Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Winding down the jungle #amgardening #mngardening


Green beans in front with past-their-prime cilantro volunteers.

I was going to do a “have a great holiday weekend” post, short and sweet, but when I went out to the garden this week, I figured I had a limited time to get halfway-decent pics before things went even further downhill.

It’s September, and here in MN it means the garden is on its way out. The green beans are almost done, I pulled the pickling cukes out, but the remaining cukes have started to succumb to cool nights. The pumpkin is dying back. So I figured I’d share the journey.

Peppers in back, green beans in front, onions in the middle
The marigolds are rockin’!
Cucumbers still holding on
Sad tomatoes

The tomatoes have almost completely succumbed to blight. I had a couple plants that were more resistant, but they, too, are dying. The worst part is that so many of the fruit hasn’t ripened completely, so even though I can pick them and let them ripen in the house, they don’t taste as good as when they are completely ripe when picked.

Peppers going strong!

The peppers, on the other hand, are doing well. So is the kohlrabi. I picked a kohlrabi almost the size of a softball. I planted them as a bait crop for the cabbage worms, but this year those suckers decided they liked the brussels sprouts better. Sigh.

It’s been fun, though, to see some less-hated caterpillars.

Swallowtail caterpillar on dill

Just like monarch butterfly caterpillars are always on milkweed, swallowtail butterfly caterpillars are always on dill. I had quite a few caterpillars on the dill this year, but oddly I don’t think I’ve ever seen more than one butterfly a year. They must sneak in when I’m not looking 🙂

The pumpkin is dying back, and I have some nice ones. Not sure what I’ll do with all of them, but at least I’ll be able to make pumpkin bread this year.

There ya go. We’ll be pulling onions and digging potatoes this weekend. Both those crops need to “cure”: sit someplace for a few weeks to develop their thicker skins before we store them. It’s supposed to be warmer for the onions, though. Next week we’ll get a preview of fall with high temps all the way into the 60s. And me without my commute to see the leaves change. Bummer.

Stop by on the 8th for a special post! I’m a blog tour stop for Diana Peach’s new release, Liars and Thieves!

Enjoy your holiday weekend! Stay safe and keep writing!

Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, four chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

18 thoughts on “Winding down the jungle #amgardening #mngardening

  1. The swallowtail butterfly caterpillar is beautiful, such a striking pattern!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You do have such a lush garden, Julie! And I’ll bet those fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, etc., make your dishes taste all the better. Stay safe and cool and enjoy the weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As I pulled out dried up dill stalks that have already dropped their seeds, I realized this is the FIRST year that I have not seen a single swallowtail caterpillar on my dill, parsley, fennel, or carrots! Not one! Usually there are lots, and I always encourage them. I’ve seen a few Eastern and Tiger swallowtail butterflies, but again, not as many as in past years. Sad…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no. I’ve seen more caterpillars on my dill this year than ever. I love seeing the monarchs, and dragonflies. I haven’t seen as many dragonflies around as I have in the past. I miss them!

      Have a wonderful week, Carolee!


  4. A garden is sure a lot of work!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your garden browsing, Julie. Too bad about the tomatoes since I know canning them is a big part of your harvest. My garden is winding down too. Plenty of kale left and that will last right through the winter! Thanks for the tip on kohlrabi as a defense against cabbage worms. My cabbage (and cauliflower) were decimated this year. Enjoy your harvest. Fall is on the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And there is a shortage of canning lids right now, so hubs is reducing them to sauce that we’ll freeze (if he can find room in the freezer). He made spaghetti sauce last week and froze some of that. I haven’t dug into the kale much yet–too many green beans and cucumbers to eat yet, then the beets, but I’m looking forward to that and the sprouts.

      Every year when the cabbage worms attack, I swear I’m going to use netting the next year. The magic netting fairies haven’t shown up yet, though 🙂

      Have a great week, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the caterpillar shot. They are so pretty even if they get into things:) As soon as we get out of this heat wave and the smoke subsides enough I’m going to move some plants back into the greenhouse for a longer season. Looking forward to the change of fall soon. Have a great weekend xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the caterpillars, too. I hope the heat and smoke clear soon out there. Fall is about ready to drop on us. Yesterday temps were in the 80s and today they are all the way up to the 60s. Nothing like summer one day and fall the next.

      Have a wonderful week, Denise!


  7. Who knew there’d be a reason to miss one’s commute. 🙂 It’s fun to watch your garden transition through the growing season.
    60’s! We’re supposed to go to a party tonight where the temp will be 104! eek!
    Hi, Zoey love. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a swallowtail butterfly. That was quite the shot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the swallowtail caterpillars because they remind me of monarch caterpillars with their stripes (monarch caterpillars don’t have the spots, though). Now if I could see more swallowtails around, that’d be great 🙂

      Have a wonderful week, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

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