This morning was one of those mornings that we all work so hard outside for, and I owe it in part to the Portland rain. It started raining last night and my garden is bursting alive this morning. I took my cup of Stumptown coffee outside in my muddy clogs and took a survey of things. It’s like the entire garden let out a sigh of relief after being semi-parched this summer.

The beans I planted in late-July (bush and runner) are just now producing – an exciting new veggie to add to our meals. But the little scarlet flowers on the runner beans might be the most exciting part for me, as they are now taking their turn at supporting life outside. A honey bee was nestled inside a flower bud this morning and I noticed a cricket hanging onto the bean tee pee as well. Crickets are harmless creatures in the garden, right? There was nothing alive in our backyard aside from grass when we moved in this time last year, but now I hear crickets jumping, bird chirping, bees buzzing… it just feels alive and bigger than just simply making food for our table.

I saved some seeds from last year’s pumpkins, including a Cinderella pumpkin and some ornamental squashes. I see lots of squash-like starts popping up their double-leafed heads (emphasis on “lots”), but I have no idea what they will grow into. The pumpkin-like plant near the fig tree is getting pretty big pretty fast…

Eggplants are something new for me to grow and I planted one thinking it probably wouldn’t produce, but it is actually thriving and has several shiny, purple eggplants maturing. I threw some chicken-manure filled straw on the bell peppers and I have noticed they are getting a little taller now. The beets and swiss chard have no more dried up leaves, but are very shiny and thick themselves. It might be due to more regular picking, as I feed some chard to the chickens when it looks like it needs to be thinned out.

Autumn this year should be a very busy time for me, as we are planning to sheet mulch the rest of the back and front yards. I also have several plants that are telling me they want to move, including the hydrangea I planted over Mabel’s grave. It just gets too hot there. And all my little raspberries need to be rounded up and taken to a better spot. So much planning to do, and yet…
I want to spend all morning outside with the garden abuzz, some coffee in hand and the sound of Joni Mitchell’s Blue album playing on my record player, lazily drifting outside my open windows…
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