Looking Back, Moving Forward

What a busy fall it has been, beginning with the run-up to the Miami County garden tour and culminating in garden and home fall clean-up. I planned to begin this Blog with a statement like: “Where did September go?” But in point of fact, where is October going? Today, November is just one week and two days away!

So. Garden catch-up. Here is glimpse at my fall garden, consisting of Sedum Autumn Joy and ‘Profusion’ zinnias bought at a Summer Solstice Sale.


Melons and big tomatoes did not do well this year. We picked each melon when all the indicators said ‘ripe’ but ended up with green nastiness. Tomatoes just rotted on the vine without ever ripening. That is, except for the grape tomatoes, which were plump and tasty!

And a new experiment for next year – row covers or, as they say in the horticulture biz, low tunnels. Metal piping hand-made at low (okay, lower) cost by my clever Jim. To be covered by 10 x 25 foot spun polypropylene covers that arrived Monday, compliments of Amazon. I plan to try and extend the lettuce season and plant spinach and beets for spring.

Will it work? That remains to be seen. I had high hopes last year for my cover crop experiment. It failed, I believe, due to our unusually wet spring, making a swamp in our garden plot, which led us to add more raised beds.

The row covers will work best if we have a mild winter so, of course, I anticipate temperatures running below zero Fahrenheit on a regular basis.

And that – meaning my pessimistic outlook – brings me to the title of this Blog.

Facing retirement in 2013, I decided to write a gardening Blog because first, I planned to do a lot of gardening and second, I really knew very little about it. At the time, I thought this would be a splendid way to learn how to garden while keeping my writing hand in practice.

As time went on, I found that telling stories about gardening was more rewarding for me as a writer – and I hope for you as a reader – than adding to the amazing number of how-to articles on the web. Looking for how-to? Look no further than your local extension office or do a web search of the extension .edu (university) sites. You’ll get great, research-based information.

Then, as these things go, serendipity took a hand. In 2002 I began writing daily ‘tips’ for clients of a former employer. I had a great time writing them – ten years’ worth! When I announced my retirement, my employer switched to a tip writing service. But suddenly, it seems, they are recycling my old tips.

Since I hadn’t discontinued the service, I had a chance to reread my own tips. It reminded me of all the things I could be writing about. So here’s another experiment – one outside the garden.

I’ll still write about gardening and sometimes about food. In addition, I also plan to write about some other things, issues that touch me day to day and make me think.

Now that my garden is winter-ready and my house organized, I promise to write more faithfully. My hope is that you will continue to read and react!


6 thoughts on “Looking Back, Moving Forward

  1. A great year for learning important lessons! Glad I have been a part of your year’s journey.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Looking forward to reading some of your tips. Have enjoyed the gardening blog although my gardening season is so much shorter than yours so my options are limited. This was a great year here for beets and carrots and tomatoes and of course people are still trying to give away those 40 # zukes! My sugar baby watermelons just didn’t have enough warm weather so that experiment was a failure. The marigolds and geraniums that were supposed to keep away mosquitoes didn’t work for that at all but provided lots of pretty color right up until the first frost. I had great luck with my zinnias and sedum-a patch that looks similar to yours but of course the frost killed them off a couple weeks ago.

    Glad to hear you are going to continue and moving on to a new vein of thought and hopefully you will regale us with gardening tales again next season!!

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