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Archive for November, 2010

The maples have such bright colors against the backdrop of the big oaks in the woods.

The maples have such bright colors against the backdrop of the big oaks in the woods.

The woods surrounding my house are beautiful right now. I know I’ve already written about the fabulous fall colors this year but they just keep getting more spectacular as time goes on. Maybe it’s because the foliage of the understory maples in my woods has now peaked and they seem especially bright and colorful against the brown backdrop of the fallen oak leaves.

Just a week ago on November 9th, my "Cousin Itt" Japanese maple was just barely beginning to turn.

Just a week ago on November 9th, my "Cousin Itt" Japanese maple was just barely beginning to turn.

I’ve especially enjoyed watching the color progression of the small weeping Japanese maple that grows in the middle of our front yard. I affectionately refer to it as “Cousin Itt” after the hairy little creature from the old TV show The Addams Family. That’s all I can think of whenever I look at the little tree!

Now a week later, the tree is brilliant scarlet - wow!

Now a week later, the tree is brilliant scarlet - wow!

Well “Cousin Itt” (Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum Atropurpureum’) has been turning progressively redder in the last few days; then seemingly overnight, “Itt” became brilliant!

What a spectacular little tree! I look out at it in the morning when I’m on my treadmill. Our treadmill is situated right in front of a big window that overlooks the beautiful woods in front of the house. I’ve seen loads of deer and squirrels, even turkeys and red foxes as I’ve been “walking” in the morning. This fall I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the brilliant fall foliage along with the deer and the squirrels – no turkeys or foxes at the moment although I did see one of the red foxes walk across the back yard a few weeks ago!

Sadly, I think the end of the fall display is close at hand. It’s been raining all day and there is a wind advisory in effect for tonight. That will no doubt spell the end of the show! Oh well, I’m glad it lasted as long as it did this year. It was truly a spectacular autumn!

Oak trees have such wonderfully diverse bark texture! White oaks, chestnut oaks, and red oaks grow side by side in our beautiful woods.

Oak trees have such wonderfully diverse bark texture! White oaks, chestnut oaks, and red oaks grow side by side in our beautiful woods.

Now I’m looking forward to winter and hopefully some snow – but perhaps not as much as last year!

Until next time – Happy Gardening!

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One of the tips in my November E-Newsletter was to empty and clean your patio and deck containers, hanging baskets, and window boxes. This past Saturday, I thought I’d take my own advice and do just that. So we loaded everything into our garden trailer and hauled it to the compost bins which happen to be right beside the vegetable garden.

I must be honest and say that since September, I have very much neglected my vegetable garden. About a month ago, I went out in the early evening to harvest the last of my green peppers. I got quite a basket full but it was getting dark and some were still on the small side so I thought I’d go back later and finish the harvest. Well, time (and my mind it seems) got away from me and I never ended up getting back – until this past weekend!

My amazing pepper harvest

My amazing late season pepper harvest! Isn't it beautiful? Nice beets, too!

As we were dumping the pots, I happened to look over at my poor pepper plants bent over and obviously suffering from the freeze we had the week before. Needless to say I was upset at myself for forgetting to get back to the garden to harvest the last of the peppers. I assumed at this point that the remaining peppers would have turned to mush but decided to have a look anyway. Maybe there were a few that survived.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that not only did they survive the freeze, but they were beautiful and there was more than just a handful left! I picked a huge basket full of them – some green and others in various stages of turning red and sweet. They all had nice thick walls – some of the best peppers I had ever harvested! The dense foliage must have protected them from the worst of the cold. What delightful surprise! I even harvested some beautiful beets that I hadn’t pulled before. A wonderful and unexpected late season plunder!

I have decided that pepper production definitely peaks in the late summer! Even though I got them in early, they really didn’t start producing well until August and then they went crazy – sort of like my cucumbers.

So many peppers!

So many peppers! Hopefully some of my friends won't mind taking a few off my hands!

Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to do with them all! Last night I made the most delicious stuffed peppers for dinner.

At least they last pretty long in the refrigerator and luckily they freeze well – but I have so many! Fresh in salads, one cut up everyday for lunch, frozen diced peppers for cooking, frozen pepper halves for stuffing …

Hmmmmm – peppers anyone?

Until next time – Happy Gardening!

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