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Fall Flavors

Yesterday I ate a piece of Finnish hot pepper candy, a concoction made from licorice, hot peppers, and ammonium chloride. Ammonium chloride? Doesn't that sound like a dangerous chemical? It didn't smell awful, however, and a tentative lick of the hard candy was intriguing. So I popped a piece in my mouth, and it wasn't bad. Breathing through my nose while sucking on it gave me an illusionary whiff of bathroom cleanser, but it did clear the sinuses. I think it would make an excellent sore throat/cough drop.The candy was a gift to my son from an internet friend in Finland. There is always more bravery in numbers, so my son came over to share the culinary experience with me.

Lately I have been eating another, very American food that conjures up images of early autumn: apple pie. Every September we are awash with apple pies. We have two apple trees, a golden delicious and a red delicious, neither of which are recommended for my Deep South climate. Both also are at risk for apple cedar rust due to the many cedar trees in my area. Nevertheless, the trees continue to grow and produce lots of apples each year. I have suggested making applesauce or even freezing some for later use, but Lou likes to bake apple pies. Anyone coming through is likely to go home with one. 

There is definitely a flavor of fall in the garden, though our temperatures are hanging in the 90s during the day. Already some leaves are beginning to turn.A clear September day

Dogwood leaves are starting to show fall colors.

Forsythia is known for its cheery early spring flowers, but I also like it for its autumn coloration. These leaves are from the same shrub.Surely cooler weather is on the way. The garden is expecting it, and so am I. Most of the following images are from the woodland garden:

Here are some photos of the front garden, taken from across the front lawn. Everything has a buttery flavor to it, soft and golden:

Finally, peeking into the front garden from behind the blue bench:

All of this is just a taste of autumn, but it's enough to make me want more. I am so looking forward to the milder temperatures and the rich colors, which sometimes last well into December. Many of the plants will have a rebirth of sorts, putting out new growth and flowers. In our part of the country it is the perfect time for gardening. 

Happy fall!

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Reader Comments (19)

Beautiful, Deb! I think your area is looking more autumnal than mine, although everything's drying out up here because we haven't had rain for weeks. I'm slowly working toward acceptance of the eventual autumn. Things get a little colder up here, and once it starts it happens way too fast! Lovely photos of your lovely garden!

September 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPlantPostings

You had me at "apple pie" -- the rest of the beautiful pictures were just a bonus. How great that you have producing fruit trees that have beaten rust, climate stress and all the problems that go with apple cultivation in even the best situations.

September 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

The nights and that time early in the morning before the sun warms the day are all cold now, the leaves are turning, not in mass, but they are bending to the need to prepare for fall and what is beyond. When I set on the porch swing in the afternoon I can smell and taste it in the air, fall. The last blooms are still in the garden and the birds are getting themselves ready. I am watching them trying to get them to teach me how to live within that moment and not worry about anything that is beyond that.

I love your garden photos and the blue bench is special.

September 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie@Seattle Trekker

Yes, summer is nearly over, our apples aren't ready just yet, it will be October before I am making apple pies and giving bags of them away. You must welcome your cooler temperatures, but don't go doing too much in the garden yet, will you! The soft colours in your garden are just beautiful, I'm sure we will all have some wonderful colours just before the leaves drop this year.

September 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpauline

Hi Deb
You're right - autumn is a great time for gardening. I want to plant extra daffodil bulbs into backyard. Today it finally rained so tomorrow will be a good day to go pull those pesky weeds.
So Lou bakes apple pies, eh? Does he ship them to Canada?? Yummmmm……apple pie is one of my favourites!

September 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

Autumn's definitely in the air – and in your garden, with those fall leaves that, like summer flowers, bloom beautifully.

September 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLee May

It doesn't feel like fall in the daytime but leaves are falling and there's that certain haze that foretells of Autumn beauty.

No apples here so we're having pear pie, a treat.

Your photos are luscious.

September 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNell Jean

It's hard to imagine those temperatures you are having now as we head into early spring, which feels more like summer. Beautiful shots of your garden, I always enjoy looking at your garden pics at all seasons of the year.

September 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I'm amazed you can grow apples in your climate -any apples, not just Red and Golden Delicious. Your garden, as always, is look beautiful. What is that large leafed variegated green and white plant that ooks a bit like caladium?

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah/Galloping Horse Garden

Hi everybody! As always, I appreciate each and every comment. Sarah, the green and white leafed plant is indeed a caladium. I have several growing in the ground in that area. Deborah

September 8, 2013 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

Thank you for the glimpse of fall. Summer remains firmly in place in Southern California but hopefully the cooler temperatures of fall will reach us eventually.

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

I'm impressed with your apple harvest. Just the thought of an apple pie is making me drool! Those golden hues are gorgeous. I'm anxiously waiting for autumn temperatures to arrive, and hopefully some rain along with it! I'm not sure I would have been as brave in tasting the candy, as I don't like licorice (and doubtful on the ammonium chloride, either!). ;)

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolleyGarden

I am on my way home from Maine where the plants are showing no color but the temperatures have dropped to show fall's arrival. I would love to have a pie, too bad you are so far away. Hold the candy though, it sounds awful.

Thanks, I think I will stick with the apple pie....lol.

Loving the softer autumny colors of your garden.

Muddy Boot Dreams is having a few redirection issues, but you can find it on FB.


September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Yummm!! Apple pie is one of my favorites, too. :o) I don't mind the heat but would really like some rain. We're dry as a bone up here.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCasa Mariposa

Mmmm...apple pie! I love apple pie and apple sauce and apple sorbet ice. But I wish summer would last a bit longer. Happy fall to you too Deb.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

Nice show of colors this early, Deb. I can see why you are looking forward to the season setting in. How I wish I could be stateside again to experience it. Maybe even pass by your place to taste your apple pie. Sounds delicious.

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBom

Apples are just coming into the stores as I don't grow them...tough crop here. But we are know for our orchards in this part of the state. I am still harvesting from the veg garden as fall niggles at the garden...your garden is starting to be tinged with fall.

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

Your garden is beautiful. If you have any gutter near your garden. You need good gutter cover, to avoid any kind of blockage due to leaves.

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames Davis
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