At this time of year, I have a tendency to get a bit wistful. The nights are drawing in so there are less hours for me to tat about in the garden after work. I wish I’d done certain things a certain way and so I make a mental note to do things differently next year. (Making an actual, physical note would be much more useful, mind you.)
So I’ve decided instead to concentrate on things to be glad about. Things I’m enjoying about the garden right now (in mid September), and things that I can only now appreciate have gone well for me in the garden this year. So here goes:
- Apples. This has been a great year for my old apple tree. Last year I feared that it was coming to the end of its useful life and had even started to contemplate something to replace it. But we are currently benefitting from a glut of Bramleys. Rather than complain about all the apples I need to stew, I’m attacking their over-abundance with all the enthusiasm of a hungry pig!
- Sweet peas. I’m thrilled with my sweet peas this year. Even though their flowering is starting to slow down now and their foliage looks a bit tatty, I’m still able to pick a bunch every weekend. Some of them were bought as seedlings but the rest I grew from seed in the spring – so I certainly won’t bother to sow any this autumn.
- Raspberries. My ‘Autumn bliss’ raspberries have been brilliant again. This has to be one of the easiest crops to grow. Ours are growing in a raised bed between wires fastened to two T-shaped wooden contraptions. They need watering and a weekly feed but that’s it. I should really be out there picking every day but I probably only manage it every couple of days and end up with a decent-sized cereal bowl of fragile fruits. Excellent results for very little effort.
- Cosmos. I nearly didn’t bother sowing any Cosmos (‘Purity’ and ‘Dazzler’ incase you’re wondering). The snails/slugs nibbled a fair few. But I’m so glad I persevered because they are the one success in my pursuit of the impossible: late summer colour. Even though they need staking, tying in and dead-heading, I will still sow some more next year.
- Sunny weekend evenings. There haven’t been many of them recently but there have been a few evenings where the sun has dropped in the sky just as I’ve finished in the garden and I’m able to sit on the patio, in my gardening gear, with a mug of tea (ok, a glass of red wine) and appreciate my handiwork. It’s not the same as a summer evening as the light is different and things smell different. And it doesn’t last long (my cats want feeding or the neighbour’s dogs start yapping) but for five minutes I can just enjoy the moment.