These pictures were taken about a week ago. It was the last week of October, before the two heavy, killing frosts. Everything now has officially started it's long winter decay, and I've already sent much of the green seen in these photos to the compost pile. I'm glad I got a few last pictures in before the season ended, even if it was just a fleeting glimpse of the garden's final days.

I had two of these (very large) cinderella pumpkins, which have always been a fovorite of Jen's. Unfortunately they never reached their fully mature coloring, although they are still pretty stunning in their dark, mottled greens.

I may have never mentioned it but I planted hops this year. Of the 4 varieties I planted this one did best. Next year I'll be able to add some home-grown hops to some home-made brews.

The final vestiges of this years tomato onslaught. I just can't say enough good things about Sungold. They were the first to ripen, the last ones left and they just taste so darn good.

I am always impressed by the beauty and virility of the swiss chard. If any plants survived yesterday's frost (haven't checked yet) it would be these. Plus, do any other salad plants look this good?

The Dhalias seemed to, if anything, reach their peak as October ended. Until the frost they remained a brilliant shot of color amidst the browns and greens of fall.

These Pennsylvania Crookneck Squash were the unheralded wonder-kids of this year's garden. This squash pictured is just one of seven or eight that reached full maturity this year. If anything these plants may have been a tad too fertile as the vines stretched on and on, nearly engulfing the entire garden.

A final pumpkin shot. Looking dark and regal perched atop the picnic table. Having not fully ripened there is little usefullness for this squash outside of allowing it to become a beautiful fall sculpture, a reminder of the summer and a promise of the spring.


It's a jungle out there

Just returned from ten days in Maine. The garden has survived (and thrived) in my absence. Everything is growing into and on top of everything else, weeds included. I have my work cut out for me in the days to come.

This Zuchinni was as big around as a baseball bat, and nearly as long. It got chucked in the compost heap. A couple of nice ones made it onto the diiner plate though.

Pumpkin growing into Zucchini, growing into Tomato, growing into watermelon. It's a beautiful mess.

Sugar Baby Watermelon. Bowling ball size. Maybe ready to pick this week.

Blacktail Mountain watermelon. Softball size.

My assistant director of Zinnia beheading. Hard at work.

Sungold Tomatoes on the vine...

...and in my hand.

Charentais melon. First one picked of the season (cue ominous music...)

The summer squash and zucchini joined some Sungolds in a pasta for dinner.

I really thought that this melon was ripe.

It even looked a little ripe on the inside. But, alas it was not to be. It tasted like...water. Hard, sour, melony flavored water.



After 2 solid weeks without a drop, today we've had a heavy, drenching rain. Finally.

This Yellow Crookneck Squash will be eaten tonight.

A Dhalia among melons.

A glistening Cherokee Purple tomato.

Sungold cascade.

A still life of summer squash and Sungold.

A dangling Blacktail Mountain watermelon.

A dark and mysterious melon.

Potato vines have begun to die back. I've read that you can just leave the spuds in the ground and harvest them as needed, so thats what I'll do.

Lettuce has all bolted. Soon I'll rip it all out to plant fall peas.

The promise of a Dhalia.


Zinnias in many hues.



twilight in the garden

A potato in the ground.

A potato in my hand.


Chopped. With Rosemary from the garden. Later to join olive oil in tin foil on the grill.

Enjoyed the first tomato of the year. It was a Sungold, and it tasted like summer.


This will be a yellow Zucchini someday.

It's been so hot. Wet newspaper and mulch are the only things keeping these plants from certain death.

A Charentais Melon.

A Blacktail Mountain Watermelon.

A Dhalia. The first Dhalia of the summer.

My book The Kitchen Gardens of France says that Dhalias are a traditional flower planted in vegetable gardens. I needed no further convincing.


Purple Coneflower with bee.

Purple Coneflower in the sun.

Purple Coneflower with pink Hydrangea.


These pictures are a few weeks old by now, but I can't let the arrival of the first Zucchini go undocumented.

These were the first two picked, both Costata Romanseco. They ended up on the grill with some oive oil and parmesean cheese.

There seem to be quite a few more on their way, with a couple of the yellow crookneck variety looking to ripen later this week. To prevent the stem rot/bug problems that I had last year I wrapped the base of the stalk in a layer of tinfoil. It seems to be working so far as I've already doubled last years harvest with no end in sight.

It's been a tough stretch of weather with 95+ degree days and little to no rain in recent memory. The garden has required almost daily soakings to keep everything from simply shriveling back into the dirt. No rain in the forecast for the next few days either. Tomrrow's high: 100 degrees...