Slow painting

Monday, 19 September 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2011

Not a huge amount of change in my garden since the August Bloom Day. Still, the season is moving on, and Autumn is definitely here. There was a day last week when everything that was growing seemed to shrink back slightly. The light is declining, with sunrise nearly at 7 am, and sunset by 7.30 pm. The equinox approaches.

Above, a marigold droops in the rain. Marigolds are a cottage garden favourite that I can't get enough of in Autumn. The sowing I did this year seemed to take reluctantly, and so the blooms are very sparse and all the more precious as a result. I don't know what happened to germination of my seeds this year, either in the garden or at the allotment. I'm going to read up about biodynamics over the winter, although I can't quite get my head round the preparations such a horn silica.

Below, autumn colours are beginning to appear on my blueberry bush.

Still a few fruits appearing on the woodland strawberries, and strangely the slugs don't seem to have found them.

Below, red clover which I sowed in a border as a mini patch of green manure, but which has also failed to germinate well.

Roses are making a brave second showing, although I doubt if the profusion of buds will all flower unless we get a very balmy spell now.

A bit of confusion here: a Spring-flowering polyanthus has decided to bloom, behind the seed pods of 'Love-in-a-Mist'.

A climbing fuchsia is doing well, but has a long way to go before rivalling the hedges we saw in Skye this summer.

Visit Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens to see what else is blooming this month.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Shades of green

Some things are flourishing this year. The 56 leeks, minus 2 or 3, are looking more leek-like by the week. Grass seems to be our best crop, helped along by a stream of busy weekends and darker evenings. Even the emerging green manure, to the left of the lush central path, can't compete.

Grass apart, however, this has been a mean summer. Of my first sowing of lettuce, chard and beetroot, only a few seedlings emerged. The second sowing made a couple of weeks ago is marked by the faint lines of sawdust in the shot below. There are some healthy weeds, but not much else.

The close-up below reveals what might be some carrots pushing through. 'Grudging' is the best description I can come up with for this season. In my more fanciful moments I imagine that the plot knows that our attention has been elsewhere.

We have to face the fact that we are likely to be just as busy through the next year, and so we've been making plans for an ongoing regime of green manure that will take us through this winter, then next spring and summer. We'll keep smaller areas under cultivation but we won't try to be productive on a scale that we can't maintain. In the end the soil will benefit, and we'll arrive at this point next year with both children away at university and the plot serving as therapy for the empty nest syndrome that we can see looming.