Catching Up

Here come the Blue Devils!
Ah, dear readers, forgive me.  I have been in such a whirl lately that I have neglected my blog...and you.  I can give you numerous excuses, but you've heard them all before.  And, I would rather spend our time together bringing you up-to-date on our adventures.

As you know, Fall brings football...and we have our season tickets to Duke again.  And, once again, their football team, er, struggles to bring a victory home.  It would be frustrating...except it's just so much fun to go to the campus on an Autumn afternoon and see a game. 

We returned home this weekend from a lovely trip to Asheville and the mountains. I attended the NC Master Gardener Volunteer Association's Western Regional Symposium, which was held Wednesday at the NC Arboretum...two "firsts" for me right there.  And, since I was already in the neighborhood, so to speak, I signed up for a class the next day at the Arboretum (what a beautiful place!) on Winter Container Gardening.  A real treat!

Biltmore House...from the front drive
 Of course, if we make it to Asheville, there are two places on my Must Do list:  Yarn Paradise and the Biltmore Estate and Winery.  Check and double-check!  I came home with a bag full of Koigu sock-weight yarn and 3 new patterns from YP (which is located in Biltmore Village).  And, after getting our photo ID's made for our Annual Passes, Mr. T and I spent a lovely day at the Biltmore on Friday before heading back to HPNC.

You might think we'd just relax once we got back home...and we did take it a bit easier on Saturday...but we have so much that needs to be done in the garden this time of year that we couldn't rest too long. 

To prepare for the protection of tender veggies, I got the "ribs" into the rows of lettuce and spinach, ready to receive the row covers when the temps drop below 38 degrees.  Mr. T tilled up several rows in the Way Back garden with the Big Tiller, as well as a nice, new flower bed next to the fence in the back yard with the Little Mantis. He's getting the Way Back ready to plant some new berry bushes and apple trees that we've ordered from the County 4-H...and, we came home from the Biltmore with a new Beautyberry bush (Callicarpa dichotoma, which has bright purple berries galore!), 4 "Scarlett O'Hara" narcissus bulbs, and three new Alive! Hardy Asters that needed a new home...along with the 100 daffodil bulbs I bought a couple of weeks ago.

Using the new potting table Mr. T built for me near the water faucet, I repotted 15 houseplants and then gave numerous herbs haircuts and a good dusting preparation for over-wintering them inside.  I snipped several cuttings of the bright red geraniums on the deck and dipped them in rooting hormone...then put them in some fresh potting soil.  I also took lots of cuttings of the Electric Lime coleus...and new fav of mine.  Hopefully, I'll get lots of new plants next year.

Now, as the temps fall to the lower ranges of the 50's at night...possibly dipping into the 40's even...the population of the screened porch (which is wrapped in plastic sheeting for the Winter) has swelled...and we haven't even moved the palms inside yet. Pretty soon, you won't be able to walk through without being tickled by the fronds of a fern.  Winter weather's a coming', sooner rather than later...:)

Of course, neither of us will be able to move tomorrow...but that's another story for another day.


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