I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time this year griping about everything going wrong, mostly with the weather. I’m a little late for Thanksgiving, but I thought a list of “good things” would be a great way to end the season.
1. I have a great crew of dandelion pickers. Just imagine how many more would have gone to seed if the “flowers” on my countertop had been left in the lawn.
2. The sparrows who were trying to nest in my dryer vent were ousted in time to set up housekeeping in a poplar.
3. I planted a dwarf Alberta spruce, a golden flowering current, a Medora juniper, a bunch of ninebarks, some baptista, and a European Mountain ash, all last fall in my big overhaul. They had a really good start, as well as the yarrow, blue flax, yellow flax, moss phlox, and mugo pine I put in this spring. They’ve had nice damp soil all year to get established and I haven’t had to worry about anybody getting scorched or dried out. And we got a crash course on how the new flower beds drain, so we got that sorted out before it got planted right up.
4. The weeds pulled out really easy out of the damp soil. Of course, they also grew really well…
5. Along with #3 and #4, and despite my complaining, I hardly had to haul hoses at all this year. One huge chore less. Who can complain about that?
6. The tomato plants that almost bit it in an early wind storm thrived once I moved them into my enclosed porch. I’ve used it as a “greenhouse” to start stuff in the spring, but I’ve never kept anything in there the whole season. The little sun we got this year was multiplied by the glass and we got quite a few tomatoes when I was expecting none. (Had to move them outside on good days for pollinators to do their business.)
This Echeveria bloomed on stalks about six inches tall.
7. I’ve never seen hens and chicks bloom before.
8. I forgot to plant marigolds around my broccoli and kale. I always plant marigolds! Guess what? Major bug infestation. Why is this a blessing? I now know that marigolds really do help deter pests (make sure they’re the smelly kind though!). It also led me to learn of Btk, a safe bacterium I can try next year to save myself some grief on the cabbage worm front.
9. Ralph and Brenda.
11. I finally went to Nikka Yuko.
12. I started some yellow flax from seed I bought from the Bedrock Seed Bank. It is the first time I have messed around with anything requiring “moist stratification” (or anything more than your basic sprinkle and cover) and it lived. And is quite happy.
13. We just picked the last of the lettuce to have with supper last night. November 5. Those of you reading in Victoria are probably just blinking at the screen, unimpressed, but you prarie people know what I mean.
14. Our tacky, broken down shed got a new door, a paint job, and improved shelves. Just waiting for a latch, and the kids to quit dumping all their toys and tools right in the doorway.
15. We only lost one major limb off our twenty-odd poplars in this year’s spring storms. Evidence that arborists are worth their bucket trucks in gold. It did come down on the roof of the house though, but that’s also a blessing because Chris is now convinced that we really should be looking at gradually replacing the poplars with some younger, different trees.
16. These last several weeks have been dry and warm. The farmers actually got their hay off, and I got a bonus deadline extension on all my fall tasks.
17. The steps Jenni built me got through their first year in decent shape. I only had to fine tune two stones (by planting thyme and echeveria in the cracks around it–the root systems stabilize the stones, I ‘ve been told. So far so good.) As for the rest of the mess around them… there’s always spring.
18. My eight year old casually named about ten of the plants growing in our yard the other day. And I’m not talking “beans”, “carrots”, and “potatoes”, either. It’s rubbing off!
19. While the giant pumpkin never got to Cinderella’s carriage size, we actually got corn this year! Not bushels, but edible corn, nonetheless! And we were not buried in zucchini!
20. My Rudebeckia is no longer a John Doe.
Final blessing of the year: the chance to share all of my adventures with you.