Tuesday, October 23

Long Weekend Discoveries

I have had a long weekend, seemingly full of discoveries. Brian and I found a wonderful old farm in Brunswick, Mapleside Farm, where you can pick your own pumpkins, bag your own apples and pears, take hayrides, go through an acre of corn maze, buy all manner of local jams/jellies/honeys/etc., and grin and the large number of tiny children who feel as though they really should be able to pick up pumpkins that weigh almost as much as they do.

I discovered that if you are patient enough not to rip out your late-planted Roma tomatoes in September, you can harvest enough ripe and ripening tomatoes in October to fill (3) 13x9 and (2) large roasting pans. (The tomatoes may be a little mealy in comparison to the texture of tomatoes harvested earlier, but they are more than fine for sauce and that's why I planted the Romas in the first place.)

I also discovered the old saying that "stolen" plants grow better than gifted ones is possibly true. The variegated iris I dug up from grandma's garden without asking again (I did have a blanket offer for more of these in the spring, however) are already doing much better than the ones that disappeared on me last summer:

I have discovered that my 'Dortmund' rose has dainty little orange hips in the fall:

I have discovered that some seeds, like these nicotiana sylvestris, are too tiny for my camera to focus on them properly:

I have discovered that I will miss the way the morning sun hits my 'Sum and Substance' hosta once the single red post becomes a full, shade-providing grape arbor:

I have discovered that some trees (thanks to Kylee, I know this to be a hawthorn) couple beautiful berries and intimidating thorns.

Also noted is that the foliage on some varieties of asclepias turn a bright yellow in the fall.

I have discovered that we are indeed still in the midst of a drought--or, scarier, that the reports of Lake Erie shrinking are correct--based on this part of Edgewater Park. Every other time I have been here, the water has gone right up to the rock and more rock is visible just underwater. I never knew that there was sand here at all, and yet it looks like a well-established beach:

And lastly, I have discovered that when you find yourself thinking, "This is really a stupid thing for me to be doing," you have approximately 30 seconds to rectify the situation before something bad happens.

For example, say you are climbing around large chunks of rock at a local park with your dog (who is on an extendable leash) and you have the above thought. Please remember that you do NOT have time to take a picture of your cute dog after she jumps down from the top of a 4 ft tall rock onto the beach.

If the situation is not fixed immediately, a large seagull may swoop past and your dog will give chase, as dogs tend to do. You will have a split second as the leash runs out to choose whether to jump off of the large rock yourself (and risk spraining something) or dig in your heels somewhere in a possibly futile effort to contain 90 exhuberant pounds of dog.

I can't tell you what will happen if you decide to try the former, but I do know that if you choose the latter you might discover how much flesh a large, seemingly smooth rock can shred. Suffice it to say that your discovery will happen the hard way and will require at least 7 bandaids to cover. You may also have to cut off a dime-sized flap of skin when you make it back home.

You will probably wish that you could discover why--seeing as how you are a very coordinated, athletic kind of girl--you keep having accidents that leave you looking like a 7-year-old who's been having trouble learning how to ride a big-kid bike. And then you will wonder why they always seem to happen at bad times. After all, it's tough to harvest 6 plants' worth of Roma tomatoes, plant all of the shrubs and perennials you still have to get into the ground, and complete your digging projects with a bandaged hand.

(And that explains why I got the tomatoes harvested yesterday and planted a few perennials, but got little else done.)


Anonymous said...

"And then you will wonder why they always seem to happen at bad times."

Is there ever a good time for running around with bandaged hands or knees?
-- I don't know if it helps, there are so many ways of hurting yourself, it's rather a wonder that it doesn't happen more often. Have you ever counted the occasions when you tripped over something and you came out unscathed? Believe me -- that happens quite more freqently!

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

Hey Kim,

I used to have a Belgian Malinois, Winifred, who would drag me around unexpectedly until I finally discovered the Gentle Leader--a very humane way to restrain an exuberant big dog! But then, I'm sure this was a one-time thing with Coco.

That's one advantage of these little dogs. They can't drag me anywhere. They can pierce my eardrums with their yappy barking. But they can't drag me anywhere!

--Robin (Bumblebee)

Annie in Austin said...

The pumpkin- fruit farm sounds so nostalgic, Kim! We used to go apple picking at this time of year in Illinois, but I've heard the Wauconda apple place is now an upscale housing development.

Good grief - be careful when you're attached to Coco - friends have broken or dislocated bones trying to hang on to a canine pal.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Carol Michel said...

Ouch. You have my sympathies. I hate gardening with a bandaged hand, even just one band-aid. But it sounds like it could have been much worse, so maybe you were lucky after all.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Unknown said...

corinna, that's a very good point. Just the other day, I narrowly missed getting laid out flat on the dining room floor because of an unexpected pair of shoes and the fact that I was carrying a laundry basket. I'm sure I can think of more times that's happened as well. (And no, there is never a good time for skinned appendages! :)

Robin, it's good to know you liked that Gentle Leader--my neighbor and I were just talking about that yesterday as she is going to try that for her Labradoodle who pulls and chokes himself very badly on a regular leash and collar. Yes, usually Coco is better on walks--and usually I am in more familiar territory and am better able to keep an eye out for pitfalls like random animal sightings. *grin*

Annie, the one downside was that they wouldn't actually let you pick your own apples... they just had bins that they kept replenishing themselves so you could fill up your bags. (I'm sure it's a liability to let someone climb up a ladder or pick fruit that might be wasp-infested off of the ground. *sigh*)

Carol, I AM very lucky! Had I ended up flying off of that rock I'm sure I would have scraped some of the rest of myself on that piece of driftwood you see in the picture, plus sprained/broken who knows what.

I ended up changing my bandaids three times on Monday--twice because of gardening grime getting too close to open wounds, and once so that I could play volleyball (no handsetting!) at night. I suppose that when I get around to planting the rest of the stuff I ought to make sure that I wear a glove over the bandaids... I just have so much trouble bringing myself to wear gloves!

Kylee Baumle said...

Oh Kim, I'm sorry to hear about your doggy accident! I'm afraid I would have been in much worse shape, as I am no match for dogs, unless they're little and cuddly like cats. LOL!

And I saw your comment about the ajuga. YIPPEEEEE! Chocolate Chip, too, right? I've got lots of whatever the large-leaved burgundy/green ajuga is that I've got and you're welcome to it, as well as a couple of other things I've got plenty of. (White daisies, 'Limelight' artemisia, maybe even some baptisia if you're interested.) Now do I have a clue where I'm going to put the new ajuga? Not yet! But I'm sure there's a perfect spot just for it. I have plans to move several things around next spring.

Unknown said...

Kylee, lol.. yup, both the Chocolate Chip and the Metallica Crispa will be yours. I can probably give you more of the former than the latter, though, since I've had CC a few more years. I would definitely take a 'Limelight' artemisia as well--I've been thinking about growing that in a container on the hot/dry south side of my house.

And as for the baptisia, I already have three. So funny how we end up with all of these plants in common even though you're convinced I'm not going to like your garden when I finally get to see it! *grin*

Melissa said...


I smiled listening/reading about your lessons learned. Sounds like it was a good weekend.

Ki said...

Good grief a 90 pound dog on an extendable leash? Even our smallish 40 pound dog will spin me around if she sees a squirrel or rabbit if I'm not paying attention, which is often. Why is it that your arms are in an awkward position or you're wearing shorts and the line is wrapped around your legs when the rabbit appears? when 40 pounds gets a 16 feet running start it usually leads to disaster for either the dog or me. I can't imagine trying to control 50 more pounds of exuberance. I hope you heal quickly. BTW, New Skin works really well for cuts and abrasions that regularly get wet or exposed to dirt. It goes on like nail polish and is waterproof. Much, much better than a band-aid.

I do believe the Nicotiana seeds are smaller than that of the Lobelia 'Crystal Palace' which I thought were the smallest. I wouldn't want to be the person who plants them in pots for a commercial nursery.

this said...

Ouch! Gardening one handed can be kinda tricky.

Sorry about the receding shoreline...having watched the dams dry up here I know that 'wish it wasn't so' feeling.

May rain come your way.

Anonymous said...

Your dog story had me laughing out loud, Kim. I've always thought that the payoff for doing something stupid or having a funny accident is that at least you get to tell a good story afterward. And you did.

growingagardenindavis said...

I'm glad your iris is doing well...I've just moved some of mine that had ended up too shaded because the tree above has grown so much. I hope your cuts heal quickly...I think the gloves are a good idea!

Unknown said...

me, yes indeed... a learning weekend is always good. Even if the lessons are painful! *grin*

Ki, THANK YOU! I had forgotten about that "new skin" stuff, but that would be perfect for the thumb knuckle that refuses to scab over for me. Not just for gardening, but for vball, too--I have a game tonight and one tomorrow as well.

Your mention of rope-burns made me shudder with the memory. And I think that I still have scars on the backs of my legs from the old extendable (cord, not flat) leash that gave me rope burns a few years back. I think that was definitely worse than this... Argh.

blueblue, thanks for visiting! I grinned at your phrase "receding shoreline"--if only this was something an "As Seen on TV" product could cure, no? :)

Pam/Digging, I like that idea! It makes me feel much better about my stupidity to know that I did indeed at least get a good story out of it. Even if it's in the "cautionary tale" category. lol.

Unknown said...

Leslie, I confess that I almost hated to say that they were doing well... I didn't want to jinx them! :) I planted some in a few different places this time just to make sure that it really is me, not just where they're planted. If they die off for me again I'll know that it's just not meant to be.

lisa said...

Sounds like you had a really nice weekend, except for the injury of course! I feel a tad forlorn about the ending season as well, but with my "bulb mania" in full swing, I won't be bored! I hope you heal fast! BTW...do you serve overhand or underhand when you play volleyball? Just curious...

Lisa at Greenbow said...

If you read much history you will find that most Discoverers have mishaps that waylay their health and they become lost. Thankfully you didn't get lost.

I hope your ouchies feel better soon.

Entangled said...

Congrats on the tomatoes! And sorry to hear about your injury.

I hadn't heard about Lake Erie shrinking so I Googled it, and guess what? Your blog is the next listing after the NY Times story about the shrinking Great Lakes.

Unknown said...

lisa, I do both. When I just want power, I serve overhand. If I'm tactically trying to serve to a certain spot (either to keep the ball away from a power hitter's side or to target a weak link in the opponent) I switch to underhand because I have more precision with that. *evil grin*

Lisa at Greenbow, thanks! I'm still grinning at your comment... we were definitely Discoverers that day, and I'm glad that I didn't get lost as well--as it was, the dog was having so much fun that she didn't particularly want to get back in the car. lol.

Entangled... I'm a little speechless! Honestly, I'm amused and frightened at the same time--and now I feel like I ought to go put in a link to a real journalist's story about the Great Lakes shrinking just in case someone else finds me the same way. (Except I can't link to the NYT. They don't keep their stories on line long enough, darn it.)

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

Oh dear! You sure had an adventure didn't you? I just loved reading about all your discoveries. It's good that you can be so tongue-in-cheek about your mishap and make it enjoyable for us readers even though it wasn't enjoyable to you. So cool about your romas. Mine have decided to put out more blossoms, for heaven's sake! Wonder if I'll have some more by Thanksgiving. ;) Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Anonymous said...

Kim: Sounds like the good and the bad! Good for you though for still being a kid at heart and having the skinned knees to prove it! Sorry for the pain though!

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Heck of a weekend. Lucky you didn't have to prune the Hawthorn as that can lead to disaster, too. It has the biggest and meanest thorns of just about any tree around here.

I enjoy a lot of perennials fall color. It is a little extra treat at the end of the season.

We were way down on rain but have had a couple of good storms so the rivers and lakes are filling up a little. It was getting scary for awhile.

Unknown said...

Cindy at Rosehaven, I always figure that if you can't laugh at yourself you're going to have a much more miserable life than you otherwise might have! :) So you still have flowers on your Romas? WOW! Maybe I should have left mine in the ground, darn it!

layanee, they were laughing at me at volleyball last night. Bandaged fingers (I took Ki up on his suggestion of that liquid Band-Aid stuff, but didn't want to rely on it solely for the parts of my hand that would contact the ball), a skinned arm and elbow, and then a floorburned/skinned patch on my left leg from diving in 4's last week. One of my fellow players asked me if I planned to have all new skin by the new year. lol.

digital flower pictures, I'm still in awe of the thorns on that hawthorn. I thought my pyracantha was bad, but these guys... you can see these thorns when you're standing on the ground and they're 20 feet up in the air! Sheesh.

I had thought that we were past the scary-dry stage around here, too. I was really surprised to see the lake so low. :(

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

You're lucky you didn't break your camera too! I also seem accident prone, & yes, the bandages add such class to an outfit. I once broke my little toe 2 weeks b4 a wedding. I imagine I looked pretty funny limping down the aisle. So I can sympathise with you.

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