Autumn came barreling along on the heels of summer and a few of the perennials and annuals that struggled in the dry heat perked up and put on a fresh show of growth and blooms. While I hate seeing the growing season come to an end, I do love the clear blue skies of October and the crisp cool nights.
The fall color is always a treat, too.
The Children's Garden that Mom and her fellow Master Gardeners have been working so hard to help establish in Van Wert had its butterfly release and ribbon-cutting ceremony in August. In October the Master Gardeners were given an Environmental Award. This award is given by Dominion and the Biodiversity Alliance and Mom, Sue Heappard (Van Wert City Parks Director) and I traveled to Cleveland to accept it.
On the way home from Cleveland, we stopped to visit Schedel Arboretum and Gardens and we were blown away by the beauty of them, as well as the fact that we'd lived our entire lives in northwest Ohio without seeing them. We'll be returning for another visit in the spring.
While in Cleveland, Kim (blackswamp_girl) and I finally got to meet each other in person! We had a great time perusing Petitti's Strongsville store together and I left there wishing we lived closer to each other. When you share a love of gardening the way we do, as well as growing up within 30 miles of each other, you feel an instant kinship.
I'd met another fellow blogger, Martha (Earth Girl), back in February when she was a featured speaker at the Allen County Home and Garden Show. We met again in July, when I visited the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historical Site, where she is in charge of the restoration of the gardens. I enjoyed the personal tour of the gardens and Martha gave me a Cornelian Cherry seedling (Cornus sp.) that is the offspring of the original that Gene planted many years ago.
We discovered wild grapes growing along the creek that runs behind our house and I made wild grape jelly for the first time in October. It was so delicious that I plan to make it again next year and will try it with the strawberries from our garden as well.
We found a Monarch caterpillar on the swamp milkweed in our garden late in September. This was later than usual and I took it in the house where it formed its chrysalis the very next day. About ten days later, it emerged from its chrysalis, a perfect and beautiful female. We released her several hours later and she began her long migratory trip to Mexico.
Fall is a good time for planting many things and we put some garlic in the ground for the first time ever. Of course there were the many spring bulbs that I said I wasn't going to buy (but I did) that needed planting and who knew planting tulips was so dangerous? We purchased two more Japanese Maples and got them put in the ground before the really cold weather set in.
The year closed in December with a major snow storm that provided us with good photo opportunities and insulation for the plants. Inside, we were forced to share the air with a jungle of greenery that wouldn't survive our cold Ohio winters if they remained outside. Life can be tough - what can I say?
And now, as we say goodbye to 2007, we realize how very blessed and fortunate we are to be living the life we do. God has allowed us to be stewards of so many living things around us - trees, birds, plants, flowers, insects, cats - and we do our best to take care of them inasmuch as is humanly possible.
We've shared much of our life this year via this blog and to those of you who visited and read about our adventures and misadventures, thank you for all your kind comments.
Now, on to 2008!