In Northern California, it is the time of fruits and flowers (that's William Blake I have to thank for the title of this post, see below for the full poem). In the Napa and Sonoma vineyards, the 'crush' has begun - the annual grape harvesting season which makes the world-famous wines we all love. When grape season is over, olive season begins. Walnuts and almonds are being harvested now. In our zone 9 home gardens, we look forward to a few more tomato and pepper harvests before the frost arrives sometime in December. Here at Poppy Corners, I'm certainly still harvesting those fruits, as well as melons, herbs, and the stray strawberry. We've eaten all the corn, potatoes, and sweet potatoes; the cucumber vines have been sacrificed to the compost bin after producing bushels of fruit for pickles and fresh eating; the green beans are long finished with a few extra bags for the freezer. Soon it will be 'greens' season, with plenty of leafy salads and sautés. I'm starting to look forward to that.
Late season flowers are bursting and the pollinators are very busy, though I'm starting to see less native bees as we head in to real autumn. However the butterflies and skippers are making up for that deficit and are constantly moving between the cosmos, zinnia, and the tithonia blossoms. The honeybees are still busy in the cuphea and in the late summer native flowers like California sunflower and gumplant. Hummingbirds haunt the salvias.
I've seeded carrots, brassicas (broccoli, kale, cauliflower, etc), radishes, chard, spinach, braising greens, tatsoi, beets, fava beans, gourds, snap peas, and shelling peas. I will continually be seeding these up through the end of November as I pull the summer crops out. I'm seeding some native spring annual flowers now too, hoping for a possible early rain - flowers like Golden and Arroyo Lupine, Tidy Tips, and Phacelia. I've also planted some native bulbs - White Brodiaea, Ithuriel's Spear, and Blue Dicks, in the woodland garden. Soon it will be time to prune all the summer perennials, and start collecting leaves for the compost.