In My Garden – September 2020

I haven’t been spending any more than essential time in the garden so far this month. The smoke from the fires in the eastern part of the county have drifted over the coast. It looks like fog (but isn’t) and the skies are orange, more like Venus than here on earth. The air isn’t healthy to breathe.

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It was so dark yesterday that we had to put the lights on in the house, I thought it was still night at 7 am when I woke. Our dogs are going a little crazy (you know how active Aussies need to be) because we won’t let them out to play. White ash covers our cars and the decks.

Casey and Quinn

Won’t you let us out to play?

I’ve been keeping the bird feeders and bath full so that any fleeing birds can find shelter, food and water. Birds aren’t my only visitors. Our native grey squirrel, the reddish Douglas squirrel, and chipmunks all enjoy the sunflower seeds.



The hotels and inns on the coast are full of evacuees fleeing the flames. We desperately need early winter rains. Fire season has at least another six weeks to go.

So, what’s happening in the garden? Remember last month when I put in a very late row of bush beans and zucchini? Well, this morning I saw the first zucchini flowers.

August planted zucchini

August planted zucchini

The first picture was the bed in August, the second a few days ago in September (with Casey observing). So far they are doing well. We may actually have beans and zucchini in October.

I planted lettuce, spinach and cilantro in two of the raised beds covered in fabric to cool them and protect them from the sun. They are doing well and I should soon be able to harvest the greens.

I have planted sprouting broccoli in one raised bed.

Sprouting broccoli

Sprouting broccoli

The flower beds are reflecting the impending change of the seasons.

And the pollinator garden has…well, lots of pollinators.

Pollinator garden visitor

Pollinator garden visitor

And that’s certainly not all that’s going on in the garden. It’s a constantly changing environment. Sometimes I just sit and watch and listen. Hummingbirds arguing for territory, birds scratching and singing, bees buzzing, butterflies flitting…it’s a very busy place. But it calms me in these days of hectic news. The bees don’t bother the hummingbirds on the same flower even though they are different. My prayer is that we realize we are still part of the same world and honor each other.

15 thoughts on “In My Garden – September 2020

  1. I have been wondering if you were affected by the fires. Looks like your garden is doing well considering – it must be safe to eat all those veggies? I know when the volcano in Hawaii was spewing out ash it damaged my brother’s crops – this must be different and not as lethal? Stay safe Liz…

    • Thankfully most of the greens are covered with shade cloth and the tomatoes with plastic. Other plants aren’t producing fruit yet. The potatoes are underground so they should be fine. It would be something to worry about though, you have to actually scrub the ash off the cars as it’s sticky.

      The vineyards are very worried about smoke taint. I know several harvested early (Sept 8), they said that it was the earliest ever.

  2. That is so awful, all those fires. So scary. But your garden is doing so well! I had to give up on squashes, but my season is different than California’s. We actually had too much rain this year. But I just hope you get rain. Lots of it.

    • A big rain winter would certainly be welcome this year. The fires are scary, even here on the coast we loaded our van with water and emergency supplies. Just in case.

  3. These fires have been devastating to the whole region, but it looks like your garden is still thriving even in these conditions. Such a lovely photo of your dogs, particularly the little one clutching his comfort blanket in his teeth. Take care and hope it rains soon!

    • Yes, that has been her comfort blanket since she was a puppy. It was her ‘mat’ for puppy training classes. She actually holds it in her paws and sucks on it when she is nervous.

  4. Liz, good on you to keep the dogs in and to feed the birds (and others). My daughter lives outside of Corvallis Oregon and says it’s awful there. They have been on potential evac notice for days. 2020 is shaping up to be quite a year for you guys over in the US as well as the rest of the world.
    Love your late garden. We only get one short season here. Take care…

    • Thank you Ron, I hope your daughter stay safe. The smoke has been terrible in Oregon. We have good friends in Ashland and the fires came within a mile of their home. Unfortunately the smoke from the west coast is supposed to be over Europe this weekend. I wish we could come to an understanding that we are all in everything together…climate change, virus, etc.

  5. The fires seemed completely unreal until a few days ago when the smoke plume passed over us, in Michigan, on its way East. Really unimaginable how such huge fires can rage, and the damage they do. I hope noting worse happens to you than already has.

    be safe… mae at

    • I understand the smoke cloud will be over Europe this weekend. We actually live in a small world…smoke and the virus know no borders. Thankfully here on the coast we have summer fog so things do stay cooler and moister. We still worry though and have our emergency kits ready.

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