The Weather's Changing & Collecting

Mornings are closing in on Pig Row, this is the first sign for us that autumn is coming when the clouds rather than pass over us give up in a huff and collapse on top of us.

Misty Mountain Hop anyone?

Even though there is that nip in the air and the smell of bonfires on the breeze, there are still plenty of things to be getting on with. The wood in the foreground, along with another pile in the front garden and a further pile by Carol's studio is set for a renaissance. It will be used to make shutter runners for Carol's studio along with a over sized day-bed-cum-couch-with-storage-underneath. That is my wife's remit, comfortable but functional. I somehow think that is how she explains me to people who come to the house and see me for the first time, 'Oh, this is my husband, he's comfortable....'. Though sometimes I fall down on the functional side.

The first of the cosmos

It has been declared in our hamlet, by all neighbours, the worst year for growing on record. Borders that are normally brimming over by now have barely covered the soil between plants. Even the nasturtiums have huddled together for warmth. There is a litany of disaster, courgettes, all lost to the weather bar those that were in growbags on top of a stone wall open to the south winds. Go figure. The onions started in modules got off to a strong start, were then planted out when the ground was warm and the weather was glorious, never grew, just sulked, turned into bricks and died. The runner beans sulked and have only just started to crop. I don't know why I try them in the borders, they need to be in a polytunnel. The gooseberries got sawfly. There have been successes though.

Perennial Helianthus in flower

The flowers in the fruit border had to be moved as they became rampant, lychnis and lupin cascaded for several weeks over paths and fruit, shading them out, sweating them and giving them a lovely home for sawfly. The strawberries have been wonderful this year, punnet after punnet, the same with raspberries and blackcurrants but no gooseberries. I have grown sweet peppers for the first time, and though we have not had one yet, there are plenty of peppers developing in the glasshouse alongside the stripped, defoliated tomatoes that are beginning to ripen. We will soon dig out our video camera to give you a tour of the garden as it stands in early autumn.

One courgette harvest

The plus side of the proliferation in lupins has been seed, and we have collected a bucket load of the fat pods for shelling, storing and sharing.

Lupins seeds

This is also the season to get out into the hedgerows and to do the last of the foraging as we did this time last year, making jams and collecting fallen wood for burning. This will be stacked for winter by our growing log stores around the house. Winter may be coming but there is plenty to do.

Lighting the way to wood