I’m sure you are wondering why I’m titling this newsletter “Purple Crayons;” because it is back-to-school time and the very first children’s book that came into my head is Harold and the Purple Crayon.  I love this book because it is all about the flight of imagination pouring through the purple crayon, Harold, as the artist, with of course the author behind. Some more of my favorite children’s books are The Giving Tree, The Kitchen Window Squirrel, Gypsy Girl’s Red Shoes, Zat Cat, and anything by Roald Dahl. I still have my childhood copies; Zat Cat is my daughter’s, but I love it and read it now and again just for fun, complete with a perfectly dreadful French accent. Sometimes I read it aloud to her and she’s nearly twenty. I try to use the same voice inflection from way back and we have fun. As you have guessed, some of these have garden-related themes, so of course I enjoy them for that reason. Aside that, they are just great stories. Pick up a couple of these to share with a child in your life–or your inner one. Celebrate some back-to-school memories you might have. Let me know about it, too. A couple of things I know from all of you: you like to read–or at least hear a good story, you like to cook and eat, you love big, beautiful flower photos. And thank you for continuing to read this! My blog is read more that double the percentage of other home and garden newsletters.

Last week at the Farmer’s Market I overheard a woman saying what a wonderful summer we have had. True on many fronts, but I’m guessing she isn’t a gardener.  Or maybe her water bill is over the top from her irrigation system and she’s ok with that. I have been doing the rain dance for weeks and it’s not helping. I’m sure you’ve noticed. Not my rain dance (I hope) but the lack of water. My Haddon Heights rain gauge indicated less than an inch of rain for all of August–we were behind for July, too. So in addition to my rain dance, the hose is dragged around. My fave. Not.

Autumn is such a great time in the garden, though, current dry conditions aside. Here are some things to love:

1. The first falling leaves. Across the street, our neighbor’s four beautiful Linden trees are lit with gold in the center. I adore these trees and look at them in awe nearly every morning all year as I begin the day with several pages of writing. Take a few minutes with your morning coffee to look at your trees and those of your “borrowed” landscapes–meaning those outside of your own gates. BTW, speaking of morning writing, I have started pages that will become a book– I plan on finishing the content by this time next year. Now that I’ve made the announcement I am more firmly committed. So feel free to check in with me on the progress; it will help me to stay motivated. Whatever it takes to keep the force of resistance at bay;

2. Harvests are well under way. The farm market stalls are jammed-packed full with every sort of lusciousness. If you don’t tend to be a frequent farm-market visitor, this is really the time to go. I had to restrain myself from over-buying. Focus is an important thing;

3. My mother’s plum torte recipe. I published this last year in a blog; here is the link to that in case you would like to try it out. I bought plums for this at the market and it is just a beautiful thing. Easy to make and freezes well for another time;

4. Peaches–in amazing arrays of shapes and colors. Eat them ’til the juices run down your chins;

5. Squirrel acrobatics. They are really going at the dogwood berries–which are just now turning red. While delicious and nutritious to Squirrel, they are toxic to Human. Occasionally, our dog, Katie, will chow down a few but I don’t think they are her cup of tea. I think she just wants to find out for herself what the squirrels see in them;

6. Football. I didn’t really say that, did I? Actually, while I don’t love the sport, I do love when my B-I-L Mark cooks up some amazing food for games and invites us over; My sister and I usually chat it up outdoors and enjoy their garden;

7. Fall blooming anemones. They are my very favorite autumn flower, hands down. They have just started to think about opening in my garden. They come in pink and white; I prefer the white as I don’t really want pink in the autumn garden. I just don’t think it looks that great with the other fall colors. The foliage of the autumn anemone is like that of a maple tree but hugs low to the ground and spreads–but respectfully;

8. Despite the hot week we are having, there will be cooler days ahead;

9. The neighbor’s lawn machinery will go away soon. My daughter saw him outdoors last night sporting the helmet light while he worked, and said it’s a sick cosmic joke that he lives next door. Go figure.

There are lots more things to love about Autumn. I’m sure I’ll be adding to this list as the season progresses. Post below about some things you like; it would be great to hear from you.

A Little Patch of Green...
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