Posted in Gardening in Autumn, sowing & reaping

first freeze

It’s predicted that tomorrow morning we’ll wake up to temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Fahrenheit…  We set the time back Sunday morning, effectively cutting out the after-work daylight for most of us…  It’s in the air, in the sky, in our bones…the slow slide into winter, working up to the Solstice, the day when the sun begins to return.

I brought in the last, honest-to-goodness final, cuttings of basil and made some basil butter—just chop the basil and whip it into softened butter.  The sage was trimmed up and made into smudge sticks, handy for warding off demonic spirits…DSC_0006


But we’re still growing here…fires are keeping us warm inside and I’ve started seriously planning for next year.


I wrote the above on Thursday…  As we’ve continued to put away the garden, I’m less and less inclined to blog.  Oh, I could dazzle you with my fascinating take on houseplants, and I may visit and photograph some Botanical Gardens this winter, but mostly I’ll be keeping you informed with The News from Sonnystone Acres.   The holidays will be upon us before we know it and this year marks Casey’s 60th birthday, so festivities will be especially festive this season.

Thanks for following me here at the gardens, and check in at and say hey…

Posted in gardening, Gardening in Autumn, sowing & reaping

end of the edibles…

My edible garden is nearly empty…


It’s due to turn cold this week-end, so I’ve harvested the last of the bell peppers and green beans.


I still have a couple of planters-full of my beloved basil…


Other than some Sugar Snap Peas climbing up the trellises, that’s a wrap for the 2014 veggie-growing season.

I love Autumn;  it’s very nearly my favorite season, but I hate to pick favorites.  We’ve had a spell of too-hot days, and  I’m ready for the cool and seeing what Jack Frost can do with the foliage;  already my blueberry bushes are foreshadowing the coming palette, picking up the gold and orange of the hardy marigolds:



Since this is my first fall with the screen-porch, I’m verry excited to get the pumpkins, mums, pansies, and scarecrows arranged this week-end.   Till then…


Posted in gardening, Gardening in Summer, Recipes


Ooph, lately I’ve felt as if I were hurtling through space at around 67,000 mph, rotating at greater than 1000 mph, while trying desperately to STOP!!!   We have enacted a complete news blackout…avoiding the TV, naturally, but even the radio and computer keep flashing headlines about…you know, all the stuff that upsets me so much.

As a nurse, I always ask, “How can I help?”.  Sometimes the answer is, “You can’t do a flipping thing about it”.  In the instance of such civil unrest, international wars, and the general bigoted stupidity of my fellow earthlings, I know that my red cape is powerless;  so I breathe in, breath out a kyrie…and harvest basil.

I grow tons of basil, you may have noticed.  Yesterday I harvested 10 plants for pesto, filling the porch with the smell of its sweetness and giving my brain a break from thinking.


I’ll make Pesto JoJo with this batch…recipe can be found here.  I have 8 more plants left for fresh use—especially my beloved basil, mozarella, and tomato sandwiches—until frost.

Peace, kiddos.  Try to love one another.

Posted in gardening, Gardening in Summer, growing

blossoms…and porch progress

I managed to get outside Monday and re-pot some struggling plants, and just in the nick of time…a big wind blew in Tuesday and dumped a boatload of rain.  The plants didn’t mind, and the humidity temporarily subsided.  The bugs are really overwhelming this year.  I’m already scratching several chigger bites and the lightning-bugs (do you call them glow-worms?  fireflies?) arrive en masse every evening to brighten up the yard.

In case you don’t follow me over at Sonnystone  (why not?  see link above), I should explain that we are in the process of screening in our front porch.  My husband took off last week to get it started and got a lot done, but it all came to a grinding stop as he returned to work 10-hour days this week.  He does, however, have a 3-day week-end, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will be all, mostly, done by Sunday so I can sit outside without being drenched in deet.  Mosquitoes love me and I react with  large, itchy, welps.  Naturally, this task has rather obsessed us—him, as he has designed and constructed it all by himself, and me, as I try to help by staying out of his way…

He’s being very careful with his ladder as he works in the flower garden… the blooms seem to enjoy the company…

I’ve harvested the first crop of green beans;  cooked them up last night and served them with a bowl of cherry tomatoes from our husky reds.  We’ve got several yellow squash growing, our dill is nearly ready, and I’ve got to seriously trim the basil…

I’d better get as much done as I can before the porch is finished…I have a feeling I’m going to be lazy there!