squash and have had plenty to share. Posted by Picasa

And the gourds make pretty decorations.

The white marigolds from Anita in Germany bloomed beautifully, and so did Marion's 4 O'Clocks from Wales, again thanks to our 'extended summer' temperatures. Posted by Picasa

Aren't they pretty?

I was afraid the frost would kill them too early, but we were lucky to enjoy plenty of lovely blooms!

However, this is how they looked on that frosty morning of Oct. 29th. The Alyssum is still going strong (that "Sweet Alice" is tough stuff!), and the red Diascia is still putting out a few blooms.

I've been working on emptying all the containers while Jasmine has been chasing leaves. Next year I vow to restrain myself and plant fewer containers!

As I picked up this fuchsia to bring it inside I saw this Monarch butterfly sitting on a stem. It apparently wasn't in good enough shape to migrate, so I just left it on the plant to be sheltered from the cold wind on the enclosed porch. Posted by Picasa

Some of the flowers in the containers are still looking good. This Marguerite, with the Persian Shield is certainly too pretty to throw away so I'll save it on the side porch for a while. It'll be sheltered until the temperatures get really cold. Posted by Picasa

We discovered that Jasmine likes to eat the stems of summer squash! She doesn't like the green zucchini so much, but she ate the whole stem of the one she's munching on here. What a crazy cat :)
I hope to have a little more time to visit my blog friends soon. Working at school is keeping me a little too busy, and tired at the end of the day. I find myself nodding off at the computer so I can't seem to fit in more than a few visits before I have to trot off to bed.

I hope you're all enjoying November. Thanksgiving will be here before we know it!


Barbara said...[Reply]

Thank you for this lovely tour around your gardens. You are blessed with a colourful and rich harvest! I guess it is never too late to discover hidden talents of a husband ;-) !! With some luck you'll get him to cook "his" harvest next year! Now, after a big frost you'll certainly enjoy even more the last bright colours in your garden and surrounding as showed in your beautiful pictures. Do you mind if I link your blog to mine? I always like to visit yours! Have a good time!

Lisa at Greenbow said...[Reply]

Great photos Kerri. I especially liked seeing Pete on the post right above the bluebird house. Ha Cats are so much fun to watch. Always getting into something.

I think some of your geese have come to my little town here in SW IN. There are many more than usual on the lake near our house. Almost every winter I find Canada Geese that have collars on their necks. I like to send in the information to find out where they come from.

Don't restrain yourself from your potted plants. They are just gorgeous. I think you would miss them and I know I would miss seeing pictures of them.

An outdoor wood burning furnace?? I have never heard of such a thing. Does it supplement your inside furnace?

Don't work too hard...

Terri said...[Reply]

I miss my farm so much. Especially in the fall! I love looking at your photos. They remind me of happy times in the country.
Do you get lake effect snow where you are? Some places around here got a covering (gone now of course) the day before yesterday. I only saw flurries and hail here.
Stay warm!
God bless.

Cris said...[Reply]

Kerri... let's talk business, you should consider framing your pictures, as an outsider I see them as a perfect display of what farms are like in the US and also, they have a romantic touch, your viewpoint of your own place, which happens to be wonderful!

Susie said...[Reply]

I love the look of fall and your pictures portray it so beautifully.
Tell Ross that I admire his decorating skills :)
I'm amazed at all your squash crop! Will they keep through the winter?
Who knew that cats liked squash stems? Very cute picture!!
I know you're staying warm with all that firewood. We still haven't lit the heater or had a fire!!

verobirdie said...[Reply]

Kerri, your garden is still beautiful. Thanks for the pictures.
While browsing through the comments, I though to myself that I read a lot of US novels, some describing the weather, or how it is to live in a farm, and your pictures do illustrate those texts perfectly. Just like Cris says.

Alice said...[Reply]

Naturtiums, zinnias, autumn leaves, pumpkins, green grass, and even cats - you have it all. Well, maybe not the autumn leaves now, but everything was looking lovely, Kerri.

The grey pumpkins on the right in the basket look very much like Queensland Blues, but I gather that they're not?

Sounds like winter has arrived, or at least knocking on the door now. It's no doubt lovely when you can remain snug and warm indoors, but a bit of a worry out driving. Do take care on those snowy roads, Kerri.

I'm sure as the season continues and we heat up we'll look at your cold, cold countryside and think it may not be such a bad thing for a

Yes, I think cooking lessons are in order for Ross now that you have to brave the elements to go and teach the little darlings for a few weeks. Perhaps I could send Richard over and they could 'learn'

clairesgarden said...[Reply]

wow, what a fabulous squash harvest. its sad when the flowers go.

Giddy said...[Reply]

Pete looks like he's waiting for that bluebird to return any minute. I think he'll have a long wait!

I'm trying to gin up some energy to get out in the yard and do some clean up before the winter sets in.

Midlife Mom said...[Reply]

You have some beautiful pictures as always! My plants have all succumbed to the frost but I did bring some inside to try to keep them longer. I had to bring in the things on the sunporch too as one morning it was 33* out there. They are not happy and are dropping a few leaves in protest until they get acclimated to being inside. Guess they wouldn't like it out there in the snow! We haven't had any yet but soon I'm sure. I liked the picture of the geese. We have the Canada geese go through twice a year on their migration. They are beautiful.

Pam/Digging said...[Reply]

I enjoyed the look at your late fall garden. As always, it's so picturesque, even post-frost. I imagine that you must enjoy a very Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving.

janeywan said...[Reply]

Boy all those beautiful photos make me miss the east. I can almost remember the smells. You've done good capturing some excellent shots.

JoAnn - NL "My digital eyes" :) said...[Reply]

Hi my dear Kerri,
Your garden is creative because YOU are! I smiled when looking at your pumpkin creations, good that you photograped them....also you flowers are still lovely to look at:)

BTW;) I leave for a week to paris for my birthday ,and our 20th anniversary, I left a slideshow from my last nature-works, Leaving-leaves, please take a look,you might like it also as a nature lover!

Miss you JoAnn :)
Have a good weekend a nd good next week:)

tanya said...[Reply]

Yum - I see enough pumpkin soup in these pictures to last a whole winter!

Tabor said...[Reply]

Terrific photos and tour of your yard in the fall. Reminds me of my youth in the mid-west. I was eating at a fancy restaurant the other night and had to walk through a nice hotel lobby...they had decorated the are with white pumpkins only...very modern and stark.

Mountain Mama said...[Reply]

Your frosty pictures made me shiver! We've has some frosty mornings too. I don't have any flowers left though.
Your cat on the birdhouse is a classic! LOL and I love the one of him chewing on the stem. He must be a really fun cat to have around.
I love all your pictures. Thanks so much for sharing them.

Cathy said...[Reply]

Even though the frost came, you still have some pretty flowers around there. :o) I love your pictures.

Apple said...[Reply]

I love the pumpkins in the wheelbarrow. It's great that the marigolds and 4 o'clocks got the chance to bloom! I'm glad you missed out on Thursday's snow. It didn't cause me any trouble driving but the first snow is always depressing for me. I'm hoping to get outside some tomorrow and Monday - I've worked my last Saturday for a while (I hope!)

Britt-Arnhild said...[Reply]

What alot of charming photos and great pumpkins.
We wre having a winter wonderland here in Norway now :-)

Annie in Austin said...[Reply]

I think one reason we like your photos is that you not only show us the broad scenes that make us all want to live on a farm, but you notice all the small details that make life rich. Kerry, many of you photos belong on calendars - like that one of Jasmine gnawing on the squash.... Miss October 2008?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Inland Empire Girl said...[Reply]

I quit growing calendulas a few years ago because they reseeded everywhere. After looking at your pictures, I miss them. I will just need to find another place for them. The last picture of the cat with the squash is too cute. I almost love harvest/ Thanksgiving decorating more than Christmas. Have a good week.

Val said...[Reply]

One minute its warm enough for the children to be in T-shirts, and the next there is frost on the ground! Lovely photo of the frost.

Maybe Jasmine thinks she is a dog, and is crunching the stem like a bone?

Youve encouraged me to look forward to winter here - I know all your colours in your garden will soon be covered by monochrome snow.

Moi said...[Reply]

I know frost is not good for your garden but i cant help but sigh at the beautiful sight of it...and the colors of pumpkins and gourds from your husband's hard work color your adorn your home so beautifully. i particularly liked the sunny bouquet of calendulars....those are the colors right after my own heart....

Sharon Kay said...[Reply]

There are parks that do not look as good as your lovely country area. the pictures are as wonderful as always.

judypatooote said...[Reply]

What great the butterfly and fushia, and your kitty taking a bite out of the squash....fall I love fall....the beauty of it.... but I jumped into Christmas...for I had no car this past week end, so I put up two Christmas I finished decorating, the other has the lights on it.....

Zoey said...[Reply]

Wow, look at all that squash! Not only are you eating good, but hubby made good use of them for the yard decorations. I love the look of pumpkins/squash on a frosty lawn.

Your flowers sure gave you a long season of enjoyment this year, didn't they? I am surprised how nice they were just a few weeks ago.

blueblue said...[Reply]

I love your garden and what a talented hubby you have, that's quite a harvest and decorating thing he's got going.

Judith Polakoff said...[Reply]

What wonderful flower gardens you have, Kerri, and vegetable gardens too! Every time I visit here and see the fantastic job you've done with your yard, I am green with envy over my lack of gardening talent. :) Can you believe how quickly Thanksgiving has come this year? It feels like we went straight from spring into winter! A wonderful Thanksgiving wish for you and yours, and keep those cats bundled up too! :)

Kylee said...[Reply]

Kerri, what a beautiful place you have! I, too, love my calendulas and they're laughing in the face of Jack Frost. I'm looking at some other varieties to grow next year. They're almost foolproof!
Jasmine is a real beauty!!
I really enjoyed your fall tour. Great photos!

Blackswamp_Girl said...[Reply]

Kerri, your husband's squash harvest is amazing! I saw the picture first and then expected to read something about being at the local farmer's market... only to find out that it's all yours. Wow! :)

Jasmine looks so adorable in that picture. How funny that she likes to eat the squash stems.

Gardener's Garden said...[Reply]

Your frost on the pumpkin reminded me of the ten years I spent on a farm in Walton N.Y. and I really cherish those memories....thank you so much.