Yesterday, I slept in and then spent the rest of the warm, sunny Saturday in my garden. I cleaned out the chicken coop, shoveling out the straw and chicken poo and putting it into the compost bin, which I stirred and watered. There is some rich, black compost in the lower layers, which I think I may dig out and feed to my perennials before the first frost.
I also bagged up some more comfrey. I am letting a full black garbage bag of comfrey die and decompose so that I can use it as a mulch and fertilizer next year. Its leaves are so full of nutrients, because it sends long taproots deep into the soil, but it's also quite invasive. So I'm going to store it in the bag and let it decompose into comfrey-compost before using it.
While examining my pole beans which are starting to flower (hooray!), I discovered this teensy little snail. I am glad to see that my pole beans are doing something. My bush beans were a huge garden fail this year; I harvested and ate aproximately 7 beans. Boo! And I love, love, love steamed green beans with olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt. So hopefully the pole beans do a bit better. Maybe I'll get 15 or so.
I also harvested seeds. I've been collecting dead sunflowers and letting them dry, and yesterday I cleaned them and got them ready for storage. I harvested a lot, which I'm thinking may turn into gifts. Unfortunately, my record keeping this year turned out to be far less than I'd desired, so I just threw all the various seeds together, not really caring or minding that I'm not sure of the exact type.
I do want to write some reflections on gardening this year: what worked, what didn't, and what I enjoyed and what I didn't enjoy so much. Maybe, for instance, I'm not the record-keeping, name-saving type of gardener, and that's okay. Maybe I'm more the seed-scattering, day-dreaming, photographing and blogging type of gardener. Is it possible to not be the first and still be decent at the pursuit?
I am very happy with my sunflower seed harvest. After spending so much money on seed packets, I don't think I will need to buy any sunflower seeds next year, and I will hopefully learn from my mistakes and wait to plant my sunflowers close to the end of spring or early summer and then plant more again in July.
The chickens were right at my side the whole time, begging for some seeds. So I fed them a few, especially the General (the one in the sun in the back), because while she was most excited, she was also the politest, rarely pecking at my fingers or leg, unlike the americauna (a.k.a. Kentucky, a.k.a. Little Shit).
Meanwhile, Leno snoozed in his current favorite nook (or one of them).
I also harvested chamomile and collected cosmos and poppy seeds, which I threw together, deciding that wherever I scatter the one, I'd be excited to see the other growing as well since they are about the same height. I love cosmos for their ease, their soft, sweet perfume, their varied height--some being almost as tall as me--and their prolific display of color. They are currently making my garden a wonderland, washing away the late-summer doldrums



After a slew of crazy weekends, all of which were away from home, I'm looking forward to being home this weekend with my cats, my chickens, my flowers, my bees, my boyfriend, my books, my students' papers (yes, even this seems comforting). Perhaps it's the familiar, the close-to-home and heart that I'm craving.
I am going to harvest my thriving chamomile, of which I've already collected and dried enough for a season.
I am going to dwell in my garden with shovel and rake and camera, watch the chickens chase moths and eat kale, and quietly observe my anarchic bees. I'm going to blog and read and sleep in and drink tea and harvest and take notes.
I'm going to harvest calendula seeds, sunflower seeds, cosmos seeds and enjoy the final frenzy of the garden now that October is here.
What are your weekend plans?