A Gardener's Notebook: Back home from home
September 10, 2000
? 2000 Douglas E. Welch
Back home in California again, after our whirlwind trip
<http://www.moonsgarden.com/; to Ohio.
<http://www.moonsgarden.com/> The last few days of our trip brought
reunions with more relatives and a look at a few more gardens as well. We
drove nearly all the way to the border between Ohio and Pennsylvania, to the
historic village of Poland, Ohio. Poland was the first town founded in the
Western Reserve <http://www.moonsgarden.com/; and therefore carries the phrase
"Town 1, Range 1" on its city letterhead and signs. Gardens are scattered
behind historic homes and new subdivisions. Expansive lawns bordered with
wood lots are the rule.
No lawn please, we're Californian
As much as I enjoy my lawn-less Garden this trip reminded me of the joys of
wide, green lawns, often stretching across several properties, where kids
and dogs can run, and even fall down, without getting hurt. My son, Joseph,
had a ball chasing and being chased by the large dogs kept by his cousins.
Of course, in Ohio, there is little need for watering lawns except in cases
of severe drought. I would never try to duplicate anything like this in
California but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate a good lawn grown in the
The vegetable garden season is about complete now in Ohio. We all helped my
father pull the last few ears of sweet corn off the stalks that will soon be
dried and used as Halloween decorations. Joseph dug in the dirt to retrieve
the red potatoes his Grandpa turned up underneath the withered foliage. The
green & yellow wax beans were still flowering and will probably turn yet
another full crop before the frost arrives. Other gardens showed signs of
tomatoes and peppers finishing up. We sat down that night and indulged in
all the bounty from this harvest and talked about years and gardens past.
The most telling sign of the season, though, was the pumpkin patch behind
our cousin's house. Two or three seeds had created a sprawl of vines
through probably 200 square feet of their backyard. I saw a few smaller
pumpkins, but I was amazed by the largest one, a yellow monster 3-4 feet in
diameter. I know they grow much larger pumpkins for competition, but this
one seemed quite large for such an unpampered pumpkin patch and the kids
were properly proud of it which was fun to see.
Just as it had in my childhood, Fall seemed to come quickly. On Labor Day
we awoke to a good, old-fashioned downpour. The temperature never rose about
65 for the remaining 3 days of our trip. When I was younger I remember
thinking that the weather was only mirroring our own foul mood as we
returned to school after a fun-filled summer. The one real benefit was that
we wouldn't have to swelter in our uncooled classrooms.
A few trees were already beginning to turn along the back country roads we
drove. Dark burgundy colors predominated although the sycamores were
yellowing and dropping their large leaves onto the lawn.
California has its own seasons, despite what you may have heard, but I think
I will have to take a trip up north this Fall just to scratch the
"leaf-peeping" itch our trip renewed in me.
Giant Pumpkin Information
Pumpkinfest International Giant Pumpkin Weigh...
FAQ on Big Giant Pumpkins, Atlantic Giant Pum...
10 Steps to a Giant Pumpkin - by Don Langevin
Leaf Peeper Info
Foliage Central -- Leaf Peeper Dos and Don'ts
ABCNEWS.com : Economy Class: Fall Foliage Tours
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