Mid August (almost)

Thalictrum rochebrunianum

Here it is mid-August! Jeepers! It is at this time of year my insides begin to feel’ revved’ up. Lists and lists of things to do and accomplish before the snow flies. So much still to do in the nursery!

Helianthus divaricatus

Tons of propagation for next year; cuttings, gathering and sowing seed, divisions. A walk around the display beds every day to check for seed that’s ripe. Investigating the woody material for the timing of cuttings. We are beginning to see the natural decline of a few plants in the woodland garden, the herbaceous growth fading away, most of their energy going into just root growth now.

Anemone vitifolia


Don’t get me wrong, the landscape is lush with growth. A jungle of vines and stems and blooms that we manage to maintain.

Clematis heracleifolia

The vegetable gardens overflowing with food, all to be brought in and transformed into lunch or supper, the excess canned or frozen or dried. Right now (surprise, surprise!) we are hauling in that every season’s bounty of zucchini. Zucchini parmesan, zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini cake, zucchini fritters, a cheesy ham and tomato and zucchini torte. No, I’m not at my wits end with zucchini. I pass on the excess to neighbors before I get to the point of despair and luckily Zoe’s fiance is Italian and has a hearty appetite. One of the reasons we are happy she’s marrying him is because he eats a lot and he’s not at all picky. Such a good and helpul quailty to bring to our table! The tomatoes are ripening, the onions and leeks are looking great, cucumbers are producing in great numbers ( time to make pickles!), swiss chard, broccoli, and kale filling baskets ( soon we’ll be planting a late season crop of these). Sweet and hot peppers, beets, cabbages, and beans, all rolling in.
As I sweep through the gardens picking, gathering, collecting seed, I can’t help but notice the 8 cord of wood that needs splitting and stacking. It won’t be long, you know! We will make time, it will all get done, the cycle of this life now relies on a lifetime of familiar doing. I’ll quiet my inner ‘whirl’ and enjoy one task at a time, one step at a time. A good practice in mindfulness, in staying with the present. Truth be told, I honor this ‘one day at a time, one moment at a time’ philosophy but also know that as a farmer one has to anticipate the days and season ahead. Perhaps balance is a better practice for now. I’ll hone in on mindfulness in February when the snow is 3ft deep and the woodstove is cranking and when there is not much more to do than sit and read a good book!
Enjoy this last season of summer, friends…what is occupying your time in the gardens right now?

24 comments on “Mid August (almost)

  1. What a lovely post! I especially like “We will make time, it will all get done, the cycle of this life now relies on a lifetime of familiar doing.” I completely agree with your take on mindfulness and living in the present. That only goes so far. Everyone, whether or not they farm, has to look ahead, to try to anticipate. It’s called planning. After that is done, then you settle into the moment. A contradiction of sorts.

  2. The thalictrum I bought from you two summers ago has been my favorite this year. In a very crowded garden it stands out, and not only because it’s 8 ft tall! It’s so graceful as it blows in the breeze and the color of its delicate blossoms is anything but delicate-dayglo violet. Oh, and did I mention that the blooms have lasted 6 weeks and counting? I bought several more from you this spring and hope to get others before seasons end.

      • Silence is beautiful! And thank you… in love with the landscape…my heart skipped a beat when we settled on a house with an iconic New England rock wall. Feels like paradise to me. 😍❤️🎶🎶🎶

    • Hello Mike, Thank you for the kind comment! I’ll try and post a few recipes this week. This morning I have moved on to the swiss chard…sausage, swiss chard, and ricotta pie. Yum! Although, the chocolate zucchini cake is pretty scrumptious and freezes really well!

  3. It looks so lovely, and sounds good, enjoying the fruits of your labor and planning for next year! I should be busier out in the yard, but all I have done is dig up the garlic. And cut zinnias for bouquets so more will come. No one is doing my chores, though so I need to get at them!

    • Bringing in loads of bouquets here to Sara…lovely isn’t it? A busy time of year but i can feel the pace changing and this feels good. just ordered a new knitting pattern book so I can knit Violet, my granddaughter who just turned 1, lots of cozy, comfy, woolens!

  4. Sometimes . . . I wonder why I am so eager to get back to my work in the nursery. I suppose it is where I belong, even if I know it is so much more work than what I am doing now! There is not much occupying me in the garden right now because I am working in the landscapes so much! goodness, who has time for the garden? I will get back to it someday.

    • I really enjoy the work in the nursery right now. Aside from the cooler temperatures (which is welcome) , the flow of customers has also dwindled some. Now it is time to begin looking ahead, taking cuttings and collecting seeds. The greenhouse is set up with a misting system and covered in shade cloth, so it is a nice atmosphere for propagation. You are spot on about the amount of work that goes into owning a nursery…work, work, work. Satisfying but straight out from the beginning of the season til the end. There in California I imagine it is almost year round, yes? My passion in the last few years has
      been alpines and this has been the first year playing around with cuttings from the collection I’ve acquired. Fun.

  5. We have had rain every day and will continue to have it for the next week. Who knew I’d get to the point where I’d think enough already with the rain, but it is like a swamp out there, and when I can actually go out between downpours the humidity is 100%. I’ve had some projects including painting which doesn’t quite work either. 🙂

    • We have not had the abundance of rain here in mid coast Maine. A little more than some, but not nearly the amount you are describing. So we are still wishing for raindrops, today , perhaps, or so they say! Gardens are both flourishing and in some aspects winding down. Straddling two worlds at the moment!

  6. It all sounds busy, demanding, exhausting . . . and quite wonderful. Your garden certainly repays your hard work! I’ve been lazy about outdoor chores and need to get caught up . . .

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