Celebrating Fall

“Autumn, the year’s last loveliest smile.” ~William Cullen Bryantimg_6534“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all” ~Stanley Horowitzimg_6443“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~Albert Camusimg_1905“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” ~Lauren DeStefano, Witherimg_1902“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.” ~John Donne
img_1811“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves.” ~Humbert Wolfe
img_1799“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.”~Joe L. Wheelerimg_1750“And I rose in rainy autumn and walked abroad in a shower of all my days…” ~Dylan Thomasimg_1731“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.” ~Anonymousimg_1727“I am rich today with autumn’s gold.” ~Gladys Harpimg_1657“I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.” ~Lee Maynardimg_1718“Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.” ~Samuel Butlerimg_1721“Or maybe spring is the season of love and fall the season of mad lust. Spring for flirting but fall for the untamed delicious wild thing.”~Elizabeth Cohenimg_1796“There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood- Such of manner, hint of mood; And my heart is like a rhyme, With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.” ~Bliss Carmen
img_1803“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” ~Jim Bishopimg_1903Wishes to all for a lovely autumn season.

Savoring the Last Days of Summer

It’s almost time to give summer a long kiss goodbye and welcome the jewels of autumn. With comfortable warm daytime temperatures and cool nights and mornings, my gardens seem to be putting out a last beautiful blast of blossoms. Here’s how things looked today.

Japanese Anemone
img_6096Foxgloveimg_0941Zinniasimg_0828Lamium
img_1011Fuchsia
img_1009 Calibrachoaimg_1008Roses
img_1007img_1006Impatiensimg_0953Sweet Autumn Clematis
img_1020Black- eyed Susansimg_1019Sedum, Autumn Joyimg_1016Salvia, Black Knightimg_1021Perovskiaimg_1014Lorapetalum
img_1027Sunflowersimg_1023I’m still harvesting tomatoes from my vegetable garden daily, but in another month I’ll be pulling them out. They’re the last of my summer vegetables that are still producing.img_1025 And then there’s this! Vibrant Virginia Creeper already adding so much gorgeous autumn color to a fence.img_1018And this beauty I found in the  lawn the other day. Yep, you can bet I’m savoring every bit of this late season beauty.img_0934What’s blooming in your garden during these last days of summer?

And now, off to take my husband’s hand and set off for an evening walk to admire that incredible harvest moon!img_1040

Sweet November

It’s true, I have always had a love affair with autumn, but have you ever seen one as beautiful as this year’s? Who can resist the brilliant shades of red, gold, and orange that the trees and gardens are wearing this time of year?

Come with me, won’t you, on a tour of some of my favorite areas on our property.

Here we are at the pergola sitting area.IMG_6444And this is across the lawn looking toward that area with the pergola.IMG_6455The Eastern Redbud’s heart leaves are a favorite of mine.IMG_6258Ornamental grass, Miscanthus is in the foreground near the seasonal creek bed with birch leaves just starting to change to yellow, and maples putting on a fiery show.IMG_6578This old wheel barrow is planted with Coral Bell’s, Violas, Euonymus Sunny Delight, and Evergold Carex.IMG_6398I love the lawn covered in these beauties.IMG_6062I had been on the hunt for two child sized adirondack chairs and found them last weekend in Sutter Creek at a favorite shop called Antique Gardener. I had envisioned them in white, but I love how these look right now with the terra cotta pots in the background and the reds of the maples in that area.
IMG_6587And now let’s head over to the front porch. This sweet old yellow chair greets us with some of autumn’s vibrant bounty as we walk up the sidewalk. Purple Love Grass is in the pot behind the two pumpkins to the left of the chair.IMG_6221IMG_6589IMG_6588IMG_6590IMG_6557 (1)Sweet November, indeed.

Autumn, Glorious Autumn

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“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”

~Lauren De Stefano

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“The heart of autumn must have broken here, and poured its treasures out upon the leaves.”

~Charlotte Flake Bates

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“Winter is an watching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn, a mosaic of them all.”

~Stanley HorowitzIMG_6338

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”

~Emily Bronte

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“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket then all the other seasons.”

~Jim Bishop

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Harvest Loaf

About twenty years ago, my sister introduced me to this delicious autumn-y bread and it quickly became a family favorite. The semi sweet chips add a touch of chocolate goodness to the pumpkin and spice bread. Choose to add a glaze or not before serving. I’m so happy to share it with you.IMG_6274

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Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Use cooking spray to grease a 9×5 loaf pan.

Combine flour, baking soda, and spices in a bowl and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well.

Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the pumpkin. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Add the mixture to the loaf pan and smooth top.

Bake 65 – 75 minutes, depending on your oven.

Let cool on baking rack.

Optional: When cool, drizzle with glaze.

Glaze:

Combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 – 2 Tablespoons cream.

Makes one loaf, but I suggest doubling the recipe and making two. Freeze one to have on hand for a cozy treat when friends and family drop by during the holiday season!