I’ve harvested–no, that’s not right. My garden has produced five cantaloupes. Due to the rain, I think, two of them had split and were not in a shape I would like to bring into my house. So they’re moldering on the compost pile now. It’s very sad, except that we still have one and a half cantaloupes in the house, waiting to be eaten. There are more green ones out there. It turns out that four cantaloupe plants is too many.

I’ve been slowly cleaning up the mess from The Time We Were Away, and while there is still work to be done, I’m not as hopeless as I was. One cucumber plant has turned brown and mushy and has accordingly been pulled out. The birds have discovered the felled sunflower, which I had left where it was because it’s still got bean vines twined around it and they’re producing nicely. Yesterday its head was a mass of empty, immature seed shells. The still-growing ones seem to be untouched so far, but I’ll watch them. The onions have been removed from the soggy ground. I need to dig up the potatoes, but not until it’s cooler outside. And, happily, the Toga eggplants have finally produced fruit and are turning orange. They’re smaller than I expected, and I hope that means they won’t be bitter.

The weather the last few days has been awful–lots of rain, lots of humidity, very cool and then very hot. It’s definitely putting me in mind of fall. The garden is feeling it too, I think. The tomatoes aren’t producing as well, the Asian pear is loaded with green fruit, the two butternut squashes are hardening, the herbs are all going to seed. (Except the parsley bed, which is lush as ever. I wonder how well parsley freezes.) The two pepper plants are growing new fruits, trying to prove that they aren’t a complete waste of space, I think, but altogether I’m feeling this is a garden on the wane.

I may or may not get some brassicas in the fall, or spinach and lettuce–I need to plant more seeds; the others were overrun by the nasturtiums. I won’t plant the nasturtiums so heedlessly next year. There are a lot of things I won’t be doing next year–but that’s a post for a cooler month, I think. There will be beans, I hope, until frost, and the squashes, and the herbs. It shouldn’t be a barren fall by any means.

In the next days and weeks I need to get out there with the pruning shears and cut up things to go on the compost pile; dig up the potatoes; plant more seeds; harvest more amaranth for experimentation; put down mulch along the fence line so the weeds aren’t quite as at home; and maybe, finally, put something on the path. I haven’t all year, and except for The Time We Were Away it hasn’t been too much of a problem. And of course there’s the herb garden, the new garden for next year, which needs the plastic removed and some path put down. So much to do, even as the summer is dying. Which sounds good to me.

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