From My Carolina Home

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September in the Garden

The garden is winding down, and the hurricane has helped to move things along.  A few critters did their share too. DH modified the bird feeder so that less seed would spill into the tray, which made it a bit more difficult for the larger birds like the cardinals to eat. So, feeling sorry for them, he purchased a second feeder, and mounted it below the first one.  The little birds like the goldfinches began using the new one pretty quickly. The cardinals continued to go to the big one.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Then later, success, they figured it out.  He later added a larger perch to this one to make it easier for them to land.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The red heirlooms ripened beautifully.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Another Cherokee Purple is getting close to ripe.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Caprese salad was even more delicious with Cherokee Purple tomatoes and fresh basil from my own garden.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

There are still more tomatoes yet to come.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Some of the larger tomatoes were harvested before the hurricane so they wouldn’t be lost. These are now sitting on my kitchen windowsill to ripen. Well, OK, I ate the red one.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A few of the potted plants are giving me a fall show, like this red one.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A few more calibrachoa, these were blooming right up to this week, before the rain and wind came.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A flock of female turkeys visited last weekend. I stepped outside carefully and began talking to them, and tossing bits of bread to them. They weren’t real interested in the bread, but they didn’t run away when they saw me. So, progress with my turkey pets, LOL!!

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A couple of them did finally eat the offered bread. Then, of course, the others wanted the same bite, LOL!

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

There was this skink sunning himself some days ago, I haven’t seen them since it began raining.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

More tomatoes harvested all at once became my first attempt at tomato pie.  I wasn’t happy with the result, the crust came out soggy and there wasn’t enough creaminess in the filling.  So, I’ll keep trying until I get it the way I want it.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

OK, I ate one of these too before it made it into the pie. It was too tempting on a bed of fresh spinach.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I found this sweet cutie pie in the garden a couple of weeks ago.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Then the next day my petunias were nibbled down to the nubs. Oh well, at least he didn’t eat my tomato or basil plants. I just want to pick him up and cuddle him, but I don’t think he would like it.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Just this past weekend, I finally was able to have the camera in hand when the hummingbird came by for a visit to the still blooming torenias.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The torenias are almost done, some parts are starting to die off, but the tops are still blooming. This hummingbird stayed quite a while, visiting all four hanging baskets for all the nectar available.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Irma’s winds reached a peak on Monday night, really howling through the coves and woke me up. Luckily, there wasn’t any real damage to the flowers on the veranda.  The begonias must love the cooler temperatures, as all of them are blooming more than ever.

September Flowers at From My Carolina Home

Even the pink ones, although this isn’t really a fall color.  Still, the blooms are welcome.

September Flowers at From My Carolina Home

The yellow torenias are also putting on a show for the cooler weather, and seem to be just a vigorous as before, unlike their purple cousins in the hanging baskets.

September Flowers at From My Carolina Home

My parsley and yellow calabrachoa were beat down by the wind and rain, but I expect them to recover shortly.

September Flowers at From My Carolina Home

I put the Thanksgiving cactus out on the veranda over the summer so it could get more sunlight.  It seems to be perking up well now, maybe it likes cooler weather too.  I’ll bring it inside in about a month, and it should bloom in November.

September Flowers at From My Carolina Home

One more flower to show you. DH went to the store for me, and came home with a beautiful bouquet of white roses, one of my favorite cut flowers. Gorgeous aren’t they? Their fragrance is so sweet.  He’s a keeper.

White Roses at From My Carolina Home

Volunteer day at the book sale was last week, and I did pretty well.  Note that large binder on the bottom left, that is a Master Gardener manual! Specific advice for North Carolina, also in another North Carolina Gardening Month by Month book (on top of the Cooks Country Best Lost Suppers book), will hopefully help my efforts to plant more native plants and more perennials for my area.  Cookbooks, novels, audio books, and a DVD of Gosford Park completed that day’s haul.

September Thrifting and Shopping at From My Carolina Home

Last Friday, I worked the book sale, and of course came home with an additional score, books on hiking in our area, plus another gardening book for the Carolinas. We do plan to do more hiking in the fall and next spring.  I’ll be going through my cookbooks and other books to cull some out for the garage sale this weekend at my friends home.  If you are local, look for us on Dawnwood in the Haywood Knolls Neighborhood garage sale on Saturday only.  I’m taking dishes, quilting and cooking books, fabrics, notions, stamping sets and lots more.

Hiking Books and Gardening Books

Hope you are doing OK after the hurricanes, both Harvey and Irma. We were lucky that the path turned west, and the storm weakened. The fair closed on Monday for the first time in many years as the winds were too high for safety. But it is open again, and the cooking competitions will go on this week as planned. More on that later.

September in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Hows your week going?

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Dog Days of August

It was a cool morning in August last Sunday, so I did a little garden cleanup.  I needed to do some weeding, and clean out the dead flower spikes from the day lilies.  I am pleased with the flowers this year, but the vegetables have been a complete bust.  In case you all think I only post successes, here are a couple of epic failures.   The spaghetti squash seeds I planted all got eaten by critters.  The garlic disappeared.  My onion only make one scrawny green onion.  Out of five tomato plants, I got a whopping four tomatoes.  Yes, there are only three here, I ate the other one, OK?.  It was tasty, but about the same size as these.

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No squash, no peppers, and the bear or a rabbit got my entire spinach crop.  The basil is doing well in a pot,

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but the parsley has barely grown at all,…

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same for the sage. I just don’t understand it, they got the right amount of water and sunlight but no go.  I worked compost into the bed before planting so they’d have nutrients too.  Ungrateful little suckers.  The bloody grass grows there but refuses to grow on the bald patch in the yard.

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The hydrangea never bloomed either, like most hydrangeas across the country, the winter was too cold for it.

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And the damn bear ate all but two of my peaches.  Serves me right for picking just two to let the other dozen ripen another day.  Next day they were all gone, pits and all.

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On the other hand, my friend brought me two monster zucchini from her mother in law’s garden.  They don’t get out there often enough for picking.

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Lest you think I am exaggerating, I weighed them. Holy moly!

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2 pounds 2 ounces on that one, and one pound eight ounces on this one!

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I have experimented with these for several dishes, all have been epic failures.  I practiced my new knife skills, though.

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Oh, they tasted well enough for us to eat the results, but the dishes looked awful.  There is so much water in zucchini that the casserole was just too watery.  Just close your eyes and pretend it doesn’t look like something the dog barfed up.   Mmmm, zucchini.

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I tried zucchini chips several times, all failures.

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They remained soggy, no amount of baking would crisp them up. Not to be totally defeated, I stacked them up as a layered veggie side dish and ate them.  I thought I’d have a new dish for all of us, but back to the stove.  So I baked a loaf of fruit bread and forgot to put the butter in the batter.  Talk about a rubber mess!  Yet another epic fail for today!!  (Look, dear, homemade dog biscuits!)  What really bothers me is the waste of good ingredients.  But Sunday evening I got a very sweet note of support from someone who just found my blog, and she lifted my spirits immensely!  Thank you for your note, Johnnie.  I started again and made two loaves of my Banana Cinnamon Bread.

So, the flowers on the porch are still going well, the hanging baskets are starting to look a little ragged, but the torenias in the shade still look beautiful.  The pink geranium may yet give another bloom before autumn.

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The butter yellow petunias continue to sing with the verbena, pink impatiens and blue lobelia,

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and I still marvel at the other lobelia, how full and lush it looks with those dark intense blue flowers.

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These New Guinea impatiens still are blooming just as much as they were in May.  I love white flowers.

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Out in the forest, nothing is blooming, but the fruits are coming in.  Blueberries, peaches, and strawberries are fresh and fragrant at the farmer’s market.  Our Apple Festival is Labor Day Weekend and we will have loads of varieties to choose from.  There is nothing like a Honey Crisp!!  Never heard of that?  Well, it’s because we eat all we can here in NC.  Very few make it elsewhere.  More on that later, I have to go buy butter.

 

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