Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October Garden

Soggy! Soggy is the first word that comes to my mind as best describing the current state of my Happy Valley garden. After a couple of weeks of rain, drizzle, fog, a light frost, several days of torrential rains followed by a few more with thunder showers, a heavy dew every morning and even more sprinkles, located in a lush little valley bordering a wetlands and year-round creek, I guess any garden would be soggy after all that. On the few days that we've had clear skies, and even on some where the sky was much less than clear, it seems I've been out cruising through the San Juan Islands on the Washington State ferries, meandering the streets of Friday Harbor with friends, touring wildlife rehabilitation facilities, combing our local beaches in response to calls about stranded harbor seals and surveying yet other beaches to document beached birds. There really is no wonder why I feel a little behind in my October gardening chores. At least my new blueberry bushes still look great!
I was hoping that the giant sunflowers left standing after the heavy winds and rains would have the chance to fully ripen so they could provide a snack for the birds left behind over the winter, but that's not going to happen after all.
Sorry, winter birds. It seems that our rainy season has gotten the best of even the sunflowers. Even though some of their flowers were fourteen feet up in the air, there was a thick mold beginning to spread over their immature seeds.
So now, what was a giant stand of sunflowers has been reduced to a little bed covered with straw. I think I'll plant pole beans there next year.
It's certainly not as pretty as it was in my garden just a few weeks or a month ago, hardly even green for that matter, but it's still a very pleasant, peaceful place to be. There are fancy carrots - yellow, white, purple and even orange ones - and some hybrid yellow beets still in the ground, and certainly lots of very hardy and colorful Swiss Chard. So when we've grown tired of the slightly less than garden fresh vegetables available in our local markets this winter, I know we'll still have that little stash of our very own fresh-grown veggies to savor.


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