Have you noticed it’s getting dark earlier? The seasons they are a changing that is for sure. Peak leaf color is going to be considerably earlier this year.

We are still under severe drought conditions, but we have gotten a couple of light rains. The grass is still brown or dead, but I’m grateful for each drop.

It’s been good weather for working outdoors so I’ve taken advantage of it to start fall projects including enlarging the area where our raised beds are located.

I’ve added on 8′ by about 35′ which meant putting down cardboard to suppress the grass, covering the area with landscape fabric, and finishing it off with a load of chips.Β  Ever wondered how many garden carts in a load of $12 wood chips there are? Thirteen, I counted just for you. πŸ™‚

Be sure to check out the dead grass and the wavy plastic edging. I reused the plastic edging I had there from last year because I’m a recycle, repurpose, reuse type of person. πŸ™‚ However, there is no comparison between plastic edging and metal edging which stays straight and true.

While digging near the edge of our 1840’s era barn, I found an interesting piece of green glass in the shape of a heart with three letters showing – “T TO. ” It made me smile, but I sure have been puzzling over what type of glass container that could have been.

Once the space was enlarged, the shoveling of soil and moving of beds started so there is more area to move around.

The added space will also allow me to try a raised bed or two using galvanized window wells attached together and providing a 20″x39″ planting area for about $42.

I picked up a new dwarf Weigela, Date Night Stunner, a couple of Shasta Daisies and a Cone Flower that can be planted in the next week.

There are some decent sales in the fall on plants if you’re looking to adjust your landscape.

I’ve made three table toppers, moved on to a Christmas project, read numerous books including Linda Castillo’s Outsider, and did a little baking of sugar cookies and apple shortbread bars.

I attached the sugar cookie recipe at the end in case someone is a sugar cookie fan or has someone in their family who loves good sugar cookies. The recipe came from the KC Star about 20 years ago, and I apologize for the staple, but it’s attached to a paper where I calculated out half a recipe because it makes a big batch. I don’t add the extra sugar on top or press it down because it is perfect without it. πŸ™‚ If you like to bake in big batches, I also use an ice cream scoop to portion the dough out, freeze them on a flat pan, and then put them in a freezer bag so I can just pull a few out at a time to bake.

We’ve gotten our flu shots, absentee ballots, and plan to stay far away from all the tourists this weekend – check, check, and check.

But, today, is Friday, and my Friday friend and I are going to share a lunch and talk sewing. Now, that’s the best way to start a long weekend.

Have plans for the weekend? Do tell and have fun and stay safe. πŸ™‚


About NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
This entry was posted in New England and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to Fall

  1. Oddment says:

    I have so many reactions to this that I barely know where to start. For one, I am huffing and puffing just reading about all the work you are doing. Wow. A doff of the gardener’s hat to you! And then the sewing and baking! I do send the most heartfelt congratulations on your determination to make the best of this awful time. I also loved the photograph of those autumn drips. Something very poignant about them.

    I am thrilled to have the sugar cookie recipe, needless to say. Would you consider sometime letting us know the recipe for the apple shortbread bars? They too sound like food for the spirit as well as for the hips.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Dan Antion says:

    I guess our rain hasn’t made it all the way up. We had almost an inch this week. Enough to put my plans on hold. Igg Th looks like you’ve been busy busy busy. I read all the things you’ve done and I think you must have a couple clones running around.

    I hope you enjoy your weekend. It sad in Dan Antion like you have the perfect plan. Interesting about the window wells, I have to share that with the resident gardener.

    Take care, Judy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, how I’d love to get an inch of rain. We have gotten a few light showers and then winds to dry everything out again. We’re so bad, they’re talking alternative wells as sources of our water. Not a good thing, and there’s no measurable water in sight. I love galvanized raised beds, and those window wells just call to me because I think one good sized tomato plant could be really happy there with lots of air to hopefully keep it healthy.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Murphy's Law says:

    Good grief, you’re like the Energizer Bunny!!! You never stop. Good for you. We can’t get flu shots here until after Labor Day. We sent for absentee ballot, but haven’t received it yet.

    Those raised gardens are going to be awesome. Easier on your back, after you’ve finished all the grunt work. Keep those ice packs handy!

    That piece of glass is fascinating. Maybe you’ll come across more of it as you go along with your project.

    Enjoy the holiday weekend away from all the crazies!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I guess I get bored easily so I keep trying to stay busy. πŸ™‚ Isn’t that green glass something. It is thick like a ball canning jar, and I’d love to know what it was and what the lettering said. Yes, we’ll be right here keeping busy and away from all the visitors. You have a good weekend too!


  4. I love that heart shaped glass. What a fun find. Our fall is still far away – upper 90s with a real feel of over 100 yesterday and today. My fall garden work will have to wait. Running to the store this morning for last minute groceries and hunkering down at home all weekend away from all the tourists.

    Liked by 2 people

    • For sure fall projects were not meant to be done in 90+ degree weather. It sounds like you and I will be having the same kind of weekend. πŸ™‚ I have a new book to start, pulled a couple of sewing projects out, and I’m looking forward to some gardening tomorrow. All good, especially if I throw in some take out so I don’t have to cook ‘all’ weekend. πŸ™‚ Have a good one.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! That’s a lot of work! I am taking out our garden this fall and reverting back to grass. I will do a small portable raised bed nearer the house for tomatoes and herbs but that’s it. The idea with the window walls is pretty cool. At the beginning of the pandemic I was cooking up a storm. I even made scratch pizza….twice! Then came the yeast shortage. I haven’t been able to find it in 4 months. Now we’ve done more take out and simpler meals. The days are getting shorter. We eat in our screened porch most days and by the end, it’s getting to be dusk. Boo! Love the long light but I am yearning for a break in the awful heat we had this summer. Very unseasonable for us. We had a lot of rain. Wish I could box it and send it up.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have enough flower beds ‘in’ the ground to kill my back so the raised veggie beds are easy peasy once I get the shoveling done. πŸ™‚ Nothing wrong with paring down. That’s what I’ve been doing with perennials by replacing them with shrubs that I trim maybe once a year. When the ay comes I don’t want to trim, well, they will be really big shrubs. πŸ™‚ Having dinner on your beautiful porch seems like a real dining ‘out’ experience without all the people. I probably should have clarified that I enjoy baking but get out of cooking a meal anytime I can. I need to look and see if we have yeast at the store. I could send you some yeast in exchange for some rain. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ally Bean says:

    Yes, I am noticing the shorter days and I’m not thrilled with it. Summer, such as it was, has gone by too quickly. You’ve done so much on your property and your efforts show. I like + wonder about your glass heart. That is a wonderful treasure, if only because its meaning and origin distract from our current chaotic world. I’m going to try the sugar cookies. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wondered as I was holding that piece of glass if a woman from a long time ago used that to preserve some fresh produce for her family. I hope you like the sugar cookies. I’ve been making them for years, and really like them without the pressing and the extra sugar but that’s just me. They’re soft and almost melt in your mouth. Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Joyce says:

    Interesting overview of your little corner of the world! I, too, am feeling the instinct to snuggle in for the season ahead. I’ve had my flu shot and am thinking about a family Halloween party…..even tho the thought of dragging all that stuff out of the basement makes me moan and lay down on the couch for an hour! Tomorrow we are headed to a Lake Michigan cottage with the entire family (18 of us) to celebrate the abundance of August birthdays with our oldest daughter’s family, driving up form Texas. Other than those few events, I wish summer didn’t go by so fast and can’t wait to finish piecing a blue log cabin quilt that I started a year ago!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Don’t you just love it when you find those little treasures like the emerald heart? It sets the mind to wandering and wondering.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I hate to mention this, but we’ve gotten several inches of rain in the past week. Sure wish you had, too. My goodness, you’ve been busy! My Franco-American mother would have approved. One of her highest comments of praise was when someone was a “workah.” To continue with the Maine accent, that emerald heart is a keepah. Lovely! Have a wonderful time with your friend. Sounds like the perfect way to start a weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I find it hard that it is already Labor Day. Yes, I noted that we soon will have 12 hours of dark. Here in Idaho, it still uncertain about Voting. I am not sure how I will vote. Idaho is still in stage 4 in the pandemic. We are starting our third heat wave today and no rain expect unless there is a thunderstorm. My allergies have been acting and I have not been feeling all that well. Our local news is depressing, a two boy has missing been for days now and another sad case of child abuse and 3 police killings. Finding emerald glass is interesting. I made a collage of some of my penstemon pictures today. Most were taken in their native habitat. Yes, that is a yellow penstemon. Have a stress free weekend and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Brenda says:

    You’re busier than I am right now! I feel terrible that you still haven’t had any real rain. As Laurie said above, we’ve had a couple of good downpours in Maine, which helped the plants tremendously. Could your green glass be an old soda bottle? It looks like the right color. Is it possible the letters read “T NO,” which would come from the “NO DEPOSIT NO RETURN” lettering on a lot of old soda bottles?

    Liked by 2 people

    • We are in severe drought conditions right now and are desperate for some rain. I’ve been paring down my annual containers so I don’t have to water them. It definitely could be an old soda bottle, and now I’m wondering what type came in a green bottle. Now, that makes me remember those old water coolers that you pulled the soda bottle along the track until you got it to the spot to pull it out. Funny how one thing triggers another when you reach this ‘mature’ age. πŸ™‚ Hope you have a good weekend. We have really nice weather just dry.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Marilyn says:

    You exhaust me. Besides reading, do you ever sit still? I love reading about all your gardening changes and add ons. Being I live in a condo, there is little I can do except maintain what is here. I can have pots of flowers in my courtyard which now has mums. They were on sale; 20% off plus I had some rewards points. Have fun with you Friday friend and enjoy the holiday weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Michigan! I got a good deal on some mums too. πŸ™‚ My Friday friend and I would have loved to have you join us. We were talking sewing with her talented daughter who you know, and then we did some technical support on a couple of computer issues. Yes, you can chuckle now. πŸ™‚ We also Facetimed with our Maine friend who is doing well. Looking forward to our 4 pm chats. πŸ™‚ Stay well.


  13. Growing up in what was probably the very last unsullied woodlands in Queens, NY, we used to find arrowheads in the woods. My mother had insisted we buy the property. We didn’t need it, but there were huge white oaks there, the very few that had not been used to make the masts of ships and the Dept. of Agriculture used to come by and care for them because they were the last ones in New York — at least the southern end of it. I never saw any in the northern part of the state either. Red oaks aplenty, but not white oaks. So it was oddly familiar moving to the woods here. You wouldn’t think so since I technically grew up in the big city of NY, but it was a little lost pocket the remained untouched until finally, my parents had to sell it. Now, of course, it’s condominiums.

    This area used to be all farmland. You can tell because there are stone fences throughout the woods that 100 or so years ago bordered fields — now full of red oaks that are about 100 years old, give or take a few decades. I don’t know what they grew. Not corn. The land isn’t open enough or flat enough. Probably dairy cattle, goats, horses, sheep, and apples. LOTS of apples and small produces — summer squash and tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and a lot of basil and other spices. We are more rural NOW than we were in the 1800s and the population is much smaller, too. Once upon a time, this was an important city in the manufacturing and mill business. Now, it’s just a sleepy town with virtually no industry. With the quarantine, much less than before. Many people are moving “home” or basically, to wherever the rest of the family is living (Florida? Arizona?) because their jobs are gone. We weren’t rich in business resources since the 1910s ended, but now there is almost nothing except a couple of lumber yards, grocery stores, hair dressers and barbers, and a few chain food places.

    For small towns, it’s going to get worse because the young folks can’t see any future here and they are right. If we had an opportunity to build up some business, it vanished in 2020. I wonder how many other small towns are shrinking from small to barely there? I’m sure it’s not just us.

    The future is looking a bit grim. I wonder if the Valley is going to return to what it was in the 1970s and 1980s … a near-to-NY and Boston vacation area. The one thing we still have — so far unless the weather changes even more and quickly — is natural beauty. If we get autumn back and no one pollutes the rivers again, maybe at least tourism? It goes well with horse-breeding and the many equestrian schools in the area. We could suddenly start to go upscale … or we could disappear.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We are in a small town that relied on mills for employment which are now high end lofts, and we continue to see new condos and apartments being built. One thing we have going for us is we have both bus and train service so we’re seeing more folks move into these rentals who commute to work in Boston. These folks are looking for shopping and restaurants that they can walk to, and those choices have been impacted by the pandemic. We have empty spaces downtown that we never had before, and I’m not anticipating that changing anytime soon especially with winter approaching when the outdoor options cease. Things are going to get even more challenging when everything moves indoors. Stay well and enjoy all those changing leaves.


  14. That’s a lot of wood chips! I haven’t wondered how many carts, but I’m aggressive enough to actually mention that fact at the next cocktail party without attribution. Wait, I haven’t been to a party all year; and by the time there is a next one, I’m sure I’ll forget. This fact can remain safely yours then. πŸ˜‰ Good for you in getting the flu shot. We both have annual follow-ups at our doctor next week, so I’m hoping they’ll give us one each. It’ll beat waiting in line at the pharmacy.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Funny how I don’t notice the sunrise/sunset times as much as the temperature-dropping days. πŸ™‚ An inch of rain here would have us washing away most likely, but I hope you get some soon. Your baking sounds delicious. I get the baking vs. cooking thing. Baking seems much more rewarding in many ways, doesn’t it? And BTW, glad to see you found your voice again. Good that you could amidst all your activities.

    The long weekend? Tomorrow/Saturday, we’re going back down to Tucson to Sweetwater Wetlands, something on our list for last Saturday. But we only went to the Saguaro National Park and then home. Sunday, virtual church with our former church in Illinois. Monday, to my parents’ in the afternoon for a movie maybe or a hockey game and I’ll be “fixing dinner”: heating up precooked BBQ ribs which were thankfully on sale this week, dishing out potato salad, and cutting watermelon.

    Don’t labor on Labor Day but enjoy the fruits of your labor.


    Liked by 2 people

    • You have yourself quite a weekend, and I hope you enjoy each and every event. πŸ™‚ Those ribs and potato salad sound pretty delicious. We really miss good barbecue up here in New England so even talking about it makes me smile. I hope you know how much your parents will enjoy your visit. πŸ™‚


  16. pbmgarden says:

    You’re definitely back in the groove, Judy. Great price on those wood chips and well done! Hope your lunch was fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. No plans for the week-end. Especially outdoors. It’s supposed to be over 100 for the next several days.
    You’ve been so busy! I love your glass find. Have you done an online search for glassmakers marks to see if you can find out what type of jar it was and who made it?

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Eliza Waters says:

    Every day is the same around here, holiday or not. I’ll probably garden! πŸ˜‰
    Enjoy yours!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. What a run of weather we have had! I think we got just over an inch in the storm that the injured Bobcat came to sit with me for a spell but not much since 😦 not sign of the cat either.

    This weekend we are making great progress on my new garage for the tractor and it will also be where I start my plants come spring. There will be a spring right I wish this virus would take a slow boat back to China.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We sure need rain. I was hoping the cat would come back so you could call for help. Be sure to post about your new tractor garage because I love DIY. πŸ™‚ Yes, this virus could hop a boat as far as I’m concerned too.


      • πŸ™‚ My second season of Peas are up 3 inches already and I see some beets but I think my Goldfinch have also seen them and they love them so since I do not feel like netting in Sept. they will win.

        I will gather the photos and do a post with cost etc.

        I am so sick of it but will also not take a vaccine with my health issues so it is hand washing and no handshakes or hugs 😦

        Liked by 2 people

  20. germac4 says:

    I’m admiring your busy week . And so surprised that so many US bloggers are talking about drought .. in regions I would not have thought were dry. An upside down world that is for sure. We have had more rain than usual… go figure! ..
    My daughter’s baby is due next week, a spring baby!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. tonytomeo says:

    Autumn is later here than in most regions, but the boxelders are defoliating prematurely. I know they can sometimes do that, but it seems odd nonetheless. I started with the smoke from the fires.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Our maples are turning already which is way early for that. It always gives you a kind of unrest because you know all is not well with Mother Nature when things happen prematurely. Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        Premature defoliation of various other native species is not all that uncommon in our chaparral climate. Even though I am a native too, and grew up with this sort of thing, it still concerns me when they do it and I do not know why. These boxelders get my attention because this process is not as common for them as it is for other species, such as the sycamores, which are not defoliating much yet.

        Liked by 2 people

  22. bikerchick57 says:

    You’ve certainly been busy, Judy, but what a better way to spend time than gardening, reading and baking? I thought the grass around the apartment looked sad, but it doesn’t compare to your dead patch. I hope it revives itself by next spring.

    I have no plans for the weekend other than to stay out of stores, away from crowds, and go for a bike ride if the weather cooperates.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Grass that isn’t being watered and in full sun is in bad shape. We also live on a small farm so there’s not a lot of manicured lawn here. πŸ™‚ Hope the weather cooperated and you got in a bike ride or two. We have had beautiful weather this weekend, but still there is no measurable rain in sight. I also hope your first weekend of retirement has been enjoyable, and I know Tuesday morning will be a real gift. Stay well. πŸ™‚


      • bikerchick57 says:

        I had a lovely, long bike ride on Saturday. Today was windy, so I went for a walk and spent the afternoon writing and spending money on Amazon. It’s been a good weekend so far, Judy, and I’m already relishing the fact that there will be no work on Tuesday. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

      • The first thing I kicked to the curb was the alarm clock and following not too far behind was my wrist watch. πŸ™‚ Have I ever missed those meeting, conference calls, etc. etc. – NO. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Jude, sounds like you are ticking off your pre-Fall activities with gusto. That piece of glass was a beautiful find. Would look great as a paperweight. We’ve ordered ballots and will get flu shots soon, still too hot to be in a mood for anything festive, but I am letting my mind wander a bit forward. Just reading a lot and keeping up with the day to day right now. Take care.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Joanne Sisco says:

    I wish I had your energy in the garden. I look at mine and just sigh. So much to do and so few f&%ks to give 😏 After such a hot, dry summer I’m just grateful things are still alive.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Pingback: Fall β€” NewEnglandGardenAndThread | Old School Garden

  26. Karen says:

    I’m glad that the weather cooled off some so that you could work on your gardening projects. You are really amazing with all you accomplish. I so wish I could send some of the rain that Florida has received this summer. It certainly would have helped with the drought. Meteorologists recorded 14.29 inches of rainfall in Vero Beach in July. It broke the old July record of 13.72 inches reported in 2007. I remember the last year we were in New Hampshire, it was so dry that our pond was the lowest it had ever been. I bet it is completely dry this year. Our doctor called us and we got our flu shoots two weeks ago…one less thing to worry about.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We sure could use some of that rain. Every time we get a chance, it doesn’t materialize. This coming Sunday we have a 60% chance, so I’m crossing my fingers. It is at least good to get the flu shots out of the way and done for the fall so we can hopefully move on to the next vaccine. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  27. I made those yummy apple shortbread bars again recently and they were just as good as the first time round. Enjoy your visit with your friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. slfinnell says:

    KC Star has some good stuff for sure! Good one!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s