“Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and color and a time of completion; but it is also breadth and depth and distance.”
– Hal Borland
I found free bulbs! They were left on a counter by the sink at my workplace, in a box with a sign: “Bulbs: Dahlias, Lilies etc. Take some.” So I took home two handfuls, maybe 10-12 bulbs. I've never had dahlias before, so this will be an enlightening experiment.

I have extra cayenne peppers myself. I mailed all the fresh ones I had to my Dad, he prefers them that way. There's about 40 that dried up before I got around to sending them. I'll use them in cooking and might try making a hot sauce with some, but it would be nice to share the rest with friends and co-workers who enjoy hot peppers. Two of the plants still have ripening fruit as well, so there will be about 20 more peppers to pick over the next month.

As far as the tomato harvest, it's almost over. There are a few more on the vines. I really enjoyed the Beefmaster, Big Beef and Cherokee Purple varieties, but will try to plant more unusual heirloom tomatoes next year. In the meantime, I'll research what grows well in this microclimate that's often foggy in summer. I recall that Golden Gate Gardening had good tomato advice, and I just bought The Illustrated Guide to Gardening, although it's a 1995 edition, so doesn't mention newer cultivars of some plants. I'd like to increase the variety of edible things in the garden. I didn't get around to vertical plantings of squash, or a bed of parsnips, but maybe 2018's the year for it.
Clicking on the cropped images below will show the full image in a new window.

A single Solanum bloom.

October Bouquet

The week's garden bouquet.

Velvet Petunia

Petunia petals unfurl.


In a wooden container at the southeast corner of the house, a Solanum (also called blue potato bush or Paraguay nightshade) that hadn't bloomed in 3 years now has a single flower. I attribute the appearance of this cute little blossom to a recent application of fertilizer, and to increased sunlight since the trees and camellias above it were pruned back. This container also holds calla lilies and pink petunias, so maybe the Solanum would do even better if it had a separate pot.

Also adding a nice pop of purple to the yard are the petunias I planted under roses in September. These are some of my newer companion plantings that are working out as planned. The basil I added under the tomatoes did not thrive, however. Something ate the leaves before I managed to spray them with coffee, garlic or any other of my pest-repellent sprays. I only have one basil plant left, in the herb planter that's always getting dug up by squirrels, and it's going to seed before growing much. Oh, well. I think I'll start more in little pots and keep them on the kitchen windowsill.

This weekend, I treated the lawn and my recently-seeded planter boxes of lettuces, cilantro and radishes with Dr. Earth Home Grown fertilizer. It's a nice organic formula, but has a mild odor since it includes fish meal and kelp. I told Steve about having just sprayed this on the grass, and he said, “Ah, that's why the yard smells like sushi.”


• • • • • • • • • •


Subscribe for FREE to the GreenWise Gardening Gazette:
Each week’s blog post, gardening resources & more!