September In the Garden

Even though the garden is winding down, we still have a bunch of tomatoes ripening daily. The vines are looking a bit ragged, with some dead leaves and branches, and I need to clean them up a bit. But the tomatoes themselves don’t seem to mind.

I still have several more clusters of grape tomatoes, ripening slowly. These are so sweet, and will turn fully red indoors, so I pluck them at this orange stage so the critters won’t eat them first.

Looking out the kitchen window as I made a cup of coffee this week, the deer were visiting. Three females came to partake of the acorn bounty, and munch on my hostas a bit.

They didn’t bolt when I carefully and slowly eased my way onto the veranda to get a better photo than the one through the sliding glass door.

This one stood still long enough to zoom the lens for a closeup view. She is young, still losing the rusty color fur and replacing it with the adult grey color.

Oliver continues to come by regularly too, even though there is an abundance of food for him to eat and store.

This strange looking critter is a Saddleback caterpillar (Acharia stimulea). It took me quite a while to find that by doing web searches! They mature into a brown and off white moth. If you see one of these, don’t touch it (not that you’d want to!), the hairs have an irritant to the skin.

A few days ago, a young black bear mother brought her two cubs by. They were so cute, rolling around in the mowed grass getting straws and clippings all over their fur.

When they started for the bird feeder, I stepped to the veranda to discourage them from going after it. They ran to the other side of the driveway and paused to look back. One of the little ones looked a bit indignant as he stood up on his hind legs!

The other cub with mom paused a moment, then went back into the forest.

Later, two male deer came by for their share of acorns.

They ran off quickly that morning, but were back the next day. Some noise down the mountain caught their attention, so they didn’t hear me slip out the door to get a better photo.

I made a soft whistling noise, and both heads swiveled around to me. I noticed then that one of the deer has had one of his antlers broken off. The one on the left in the photo below and above, and on the right in the picture above that. He must be a scrappy little thing, trying to make his mark young.

On the veranda, the toad lily has come into almost full bloom.

Long cascades of spotted purple flowers are just stunning.

All three plants are covered in them, and more are on the way.

In the front flowerbed, the phlox is still blooming. Crazy thing, it should be done by now.

The hydrangea has mostly a muddy pink flower, but a few of these lovely lavendar ones are in bloom now. Unfortunately, the plant has a black leaf spot fungal infection, so I may have to dig it up. The unusually wet August and early September has created the ideal conditions, warm and humid, for this to be a problem. I’ll need to severely cut it back, discarding all the foliage and use an anti-fungal in the soil. Even then it might not survive, but it is worth a try. I’ll wait for it to go dormant before doing the pruning. I may not get any flowers next year, but if I can save the plant it will be worth it.

Along about now I am ready for the garden to be done for the year. I’ve cleaned out my collection of pots and donated two boxes of stuff to the thrift store. I gave away about a hundred seed pots to a lady requesting them on Freecycle. My Sweet Babboo has cleaned out the garage and put up shelving so we can both organize better. But it is still too warm to do much outside. The nice cool snap we had during the fair is history. I’ll be glad when it cools off for good, I am ready to wear sweaters, have a fire in the fireplace, and make comfort food meals.

Hows your garden going?

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Sulky Threads is having a 35% Off Stabilizers sale for the September Sewing Month. Sale ends Sunday night.

23 thoughts on “September In the Garden

  1. Julie

    Oh, those naughty bears didn’t get that snack Mama planned for them. I still have garden phlox blooming too. Cool air arrived right on schedule, first full day of Fall is starting out at 45°.

  2. Rheanna

    I agree with you, around this time I am ready to be done with the garden. I am ready for fall to be here. Even here in MN it was in the 80s the other day. Thankfully the last 2 days were cooler and the refreshing feel of fall seems to be starting.
    I always enjoy the wildlife pics you post. Here in a suburban area we just get squirrels, chipmunks and song birds. The occasional turkey family wanders through our backyard but that is few and far between as they like to stick to the oak savanna that surrounds us.

  3. Patsy

    Your garden post are alway enjoyable to see. I have never send Toad lily, pretty. I don’t know about the bears so close.

  4. Carole, the toad lily is beautiful. You have had your share of wildlife the past few days. The bears would unnerve me. We have a huge deer and turkey population. Unfortunately the armadillos have made regular visits as they continue their digging. Enjoy your weekend!

  5. You have some things I’ve never seen and are so beautiful — those lilies especially. And that Saddleback Caterpillar — its coat looks like someone threw a felt blanket over it. I’ve NEVER seen that before. What a glorious array of wildlife you have here! I’m impressed with your beautiful photos and the great selection of creatures in your world!

  6. Love seeing all your wildlife! We’ve had a number of deer, including two little spotted babies outside our big kitchen window feeding on the bank. No bears, though, thankfully! That was a strange looking caterpillar! Of course, Oliver can collect food for the winter, but he knows he’s always good for a handout! That purple hydrangea made my heart happy!!

  7. Wow, you do get a big variety of wildlife. My sister in law has a motion activated sprinkler that she used to “save her roses” from the deer. Now she is using it to save new plantings from the racoons. Something like that might work around your hostas if they continue to nibble. Our wildlife around here is the tourists at the beach! 🙂 Nothing but weeds in my garden, though the sedum are blooming if you can find them. We are experiencing “fall temperatures” and I really have no excuse for not getting outside to work in the yard. 😉

  8. Sue Hoover

    I just love the pictures of your animals. Glad Mama Bear & cubs played a bit and then left without incident. Your toad lily is so pretty. They look very orchid-like to me. I’ll have to look for some of them at my local nursery, I guess. Thanks for sharing the photos.

  9. Joan Sheppard

    We had a little snap in the weather this a. m. which my dogs love! But I can finally go out and do a little garden trimming too! There are “things” growing amongst the fall mums, the rose finally stopped blooming and needs a trim. Love to see all the animals! The bears tickle me no end! The only bears in this area play football! Thanks for all the fabulous photos.

  10. Your bear photos always astound me! What a sight! The toad lily is an interesting plant – do you grow it in a pot? Not much left in my garden at this point, except for a few more cherry tomatoes, and the marigolds are still blooming. It’s definitely time for the garden clean-up!

  11. Judy Andrew

    Dear Carole, I ❤️ all your photos of animals & plants along w/the stories connected to them. I have never heard of a toad lily before, please tell me more about it! I have just planted a purple Henry Aster plant by the birdbath as the ground squirrels ate my white yarrow 😡 those stinkers! Have also planted 1 red Celosia in ea of 3 pots in front of the house. Celebrating my birthday today so this comment is short.

  12. lois92346

    What a blessing your property is to you AND your subscribers. Thank you for sharing photos of your creatures great and small.

  13. quilterpt

    Such a bunch of wild creatures where you live! We have deer and squirrels, but thankfully no bears!! Your tomatoes look like they were very productive this year. I had a bad year and got very little for my investment. I think I need to either let the soil rest, plant a refurbishing crop over the winter or really amend the soil well as I have only a small area to plant and have to have them in the same place year after year. Do you have any other suggestions? Thanks for all you share!

  14. Patty Brenner

    What wonderful pictures of your wild life! The bears are so cute, but I’d be a little nervous having them so close. My grape tomatoes are finally doing pretty good after a very hot Texas summer. They really are delicious 🙂

  15. Rita C.

    You have quite the wildlife comings and goings! I’m trying to grow grass right now – a good time to do it – but am tired of watering! Still need to fill in some places, and start cutting back annuals. My Mexican sunflowers look so good but they are where I intend to transplant a peony so I’ll give them another week….

  16. Mary

    How I would love to look out my window and see bears, deers and a visiting squirrel asking for his treat. The bears are not really all that worried about being on human property. Your garden is getting ready for the coming of winter when they hunker down till it warms up again. Everything in my garden is getting going because it’s getting warmer. And it has to grow goodies for me.
    I do love your nature show. :))

  17. Peggy Ott

    GM Carole, beautiful pics. Interesting about the hydrangeas. I noticed some spots on my leaves here and there. Will keep an eye on that. Don’t want to lose. Plant from my son. My Toad Lilies have buds all over them. Need the next burst of sunshine and warm temps, they will pop. Deer have been visiting here. Knocked over a statue I was painting. Yep, broke it. But my husband was able to save and fix it. Every critter likes to come here and visit, my husband is always saying that. But I too, love to watch from a distance and see what those creatures are up to, hoping no disasters! Have a nice weekend!

  18. Those bears, the cub definitely looks indignant, you may want to put that photo in the fair pile for next year! The toad lily is quite stunning! We are starting clean up mode here too. I am done picking any green beans, and may have to do a pot of tomatoes just because it smells good and uses a lot of them! DH a pulled up the cucumber vines and the cauliflower, which were just now thinking about heading, which is much too late. We have gathered up onions, pulled out the cabbage, and have started processing squash. I think we may gift a bunch to Love Inc. for their financial class. Each week the participants receive some food as an incentive, so I may make a tag with cooking instructions and provide it with the squash if we have enough. We are waiting on peppers now, but soon!

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