Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Fall Garden and Some of My Favorite Harvest Recipes

I am sad to say this will be the last garden post of the year.  Since most of these pictures were taken, we've already had a frost and almost all the flowers are now gone and have been cut down for the winter.  😢. The growing season is always over too soon isn't it? Well, let's say "Farewell to My Garden" shall we?


In a well planned out perennial garden, even when there are no flowers, there should always be a lot of interest.  I always keep large pots of flowers in my gardens so when there are no perennials in blooms, the potted annuals still provide some color.  I also like to leave my Hosta leaves up for the winter and not cut them back to the ground.  I think when the leaves change colors, it is so pretty.



I love to sit on this bench in my garden.  You can't see it in the photo, but it overlooks a river.  It's so peaceful sitting here.  There is a waterfall below, and you can hear the sound of the falls so beautifully.  


This is one of my many shade gardens looking back up at the house.  The white fenced in area is my vegetable garden.


Berries on bushes provide a lot of color and interest in the fall garden when the flowers disappear.  I love the appearance of these purple berries.


This bush has gorgeous red berries that the birds love to eat.


I've never been one of those gardeners to hurry and cut everything right to the ground in the fall.  I cut down the "ugly" stuff...you know, the spent blooms or anything that gets nasty looking after the last frost, but if something is still green, I leave it. This hillside is filled with bushes, hollyhock, sedum, hosta, and iris.


I was so happy to see this shade plant in bloom.  It grows right near my wood line and the deer usually chop it to bits.  The funny thing is I was recently in the garden, and I found the plant chomped to bits again. They must have got to it after the picture was taken.  Oh well, at least this year I saw it in bloom once!  

Sorry, but I can't remember the name of this plant for the life of me and I can't find it on-line either. Does anyone recognize it?


I shared this annual vine in last month's garden post, but it's so spectacular I had to mention it again.  I tried this plant for the first time this year and I loved it!  It's a winner all around.  Even my husband commented on it and exclaimed how much he loved it!  The foilage alone is worth growing the plant for.  It has a purplish green leaf, which is so lovely.  But to make it even better, it has a delicate purple sweet-pea type bloom, and then these blooms make the most amazing purple seed pods. Win, win all the way!  I saved a lot of seed pods to grow this plant next year.


Here are some close ups of the flowers and seeds pods.  Aren't they just amazing?  I seriously can't say enough good things about this plant.  It even grew in part shade!



Another great annual vine I tried this year was this orangey Black Eyed Susan Vine.  I've grown this vine before, but it never grew this well before.  I wasn't sure if it was because of the unique variety I bought, or if it was  because we had a hot summer for a change.  Anyway, it was another winner and I will definitely be planting it again next year!



I LOVED the way it naturally climbed my house and wrapped itself around the base of the porch pole.


It seriously did this all by itself.  I could not have trained it to grow so perfectly. Such a gem of a plant.


And the rusty orange/yellow flowers are simply stunning.


My front garden annual bed did pretty well this year too, especially since it was just a hodgepodge of plants and colors.  This year I cut my Sedum Autumn Joy in half so it wouldn't fall over like it has done all the years before. Most of the plants did much better, like the one below, but some STILL fell over,  I don't know why I have this problem with this plant. I go to other botanical gardens and they all seem to stand upright quite well. 


Here is a close up of the sedum Autumn Joy.


And now onto the vegetable harvest.  It was another great year.  My favorite thing to grow is the peas.  They taste so good!  I love to even eat them raw, just like this.  I try not to, because once I start munching on them, I can't stop, and then there aren't much left to cook with. 😂 I think peas are just the cutest vegetable!


Last year I planted two different types of beans and we had so many beans we haven't even finished eating all the beans from last year (I have just a few bags left in the freezer).  So this year, I planted half the amount, and I still ended up with a lot.

My carrots did a lot better this year than they did last year.  I moved them to a different location where they had more room to grow.  


We enjoyed our homegrown potatoes so much last year, that we doubled the amount this year. I don't know what it is about potatoes, but they taste so much better when you grow them at home than the ones you buy at the store

Pictured below is just one bushel of my red potatoes. I filled this container twice with red potatoes and then I also have two bushels of Yukon Gold potatoes (not pictured),


Now I'll share some recipes I tried that helped me use up all my extra vegetables.  Like most gardeners, I had more zucchini than I needed.  Last year I froze a lot, but I didn't want to do that this year.  I planted a lot less, but I still had too much and ended up having to freeze just a little.  I saw this Cheddar and Chive Zucchini bread on Facebook and I decided to try it.  It looks better than it tastes.  I didn't really like it.  It was very "heavy" and dense.


I could have done something wrong, so maybe it wasn't the recipe and it was just me.  If you want to try the recipe, you can find it HERE.

I made a lot of zucchini egg dishes like this "Zucchini Tomato Gratin".    I have a whole bunch of other great dishes like this on my Pinterest page.  They are all so delicious!


My favorite zucchini recipe I made all summer was this one!  It is incredible! It tastes just like scalloped potatoes.  I've recommended this recipe to so many people and everyone who made it loved it.  It's a winner for sure.  You can find this recipe HERE!



I love ordinary blueberry muffins, but if you add zucchini they become even more moist.  You can find this recipe HERE.



These are Yellow Squash Muffins that I added blueberries too.  They don't look anything like the ones pictured on the website, but boy do they taste good. They taste a lot like cornbread.  They are my favorite zucchini/yellow squash recipe.  I don't know why mine don't look more like a normal muffin.  I've tried the recipe twice now and they always turn out like this.  But I would still make them again and again because I love the flavor.

And of course, like every other gardener on the planet, I made lots and lots of Zucchini Bread.  My zucchini bread recipe always made two loaves, so I would freeze one and eat the other right away.  Now we should have plenty of zucchini bread all winter long.  It freezes very well too!  It taste just as good out of the freezer as the day I baked it.  I use the recipe from Betty Crocker's Cookbook.


I also grew a lot more herbs this year than I did last year.  These are just a few (plus a little broccoli and beans).  I spent a lot of time drying herbs.  It's very time consuming, but the cost of dried herbs in the store has risen so much, I really wanted to grow and dry them myself.  However, I can't believe how many herbs it takes just to fill one tiny jar.  After the drying process is over, they really shrink down.  No wonder dried herbs are so expensive!


And finally, I can't conclude the very last garden post without talking about Jackson.  Oh, cats and gardens just go hand in hand.  Jackson loves to go outside everyday and walk the enclosed vegetable garden with me.  But I think his favorite activity is simply sleeping on the cozy screened porch chairs.






Goodbye garden.  I will miss you.  The end of the garden season is always so bittersweet.  I won't miss all the back-breaking work, but I will miss your beautiful blooms, the warmth from the sun, and eating fresh garden greens every single day.

So what about you?  Are you sad to see the garden season come to an end, or are you relieved to have a break?  I'd love to hear from you!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

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36 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful garden. Very nice.

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  2. The way you layer your plants and the colors are just beautiful Amy. It's truly a gift to have it look so beautiful. I guess it's similar to how we layer clothes and I'm sure the more you do it, the better it gets.
    Your bounty from the garden is so impressive. That's the best way to eat!!
    OXOX
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Thanks Jodie! Yes, I think creativity spills over if you are creative in one thing, you're usually creative in others. And your so right...eating farm to table is the best way to go!

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  3. O MY!! Your yard and garden is absolutely amazing!! Beautiful!!
    Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and always leave such a sweet comment!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

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  4. I love your garden posts! My husband is the gardener in the family and I've missed his vegetables and herbs since we sold our home and possessions and started RV-ing full time. You are SO right that potatoes straight from the garden are so much better than store bought! Those green beans looked delicious. Green beans are one of my favorites. When I was a little girl, I used to help my grandmother pull up the carrots in her garden every morning. Then we'd bring them in, scrub them and I'd eat them immediately. It's one of my fondest memories and raw carrots are still one of my favorite things to eat! Thanks for sharing your garden with us!

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    1. Thank you! It seems a lot of people have so many fond memories of children working in the garden, especially with their grandma. I often think of selling our house and RV-ing full time too! I envy you!

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  5. Surprisingly we haven't had a first frost yet! Most of my plants are slowly starting to turn brown though but I tend to wait until early spring to cut everything back (mostly because I'm lazy and don't enjoy puttering in the garden). Your harvest looks wonderful! I too use a Betty Crocker recipe for my zucchini bread and always freeze one loaf for later.

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    1. Well, you live in a much warmer area than we do. We have had lots of frost, but not that hard killing one yet. Thank you. Isn't that Betty Crocker recipe the best?

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  6. Beautiful fall garden! Love the place you have for the bench and hearing a stream run down sounds so peaceful! I think I'd want to sit there with a book whenever the weather allows!
    Really love how your purple sedum pairs with the marigolds, hopefully I remember next year to plant some together, they look so pretty especially for the fall season!
    Your vegetable garden paid off once again with all the goodies you harvested! I only have a few herbs in my garden, I've been freezing some of them. I've given mostly up on drying them, it really is such a hassle!

    Love seeing how much Jackson enjoys the screened in porch and garden. My orange tabby loves to follow me around the garden too whenever I'm out there. He was very curious of what I was doing the other day when I planted some spring bulbs :-)

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    1. Thank you so much! I do sit there a lot, mostly bemoaning the state of the world and then feeling blessed I have my "little Eden" for now to enjoy. As far as herbs, yes, I wonder if they are worth the hassle too, but I can't stand paying so much for them at the grocery store either. I wish I could let Jackson out in the rest of the garden with me, but there are so many predators where I live.

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  7. Oh, this post makes me smile and want to cry…all at the same time. Your flowers and plants are so pretty. I miss having a large yard with mature trees. I need to get out and dig up my elephant ears, caladium, and cannas. I just don’t want to do it this year. Too much money invested in these little babies, though!

    http://marshainthemiddle.com

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    1. I completely understand. Thank you so much. And I understand not wanting to dig up spring bulbs either. That is so much work! I tried Cannas once, but they didn't survive the winter in my basement (I don't think I know how to properly save bulbs even though I've read about it a gazillion times) so I don't have them anymore.

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  8. I love all the berries and vines, pods and fun stuff that emerges in fall ... I'm busying myself pulling together bits and pueces and wreaths whenever I find some kind of bounty!

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    1. That is a great idea! I thought of that myself, but I have so much artificial fall foliage I just don't know where I would put a wreath.

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  9. When I'm looking at your Fall garden it remands me of magical places from fairy tale. Everything look so beautiful, flowers and vegetable and I'm sure that you have so much joy preparing all of that food with products from your garden.

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    1. Awww, thank you! It feels like a magical place to be.

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  10. You are quite the talented gardener. Your garden, even in these months looks like something out of a storybook.

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  11. Your garden looks so lovely - it's a shame you had frost and the pretty flowers were killed off but it will look great when spring rolls around! We really don't have any luck with veggie growing - this year I tried moving the planter around a bit to see if it was getting too much or not enough sun but everything still died off. The flowers we planted seemed to be doing better but even though it's spring here no actual flowers yet - just lots of greenery (where the veggies all went brown and died, ha!)

    Hope that your week is off to a good start :)

    Away From The Blue

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    1. Thank you! I don't know the first thing about growing anything in Australia. I would imagine it would be really difficult.

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  12. que preciosidad de jardín tienes, que maravilla, a mi las plantas no se me dan nada bien, ya no planto nada

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    1. Thank you! Oh, it's all about planting the right plant in the right place.

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  13. You've been busy! Yum. I love peas too.

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  14. The photos are beautiful! You must cook really well, because the recipes are looking perfect! I would like to achieve similar results with gluten free recipes! I know it's very difficult...

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    1. Thank you. I cook very well the basics, I'm not much of a fancy cook. I used to be on Keto, which is gluten free, but I had to go off of it when C hit. The ingredients for recipes were too hard to get. I would like to go back on Keto eventually. It's so hard to get back on track when you get off track.

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  15. Nothing like food you grew yourself, huh? Looks yummy! Also, love the way the vine naturally wrapped around the pole! Thanks so much for linking up at the Unlimited Link Party 37. Pinned!

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    1. Oh I know! It tastes so much better. Thanks so much .

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  16. My garden has bowed to the will of the frost too. Sad, but...
    Next year!!

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    1. Yes, time to rest before the next gardening season.

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  17. Amy, I always so enjoy your garden posts. Just beautiful! Our new place here is Asheville has some lovely beds planted with rhododendron and azaleas. There are a few rose bushes and some Iris. I hurriedly planted some daffodils in the midst of unpacking, but hope to make some real progress next Spring. Your gardens are such an inspiration.

    Michelle
    https://mybijoulifeonline.com

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    1. Well I am envious that you can grow rhododendrons and azaleas where you live because they do not grow well where I live. There is only one variety that is suitable for our zone, and even that one is hit or miss. I too just got my daffodils in the ground. Thanks so much.

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