Sunday, October 22, 2017

Just Thoughts

The weather is feeling like fall. Cool nights in the 40's with 70's during the day. I welcome fall and winter but that time before turning on the heat indoors chills me to the bone especially at night. Being a woman of a certain age I'm sometimes cold and put on my soft fleece pajamas. A few minutes later they're off, my face dotted with sweat and the window is open. 

Today didn't go as planned. I hoped to clean up the yard once again of those plants like some canna that have died down and need to be removed from their containers and the bulbs placed in the basement for the winter. The yard needs raking, not so much due to leaves yet but from seeds falling from the trees covering the ground. Hopefully I'll stay put at home tomorrow and get something accomplished. Fall and winter have become my favorite times to garden indoors.

Two new clearance plants have donated their lives to our home this fall. A bird of paradise and a fiddle leaf fern. They weren't the prettiest but hopefully can be nursed back to health or death. You know fall brings out my desire for impulse plant buying and paying closer attention to my house plants, force bulbs, prepare the seed self for sowing seeds, and making plans for the porch that may not be accomplished. I have all winter. My to do list:

1. Take pots from the shed and neatly stack them on the porch so I actually can use them.

2. Clean the seed shelf so I can start some seeds early that take a long time to reach a good size like vinca and begonias. Begonias also take a long time to germinate almost a month. 

3. Prepare pots of bulbs for the porch and the yard.

4, Prepare hyacinths for forcing.

5. Buy 2 new amaryllis.

6. Try to wait for the first frost and remove sweet potatoes from ornamental sweet potato vines and put in basement until spring.

7. Remove dead leaves from 2 Martha Washington pelargoniums on the porch and bring them inside. Spray them first before bring inside.

8. Bring in other plants from the porch including palm, impatien, and 2 house plants. Let the Thanksgiving cactus stay on the porch hopefully until it sets buds then bring it inside.

9. Order a small selection of seeds and use old seeds that I have first.

10. Take an inventory of what seed starting supplies I already have and what I need to buy.

11. Clean seed starting trays. An unpleasant job for me.

12. Start organizing the house for Thanksgiving. Buy spices, sugar, and dry items for holiday baking.

13. Finish exterior home repairs including porch roof and stucco. The main roof was reconditioned during the summer.

14. Start planting bulbs in the yard and out front. If you've followed this blog for a while, you know this usually doesn't happen yet sometimes until the first snow flake. As long as the soil can still be worked you can plant bulbs.

15. Finally, sit by the fire and drink coffee, hot chocolate, can't leave out tea, and watch the snow fall. Until it's time to shovel. And of course around January lust over plants in the arriving seed catalogs, and complain that I've done nothing on this too do list and worry when it'll get done. Till tomorrow.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Farmers Market

This is what I bought at the Farmer's Market. The radishes and carrots were beautiful as were all the veggies.

Lettuce, very delicate.

Carrot pesto? Maybe next time. The stems smell like carrots. Not something I noticed before.

Stayman winesap apples. My favorite.

We'll have salad for a few days. The carrots are sweet and crunchy.

On the Porch. Removed two blooms from the zinnia and pulled the plant from the flower bed out front. Looking forward to starting zinnias for spring and maybe next year they'll be more than 2 plants. The dahlia tuber was left in the soil until the first frost.

This is a good by for that many bulbs. From Home Depot. I had a bulb order but think I forgot to place the order. So disappointing although Primex Garden Center has a good selection and I'll probably go back for hyacinths. My only disappointment was not getting bulb vases which are probably sold out now. No bulb planting yet and hard to imagine sitting in air conditioning while I write this post.

Montauk daises are beautiful this year.

The Weekend in Germantown Part I

It was nice yesterday spending time in my own neighborhood participating in at least one event of the Revolutionary Germantown Festival. This is a yearly celebration which reenacts the Battle of Germantown in which General George Washington and the American Army attemptes to liberate Philadelphia from British control. In 1777 Philadelphia was the capital of the United States. All week British flags hang outside historic homes in the area signifying British rule. A tent symbolizing British soldiers was erected on the grounds of Grumblethorpe. A full reenacted battle was held at Cliveden House with all day events culminating in the "after the battle bash" held at Grumblethorpe. The British won the battle and celebrated at Grumblethorpe. Yesterday's celebration included food, reenact or's from the battle celebrating their victory, and beer. The event was held from 4:00-8:00 PM. I met several people visiting from other neighborhood walking along Germantown Avenue historic homes.

If you didn't get to attend this year, come participate in the event next October. I didn't go to the reenactment in the morning but did get to see one of the historic homes along Germantown Avenue. A British soldier standing guard caught my attention and I went inside for the PowerPoint presentation and tour of Dreshler-Morris House.  President George Washington and his family stayed in this house twice once during the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia, and as a summer retreat for the family. The red settee that was in the house during the families stay is still in the house along with other locally made furniture and some reproductions. 

Market Square, also in Germantown was having their first pop up farmer's market to gage if neighborhood participation was enough for future markets at this location. Hopefully we'll also have a weekly farmers market instead of driving to neighborhoods near by to purchase goods from their markets. Somehow I read the advertisement about the event but had the wrong day. It was today, not yesterday. The weather has been brutal and sticky this weekend, today worse than yesterday with light rain. That didn't stop me from walking to Market Square to see if the event was still being held, and it was. Actually I would have driven but that would have been lazy since it was just up the street several blocks. But my car is out of commission. I was in a car accident after work last week. Not hurt, but my car was. So until it's fixed I'll be riding Uber or being driven by my daughter. Maybe the car insurance includes a rental. We'll see.

Today several vendors were set up. Vegetables drew my attention especially the beautiful local apples, carrots, and radishes. Fresh lettuce, greens, and kale. Baked breads, scones, baguette's, and cookies. I looked but avoid those. Maybe next week. Honey, fresh humus, and native plants. Weaver Way Coop with their merchandise and Germantown Kitchen Garden which had a nice selection of native plants. I'll have to visit them. They also have a weekly farm stand that I've never visited but will regularly in the spring. Lets take a walk on Germantown avenue.

I apologize in advance for any bad picture quality. Grumblethorpe.

I was a member of this church for many years with my daughter.

The brick building on the left is the Germantown Historical Society.

This is a memorial to soldiers killed. I'll talk about that at another time.

I sat on a bench in Market Square enjoying the light breeze after I realized this was the wrong day for the farmer's market and  rested until he caught my attention across the street. Nice of him to pose for me.

Had to walk from one house through a pass to the house.

The garden is maintained but it would be nice to have some attention on native plants and what was use for medicinal purposes. And it would be nice to know what was growing in this area during that time.

The bench was not original but we were told it was put there for visitors to rest during the tour.

The sofa is authentic and there when President Washington visited. This room was set up as his study. Other pictures will be posted when I figure out how to get them off my smart phone onto Google. They should automatically load. Drama for the not so savvy technical woman.