Into Autum

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness (to quote Keats) – well we have had some mists and there has been a bit of fruitfulness but I’m not sure I’d call the current windy weather ‘mellow’!

August never feels like it should be an autumn month – what with having the Summer Bank Holiday at the end of it, but in the old calendar of the seasons that is what it is. It is certainly a turning point in the garden.  August, September and October are Autumn, November, December and January – Winter, February, March and April – Spring and May, June and July are Summer.

Since the middle of August I’ve been weeding out and double digging beds so that they are settled down in time for planting in October and November.  There’s also been some dead heading and tidying up of shrubs and perennials that have finished flowering.  Just recently there have been a lot of leaves to clear up and quite a few fallen fruits.  I’ve even swept some bits of random pavement as I went by – I’ve been a victim of the slimey slipperiness of repeated windfalls made slippy with rain – by bottom won’t forget that impact in a hurry! So if I have my broom with me I sweep the pavement clean and hope it means someone is saved a ‘trip’!

Lawns have really suffered this year from the long hot dry summer – with weeds thriving and grass dying back.  Where there is still grass I’ve been taking out the bigger weeds (particularly things like dandelions and cats ear that have big basal rosettes that starve any grass underneath of light and air) and hoping for more rain.  The grass is beginning to grow again and mowing will have to continue for a while yet!

In my own garden I’ve also started planting bulbs for the spring, daffodils and aliums are already in and my hyacinth bulbs (for both indoors and out) are on the way from the grower.  I’ve also got a couple of pots with winter salad leaves seeded in them – and already showing some growth – hoping to have less slimy bags of wasted food in the fridge and just be able to pluck a few leaves from the garden instead.

I’ve still got some digging to do in my own garden preparing the way for planting some new apple trees in November.  Even though it feels like things are getting ready for a winter hibernation it also feels like the start of something – planning new planting, looking at beds that maybe just need stripping out and starting again – so much promise in the air. Maybe the wind is blowing in a change!

PS – I’ve also upset a few toads this month – lifting a big bit of rubble to get out some weeds I found this one – it wasn’t pleased.