The big show is coming and end, the final bluster of an Indian Summer (yes, who'd thought the boffins at the weather office would have got that one right?) is being tinged with ever familiar scent of autumn. There is damp in our bones, a chill as our feet leave the bed in the morning, that slight feeling that toes are barking as they search for socks. Autumn is coming and with it the slide into winter but remember that spring is round the corner and until then, let's bask in the glory that has been the new herb garden. It seems an age ago since we did the groundworks, started to plant and took you through our planting plan.
Yet the dahlias, sown in late February, reveal that you can have a wonderful display from seed in one year. They have done much better than Little D's sunflower, which has just started to flower and is far from being a giant. Though we can say that he has really taken to sowing his own this year and still loves his new pond, which at present has marsh marigold in it and is in need of an oxgenator.
There are surprises throughout this small garden. Hollyhocks have always struggled for us in the past but this time round they romp through fennel, marjoram and hyssop. Our Mara des Bois strawberries are on their second flush of fruiting, and though not a large harvest it is a welcome addition to the breakfast bowl.
The planting around the porch, which is the last thing on our list to take off the house - it was never here originally and is somewhat ugly and UPVCy - is a mix of fennel and hollyhock through gravel and pots awash with herbs, lavender, bay, sweetpeas (though again these have struggled with the lack of heat in mid-summer and may be replaced with peas next year), dahlias and scented pelargoniums. Each has it's uses from bringing in pollinators to added taste in jellies, jams and savoury dishes. Even the dill that sulked has now come into its own, and yes, started to set seed. Another sign that autumn is digging its fingers in.
It's the view from the road that makes us smile. A builders dumping ground has become more softer - ignore the stone work that needs repainting, we'll get to that - the rose, freshly pruned has greened back up, the beds have filled out and even the strawberries on the wall are a welcome addition to what was a dead space.
Finally, the pond is a riot of green - yes, we need an oxygenator - but the plants around it, fennel, salad burnet, Drovers geranium, a fern that snuck in, false saffron are no longer little plug plants but whopping plants competing with each other to fill the space.
Life on Pig Row would like to thank Kings Seeds for the supply of seed for this garden and their advice.