Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Last Day of Summer

Or so my calender informs me. Autumn is approaching and there's a nip in the air, early in the morning and late at night, that wasn't there before. But today it is still Summer and as it is such a lovely day we'll do a spot of gardening.
During the day, when the sun is out, it's still very nice and warm, around 18 to 23 C. That's an ideal temperature for working; neither too hot nor too cold. But before we start work, let's have a look at the garden first.
I love those dark, almost black Holly Hocks, they look great!
Sedum Autumn Joy, who would be without this little trooper? Not me, that's for sure. Such a nice sturdy plant, that hardly needs any looking after, and flowers its heart out year after year during a time when the garden is, slowly but surely, winding down. I also pick the Sedum flowers to put in a vase; they last for 3 weeks or more, not bad, eh?
The Conference pears are almost ready for picking. Well, I think they're almost ready, somebody else already had a bite or two, as you can see here.
I leave the pears that have fallen down there as so many of my garden friends enjoy them: birds, butterflies and bees, to name a few. So bon appetit mes amies! I'll wait a bit longer until the pears are ripe and juicy. :-)
The borders next to my conservatory are still going strong and have been looking good since early March. Hopefully I'll get to enjoy my borders for yet some more weeks to come.
On the table near the pear tree there are 2 Cyclamen, one white and one pink. Both I've sown from seed. Soon I'll put them inside so I can enjoy them during the winter months. I always put my Cyclamen outside in the garden (if it's not freezing of course), once they've finished flowering inside. I totally ignore them for a month or two and then hey presto, they start making flower buds again and I can either put them back inside or let them flower in the garden.
The Japanese Anemones are flowering their little hearts out for me. Such wonderful plants and so very reliable. At the moment I have 2, one single white one and one double pink. Both look great at this time of year. They both started flowering last August and we'll be getting a few more weeks of blooms from them yet.

On the pergola I've hung some bird feeders filled with seeds and nuts; the birds will be needing a bit of extra feeding soon. I hung one feeder in front of the cat room (Merlijn, Surprise, Dolly and Kadootje sleep there during the night) so that my cats will have some amusing live TV to watch.

Right, let's go to the potager aka kitchen garden because that needs a bit of work right now. I've got some sowing to do and some harvesting as well.
Heart wrenching though it is, those Nasturtiums have got to come out. I need this bed for sowing Winter Purslane or Miner's Lettuce (winterpostelein), Claytonia perfoliata.
So out it all came and then I put it in my compost bin. I have two compost bins, they were made by the under-gardener, and both are almost stuffed to the gills, as you can see.
And here's the bed cleared and sown with Winter Purslane. The big flower in the middle turns round and round in the breeze. This helps to keep both the neighbourhood cats out of this freshly sown bed and also the birds. I don't want the cats from our hood digging in this bed, I much prefer them to do that in the gardens of their own guardians, not in mine. My own kittycats never go to the toilet in my garden, they are far too civilised for that and use litter trays instead.

While I was busy in the potager I met my friend Macavity, a stray cat, there. I've been looking after him for almost a year now and during that year I have slowly earned his trust. It took a long time as he was very afraid of people. But today a miracle happened, I put Macavity on my lap and he stayed there for at least 10 minutes!!! Wow! And this from a cat that was at first so terribly afraid that I was barely allowed to stroke him while he was eating. Now he's asking for cuddles and allowing me to put him on my lap, isn't that just wonderful?
But all is not right in Macavity's little world. If you look closely you'll notice that he has a nasty wound on his left cheek. That's from all the fighting he's doing as he's an entire male and needs to defend his territory and compete for females with other entire male cats. I've counted at least 5 entire males in my neighbourhood, which is so sad, to say the least. I wish people would take care of their pets in a responsible way. Cats need to be neutered before they are old enough to bring more kittens into this world that nobody wants or needs.
I hope that Macavity will soon be ready (mentally) for a visit to my vet. He needs to have some tests done and his vaccinations, and be neutered. This year he has been wounded at least 7 times, this can't go on as I don't want him to lose an eye or get hurt in some other way. I want my boy to be happy, healthy and safe; he deserves it. I don't think he will ever be an indoor kitty but we have the garden cottage waiting for him. That could be his little house for the rest of his life.

After a few more cuddles with Macavity I cleared another bed. Onions had been growing there but I've harvested them and then the Elderberry was seeding itself in this bed. All those seedlings need to come out as I have quite enough Elderberry in my garden, thankyouverymuch!
There, all done now. In here I've just sown Salad Rocket 'Frastagliata' (Eruca sativa or Rucola coltiva).
I also cleared a third bed, it was full of weeds. My potatoes Red Duke of York had been growing here this year. Now I've sown some Winter Spinach. After I'd sown the seeds I watered them in carefully. All they need to do now is germinate and grow! It's nice to have a bit of green on your plate from your own garden during winter time. In my Victorian greenhouse I've sown some lettuce, so hopefully I'll have some of that on my plate soon too.
This Pink had grown a lot this year and it was now ready to be "harvested". Here you can see what I mean by that.
The earth is still warm enough for the cuttings to grow and root, and come Spring next year, if all goes well, I'll have a nice little row of Pinks to cheer up this part of my potager with their bright pink colour and wonderful scent.
As usual, there was something to harvest in my kitchen garden; there (almost) always is. I've picked ripe but also some unripe tomatoes. The ripe ones will go in a salad, with the green ones I will do something else. I have already eaten those grapes and they were nice and sweet. The hot red peppers always come in handy in the kitchen as I love spicy food. It's really nice to harvest something in the kitchen garden after all that work I put in this morning. So satisfying and tasty too!

Today is a bit special as this is my 101 post since I started blogging last February. So far over 18000 visitors have found my blog and they come from all over the world as you can see here. Most visitors are from the USA, closely followed by those from Europe, but I've visitors from South America, Asia, Australia and Africa too.
So what can I say except: welcome to Bliss, thanks for visiting and please come again!

La fleur est courte, mais la joie qu'elle a donnée une minute
N'est pas de ces choses qui ont commencement ou fin.
Paul Claudel (1868-1959)


Naturegirl said...

Here I am visiting from CANADA!!

Yolanda you make my heart sing...when I read how you have taken care and continue to care for Mccavity! I did notice his special need for attention to his eye! I think it was meant to be that he come to your garden of Bliss for love and a feeling of security! I applaude you in your plans to care for his necessary health needs....

YES PEOPLE NEUTER and SPAYED your cats that you choose to allow to roam outdoors!!

Having said that I am enjoying the view of your summer garden yes it's not officially over...I can't bear the thought so I will be posting summer blossoms for a bit longer. It's always a pleasure to stop by Bliss Yolanda! hugs NG

Libbys Blog said...

Its amazing just how the garden continues to grow. McCavity is a lovely chap, I'm sure you will be able to get him to the vet soon. Once hes been at least he will live a longer healthier life.

Pam/Digging said...

It was a pleasure to walk through your garden with you as you did your chores, YE. That Macavity is a beautiful cat. I'm glad he is becoming tame enough to pet. I hate to see those pretty nasturtiums go too, but when it's time, it's time. And I like those black hollyhocks too.

Congrats on your 101st post. Isn't it fun to see where visitors come from? Although, at least on my Site Meter map, I'm never quite sure how many dots represent trolling spammers and how many are real, live visitors.

jodi said...

Wherever did summer get to, Yolanda Elizabet? It seems like we waited and waited and waited...and now suddenly it's like the party or Christmas that we waited for as children, eagerly anticipating--then too soon it's past.

I'm so very glad that MacAvity is coming around to regarding you as his guardian and allowing you to love him. I hope he doesn't get an absess in that cut, that's always a worry with cat battles. Here's hoping you're soon able to get him to your veterinary for his health care. Big hugs to you for caring for this beautiful boy.

Annie in Austin said...

There's so much satisfaction in clearing and replanting for the fall season, isn't there? I enjoy seeing how you keep your kingdom under control and productive!

Congratulations Yolanda - on both the occasion of your 101st post and on getting to cuddle with Macavity. One of my sons and his sweet wife also tame and rescue cats. It can be expensive and sometimes heartbreaking but also rewarding.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

PEA said...

I'm always confused as to when Autumn starts...I've always thought it was the 21st but then some people are saying the 23rd...maybe it depends what calendar we have! lol I so enjoyed seeing all your flowers and although some are done for the season, you certainly do have many wonderful ones blooming yet. My heart went out to Macavity, poor little fellow but as NG said, he was meant to find you:-) Thank goodness for people like you in this world!! xoxo

marl1 said...

Wat een leuk gezicht de drie anjertjes op een rijtje :-)
En gefeliciteerd met je 101e post en natuurlijk ook met je succes met Mac- (de wond ziet er vervaarlijk uit)wat goed dat hij op schoot blijft geduld is beloond :-))

Connie said...

I very much enjoyed your post, and almost felt like I was there in your garden, as you described the tasks you were doing. Yay! for fall gardens!
Your bouquet is so pretty! What are the white flowers in it?

Jen Fu said...

Oh, I'm so glad Macavity is learning to trust you. I'm sure he could not have found a better human to help care for him.

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Ciao Yolanda, autumn but your garden still looks so good I don't know how you do it! The Pink is that Lavendula cuttings?

karin a said...

Thank you for sharing and writing! It's always a pleasure coming into you garden world. I really hope Macavity will be better soon. Your post remind me of that I really do need to clar the beds in the kitchengarden soon. Japanese Anemones and Sedums are autumn-favourites! Your bouquet is looking great. Enjoy the forthcoming weekend.

Carol said...

I can not believe how fast the summer has flown by, once again. I'm sure your gardens in the fall are just as pretty as they are in the spring and summer. You are blessed to have them and the growing trust of Macavity!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I really like your lovely bouquet of flowers. I can't believe the cut sedum last so long and I also can't believe that I haven't got it growing in my garden yet. Will rectify that I promise.
Congratulations on your 101st post. Keep up the good work.

Rosehaven Cottage said...

You are such a wonderful steward over Macavity! He has found a true friend in you. I also just love the dark hollyhocks. What is it about deep dark flowers that makes them so magical looking? By the way, did you see my ode to your comment on autumn at my blog? Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

asha said...

Hi there, you have a great blog. Now I know where to come whenever I miss having a garden of my own.I don't have space and I have just a small balcony where I use containers to grow my floweres and plants.

I love reading al the posts and looking at all the lovely photos.

ladyluz said...

dear ole Macavit..I so hope with your TLC he'll get better and see the benefits of the garden cottage as it gets colder. What a fortunate cat to have you.

Birgit said...

Sie sind ja auch schon etwas herbstlich Deine Fotos aus dem Garten. Wie man sieht, bist Du ja auch schon mittendrin in den Herbstarbeiten. Diese Arbeiten scheinen ja Macavity nicht sonderlich zu interessieren. Geschweige denn denkt er über Helfen nach. Er genießt die letzten Sommer-Sonnenstrahlen und lässt es sich gut gehen. Recht so, Macavity.
Liebe Grüße und ein schönes Wochenende. Bei uns soll es sommerlich bis 25° werden.

Rosehaven Cottage said...

We would make a GREAT team, Yolanda! Thanks for the wonderful comments you always leave on my blog! Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Kylee said...

Aww, poor Macavity. :-( You know that I understand these things. And our neighborhood kitties know where they can go to get "tea and sympathy" don't they? I just wish everyone cared about them as much as you and I do.

Keep us informed as to how Macavity is progressing, okay? And please give him some special kitty hugs from Ohio. :-)

SchneiderHein said...

Hallo Yolanda,
da haben wir beide ja auch eine Vorliebe für Herbstanemonen! Inzwischen haben wir endlich 4 gut entwickelte einfache weiße Stauden, aber es hat viele Jahre und einige Pflanzen gekostet, bis sie so üppig wurden. Die weißen Anemonen sind doch etwas zimperlicher als die wuchernden einfachen rosa Stauden. Daher wird unsere Whirlwind auch einen besonderen Platz erhalten, wo ich sie gut im Auge behalten kann.

Macavity führt ja noch ein richtiges Katerleben. Ich hoffe, dass Du immer mehr sein Vertrauen gewinnen kannst, damit er sich als Draußenkater doch noch dem Bliss-Team richtig anschließt. Aber ich vermute, dass er trotz Kastration ein echter Raufbold bleiben wird. Wenn ich da so an unseren verschwundenen Nachbarskater Oskar denke, der schon recht früh kastriert wurde und eigentlich in den letzten Jahren uns mit immer schlimmeren Wunden besuchte. Seine Besitzer mussten wegen ihm oft den Tierarzt aufsuchen und sperrten ihn teilweise sogar ein, damit seine Wunden verheilen konnten - aber was so ein richtiger Kater ist...
Ich hoffe, Du hast mit Macavity mehr Glück!
Liebe Grüße Silke

Betty said...

Yolanda, what a compassionate heart you have for God's creatures....MaCavity certainly has found a friend.

You really are a full time gardener...I can see the fruits of your labor......Betty

Tracy said...

A beautiful last taste of summer you share with us here--thank you! Happy days as you drink in the last of summer and welcome in autumn. Your place is a little corner of paradise! ((HUGS))

Curtis said...

Fall is now here. I need to do some serious garden bed cleaning up too. I am still not sure of the temps in the Celsius degree so 18 sounds like freezing.

M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

I love gardening in temps of 18 to 21C, too. However, even though the calendar says that it's fall down here in Texas, our low temperatures this week will be around 21C (highs 33C). Well that's autumn for us and I've been taking advantage of it and remulching all my beds and planting overwintering annuals.

Your black hollyhock is gorgeous. I tried to grow them once without success. It's nice to be able to visit your garden and enjoy them there. Thanks for sharing.

kate said...

A trip through your garden is always a pleasure, Yolanda Elizabet. I think it is so cool that you can do some winter planting ... your quote is so true.

It's wonderful how you care for Macavity - he's a very lucky cat! I wonder which of his lives he is living now...

Congratulations on your 101th post. That is an incredible milestone. It is no surprise that so many people come to visit your blog!

Matron said...

What a visual treat at the start of your post - all that pink! I agree with your comments about neutering pets. It really is the kindest thing to do if they have to go around defending their territory all the time. Have you any tips on how to keep the neighbourhood cats off my freshly dug seed beds?

Rose said...

I truly enjoyed visting your blog today; the photos are lovely and I liked the commentary. I am adding you to my list of blogs, so that I will be sure to visit again soon. Your various awards are well earned. :)


Bert said...

HI Yolanda,
Your garden still looks like it's summer. Still so many flowers. And autumn is a very nice season too.
Nice cats arround your garden as well I see, to keep you company as you do your garden work. Pitty they can't mow the lawn or weed the beds. They just look at your work.



Nicole said...

Macavity is an adorable cat. This year I took 2 semi-feral kittens to be spayed. One came back even more tame, but his brother totally freaked out at the vet, and now does not let me touch him. Love the black flower and the produce in the basket.

lisa said...

Your garden still looks great! I think it's so sweet of you to take strays to the vet and care for them...if everyone would do that for just one stray in their neighborhood, there would be much less of a population problem. I used to take my cats to a vet who only charged $25 to spay a female cat if she was a "barn cat", even less to neuter! Really great when vets care more for animals than their wallets.

Salix Tree said...

I'm so happy Macavity has found you! He will live a happy life thanks to you. I love cats.. almost all the cats I have ever had living with me were strays. I keep meaning to go and actually choose a cat, but it never seems to happen. Just as well, the cats I have are all such sweeties, and such lovely personalities.
Love your "walk in the woods" post.. I can almost feel the ambiance there.