This weekend we finished our major fall cleanup of the garden, removing spent summer fruits and setting up some of the frames for winter tunneling. The garden is a very different place without all those tomatoes:
Also out of the picture are the beans, corn, okra, and all forms of squash. It leaves a lot of empty space:
The newly-empty garden could be depressing, but I always kind of like seeing the clean lines of the raised beds again. After all, they've been obscured by a tangle of vines and greenery for months. It's the return of order after the chaos of abundance, and it's nice to have some breathing room again.
This weekend is also like New Year's Day for the garden, because I planted garlic bulbs (in the bed above). Garlic is one of the first things we planted when we first built these beds, and it was the first of our crops to come full circle in its propagation. This is the fourth planting of garlic, and it means the beginning of the fourth full year of the garden is under way.
Despite pulling out a lot of plants, we still have some pretty things left for an autumn display. Our long pie pumpkins are curing in the sun by the healthiest calendula I've ever grown. All that orange is just the thing for October … or for as long as it lasts.