It’s been difficult to make clothing choices at this time of year. I make a little wood fire in the kitchen first thing in the morning and put on long underwear and several layers.

By midday I am filled with regret and start peeling off garments.

Then by late afternoon the house is chilly and I usually opt for an early bedtime. This is a person who has no central heating but has never really minded.

In the vegetable garden it is so difficult to actually begin a task. I head into the area with every intention of preparing some beds for planting garlic or late spinach. I end up wandering around deadheading dahlias and zinnias that have yet to freeze. Today I sprawled on a lawn chair in the sun, guilt-free.

I got a notification from the Maine Potato Lady seed company that the fall sale of garlic was happening. I was briefly tempted but chose instead to take apart some of my nicer bulbs of both the soft and hard neck varieties.

Aside from saving money — they can run $20 per pound — I like my varieties and have always had good luck. It is always wise to choose the largest and best bulbs to replant.

Speaking of the wise, I have a word for you: everything I know I’ve learned from trials and multiple errors.

Wet fall leaves on bluestone patios are very slippery. Step gingerly!

Last spring my seeded winter squashes fell prey to some rats in the greenhouse so I had a miserable crop this year.

However, as luck will have it, the sweet potato crop outdid itself. I dug one a foot long and as big around as a softball. Will wonders never cease?

One thing I enjoyed was the large amount of reseeded ageratums. I think I originally planted them five years ago.

Also, despite the fact that it is very invasive, the burning bushes are quite striking right now. They may be the reddest of all the fall colors.

A great green leafy plant is spigarello. An Italian heirloom, it is a cousin of broccoli. It, like kale, can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. One of its seedlings found its way into the flowerbed undetected until it was about two feet tall. Its blue-green leaves were a wonderful addition to the colorful annual bed.

I am an absolute failure at growing Brussels sprouts. The plant comes right along and looks promising. When the sprouts begin to form they almost immediately open into leaves splayed open like a flower. The tight little sprout never happens. Who can help me? I love them.

One year I grew some tansy from seed. Supposedly it keeps ants away. As if! Anyway, it has become dominant on the garden edges. It has a sweet little yellow flower that is great as a flower arrangement filler. At the end of August, I cut the spent stalks back. they were more than five feet tall. Now it is flowering again but at a more manageable height.

Millard Fillmore was the vice president of Zachary Taylor. He succeeded as president after Taylor’s death in 1850. He was the last of the Whig party. He did not win the nomination in the following election. He helped form the anti-immigration party known as the Know Nothing Party. I know it sounds like I’m making this up but, sadly, it’s true.

In our present-day politics we should be able to pick out the heirs to the Know Nothings.