the operatic garden, act II

Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects

as fall runs its fingers through our garden bringing cool nights, a little more rain, a few curled and dried leaves, i tend to let it have its way with things. i give up on keeping things tidy, even though this means  i have to crawl through tangles to find ripe tomatoes or summer squash nested among layers of decaying leaves.

i enjoy watching everything return to wild chaos, becoming one big franken-shrub with an arm here of basil, a leg there of tomato, with eggplant leaf ears and a tall, tall radish body, gone to seed at the top. i let it go every year, just to see what happens. sometimes it’s just a quiet, gray demise but sometimes, it’s a real swan song with fireworks and everything.

even at that, i can’t help but notice this week how suddenly and ferociously the marigolds have risen up to claim the kingdom. they are all at once everywhere, gigantic and and flowering profusely from every stem.

it’s a marigold rave, a burning man, i’m telling you.

the marigolds are planted throughout the garden, along with the nasturtiums and radishes, to help keep the bad insects out. and together, they have done a bang up job of it—we had literally no damage this year from squash bugs, stem beetle, spider mites, aphids, and whatever it is that always gets to the eggplant. they are so hired back for next year.

i noticed a couple of weeks back that they were getting big and they had millions of buds, but there were so many and it was happening so fast, that i actually thought i had mistaken them for something else and it was just weeds taking over.

nope.

because the nasturtiums are at it, too. not with quite the abandon of the marigolds, but certainly a robust showing. it’s as if they’ve just been waiting for those noisy vegetable kids to clear out of the way so the flowers could show them how it’s done.

i say braVO.

this is my favorite one i think—a lone vanilla flower at the head of the carrot row. i’m sure it won’t stay this size for long—it has many more buds on it . . .

ok, speaking of the garden, who wants to know who won vegetarian cooking at home??

that would be . . . danielle, congratulations!
thank you everyone for participating; it was fun to read your comments on foods you’d like to know more about.

ok, enough about food; let’s talk about knitting. i’ve been making excellent progress on my indigodragonfly sweater—in fact, a tidy little pile of completed pieces is piling up.

two sleeves are now done and i cast on the back piece sunday night. since monday was a holiday, susie and debby didn’t have to work and we got together for our second knitting breakfast in three days (go us). i worked on the back piece of the sweater because the relaxed, easy knitting goes so well with goofing off.

by the time i went to bed last night i was about halfway to the underarm bindoff—a decent showing, i think, considering i have a couple of other projects in the works.

oh and when i took the pieces out of the project bag today to photograph them, what do you think fell out??

a quite dead, but perfectly preserved, baby dragonfly.
for REAL. how strange and wonderful is that?? i know it has to be some kind of omen, but i can’t think what. kim swears she did not put it in the yarn on purpose, but i can just hear its tiny little voice saying “curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

do you want to know the results of our sweater naming game?

so, full disclosure: when i set up the survey, i forgot that on survey monkey, you can only get the first 100 results for free. well, we had nearly 400 votes, so i wasn’t able to access the majority of the results. but i figure, the first 100 was probably enough to show a trend that would continue, right? since we’re all grownups and no one was winning a prize or anything based on the results, i went with the results form the first 100:

  1. Bloch Ness = 38%
  2. Skwär = 27%
  3. Rubic’s Cube = 26%
  4. Square Ribs = 8%
  5. Teenage Circles = 1%

Bloch Ness it is then. i like that one; it goes with the green polwarth/silk yarn, right?

while i have been making steady progress on wasp and rose as well, i know it’s been frustrating for YOU because you can’t really see the patterns or even the length as it’s all scrunched up on the needles.

however, the other night, i got to the start of the hem chart, where i am changing to a slightly larger needle. i saw the opportunity for a photo op, so i grabbed the chance while i had it

wah-LA. ok, it’s not done yet, but take a gander . . . it’s looking pretty good.
the photos are a bit dreary because it was dark and rainy all day yesterday (yay), but we’ll get better ones later.

and i don’t know about you, but i just had to see what it looked like on the dress form.

i love the stripes and how they lay over the shoulders and neck.
i know it looks all crinkled and messy now, but it will amaze you with its ability to magically transform into a thing of beauty during the blocking—trust me, it will be positively ethereal.

it will also be quite a bit larger than this—i’m knitting the tall size and it will grow a good deal; about 40 percent, i would say, based on experience with similar fibers. the petite size will be smaller, but still generous, not a shawlette. there is really only one section in this piece that can be resized.

i started the hem section while i chatted with cookie on the phone last night; i think i have 32 rows to go til it’s bindoff time.

hey, turns out, i’m not done talking about food—remember those peaches i bought over the weekend? well i got some of them put up for the freezer on sunday, but the rest needed to ripen for a few more days and today when i woke up, they were ready.

since they were the perfect first-quality ones and since we have spinning class tonight, i decided that it was time to bake the fresh peach pie i’ve been craving for a couple of weeks.

the peaches were so ripe that the skin pulled right off; i barely needed a knife at all. i sliced them and added brown sugar, a few pinches of clove, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom, and just a few shakes of corn starch.

streusel topping (flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon) is our favorite, especially for peach pie.

while the peaches macerated just a bit, i rolled out the crust i had stored in the freezer, all set to go.

the assembled pie, ready to go into the oven, on a baking sheet lined with parchment to catch any filling that bubbles over

about 50 minutes later, it was perfectly done—lightly browned and fragrant.

the scent is intoxicating, i mean it. and it has filled the house, YUM.

i even managed to get a shot of the filling bubbling up; how sexy is that?

boy oh boy, is the monday class ever gonna be jealous.
i might just have to make another for monday . . . or maybe some cobbler—yeah.

ok, time to back away from the pie, before i lose my senses and dive into it.

what could possibly follow that up? well, i’ve got tomatoes . . .

that’s going on tomorrow’s agenda; time now for me to get a bike ride in before class.

27 thoughts on “the operatic garden, act II

  1. Everything is just coming along, isn’t it? Such a weird summer that the marigolds and nasturtiums are only just now blooming. But in the end – it seems like you’ve gotten a good crop of veggies and that’s what counts – right? I’m loving watching the progress on the sweater (I voted Bloch Ness – but i think it was lost in the later votes) and the shawl. So, So pretty.
    It’s mid afternoon here in Missouri and I have to say – now I’m hungry – for what? PEACHES of course! LOLOL

  2. Anne, Your blog today sound as though the break away from did the trick. I’m so glad.
    All the Goodies you have shared, means Fall is around the corner.
    Enough already, The Peach pie tops off the taste buds!
    Looking forward to the Shawl pattern. What yarn is that?

  3. Tomatoes… hmmm… says Panzanella to me! Or tomato pie or tomato quiche or homemade minestrone. Soup and salad together– yum!

    Pat, that’s Fiber Isle Kami Bison, sadly out of print.

  4. Wasp and Rose is simply beautiful. Well worth the wait, Anne. I’m so glad you pulled it back into rotation.

    That peach pie looks delicious. Yum. Wish I was there to have a slice.

    The flowers are so pretty. And you’re making real progress with the sweater.

    Go you!

  5. Everything in the garden looks spectacular. I have never seen that kind of bi-colored marigolds before and I am very taken with them! Your peach pie photos are making me salivate. I am still loving both of your WIP’s, especially the shawl!

  6. I like the way you let your garden do it’s own thing. I do the same thing at the end of growing season, and I love the untamed wildness. My roses are 8 feet tall! We keep forgetting to prune them in winter…oh well.

    Wasp and Rose is wonderful. I am looking forward to the pattern.

  7. My garden is a wildness now too, with sunflowers galore, so the chickadees will be enjoying it soon.

    But you are killing me with the peach pie! My best pie in the world was a peach pie I made with my MIL once. Soooo delicious!

  8. Oh, I can’t wait for Wasp & Rose! I just love the look of that pattern, it looks like a fairy tail shawl to me.

  9. Your peach pie makes me feel hungry although I have just had my breakfast!
    And really looking forward to the finished shawl, you’ve kept us waiting so long but it was worth it (as ever…)!

  10. Wow – you’ve been soooo busy. The garden looks amazing & I might be inspired to make some pie this weekend. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Your garden is so lovely. I’m still envious as mine has weeds…..ah but I do have alpacas, cashmere goats and angora bunnies to play with.

  12. Yes, the Monday class is VERY jealous!
    Love the knitting pics.
    Need help again with the you.know.what sweater……argh!

  13. That peach pie looks divine! Hope it tasted as good as it looks! Have you ever tried tomato pie? We had a plethora of tomatoes after making huge batches of marinara sauce for the freezer, so I made a tomato pie for the first time. it was a hit, people were fighting for the last slice…just google tomato pie recipe!

  14. The peach pie was SOOOOO yummy!! Anne bakes an awesome pie and the peaches were just right. Sorry Monday knitters!

  15. What a treat this post was – thank you for sharing, Anne! I too am eagerly awaiting the Wasp and Rose pattern. We are in the midst of moving, living in a short-term rental while we wait for our new house to be finished, and I really really miss having a proper kitchen, so I love seeing the baking photos. How did you make the beautiful little pastry leaf on the pie!?

  16. Yum! That pie actually has me drooling. I have 8 peaches on the counter that will likely turn into a cobbler or a crisp tomorrow night.

    Woo hoo! (I voted for Bloch Ness….)

  17. I love your red and yellow striped marigolds, and marigolds are my major summer planting. What variety are they? Great post all around!

  18. The Wasp and Rose shawl is beautiful. Can’t wait to see it blocked.

    The marigolds are great. BUT, that pie looks incredible. My mouth is so watering!

  19. Flowers-gorgeous. Sweater – can’t wait to make one. Wasp and rose- my yarn is waiting to cast on. Peach pie-smells so yummy from here in Columbus. Blog post- so inspiring. You get twice as much done in a day as most people.

  20. Since you asked, I googled dragonfly symbolism and found that the dragonfly symbolizes maturity and a depth of character, power and poise, defeat of self-created illusions, focus on living ‘IN’ the moment, the opening of one’s eyes. From reading your blog for several years now, you have all of those in abundance.

    And I’ll have a slab of that peach pie, if you please.

  21. It’s good to hear that your companion planting worked out for you. Have you tried adding a few nasturtium flowers to salads? Not only do they look pretty, but they have a peppery taste. I love your new sweater, it just makes me feel relaxed, as crazy at that might sound! The peach pie looks like a triumph too. I’ve never eaten cooked peaches, over here they tend to be eaten raw. I shall have to investigate some more.

  22. Your marigolds are beautiful. I’ve never seen that variety. Do you know the name? My marigolds struggled all summer — especially during the July heatwave. Then the rains in mid August perked them up and now they are the star of my garden. I have a sea of yellow blossoms!

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