Sunday 31 October 2021

Half term

 Sunshine and showers, or to be more accurate, sunshine and heavy downpours. We've had a busy half term with our grandson, rolling  out pasta and air dried clay (and trying not to confuse the two!) Lots of action with the scissors cutting out bats, spiders, witches and webs to decorate the windows. We had an outing into the New Forest to a vast woodland play area. People of all ages were above our heads flying by on zip wires but we were more sedate and kept to the wooden tree top walk.

There were lots of exciting structures to climb. Four years olds have no fear!

Now we are back home. Too damp and chilly to sit in the greenhouse. When I've planted up the tulips I'll put the pots in here for the winter.

Sunday 24 October 2021

My day

I imagine that some women my age spend a day doing a little light dusting then paint their nails and eat cake. I am as raggle-taggle as my autumn garden and just as undisciplined. Painting my nails would be a complete waste of time.

I have picked the last squash that had been growing in one of the compost bays and spread the compost on the cleared veg beds. It is SO satisfying to have your own rich, free compost!

This left me with an empty bay. Time to turn the contents of this year's composting. I do this job with my jeans tucked firmly into my socks and the cuffs of my sleeves covered by my gloves. I'm on the look-out for snakes, rats or whatever, I know they like the warm, secluded heaps of vegetation. No problem this time, only two fat toads, always welcome in my garden.

The leaves are falling now that the nights are cold so the empty newly turned-over bay isn't empty for even a day.


The compost has been spread on the cleared patches of the veg garden and I've planted them with green manure, one area with just barley seed and the other with a mixture of rye, vetch and forage pea. We'll see which is the more effective.  The idea is to stop leaching. In the spring I'll dig the resulting crops into the soil.

Courgettes are still cropping although it will not be for much longer. The leaves are a sorry looking sight.


All the pears have been harvested and are ripening inside. I took a hint from the birds, as soon as they started pecking and eating the pears on the tree I picked the whole crop, still green. Happily it was the right timing - they taste delicious!

The Blue Lake and Cobra beans that reached for the sky are still up there and I'll have to get the ladder in order to collect them. Those lower down have been brought into the house to dry out ready to store for planting next spring.

Gardeners are always looking forward!

Friday 15 October 2021

Home again,

home again, jiggedy jig. We've been in Yorkshire for ten days. Day one the heavens opened and we sat with our knees to the fire and spent our time reading. The water level in the beck rose and the water roared, the other side of the dale was obscured by mist and rain. Was it going to be like this for our entire stay? Oh dear, we had planned to do lots of jobs before the winter. I read the book to be discussed at the village pub the following week, the October book choice, 'Precious Bane'. I doubt I would have finished it had the weather not been so bad.

But the following day, and those that followed, were glorious! All tasks completed. Himself went up the ladder and worked on the chimney while I dug out the garden, removing nettles and buttercups and dividing overgrown perennials. Neighbours carried clumps away to plant in their gardens. "What is it again?" 'Phlox."

I've planted white tulips and a variety of alliums. Gardeners are always looking forward!
It was wonderful walking weather and we enjoyed our usual routes. Not a soul to be seen on the moor tops - just how I like it.  The light changes dramatically, one moment the hills look dark against the heather and bleached grasses and the next they are bathed in shafts of light. I've walked this landscape for many years, it is a very meaningful place for me.

This walk is along the old peat moor track, an easy stroll from the village.

Saturday 2 October 2021

Wet, wet, wet.

 I've been deconstructing the garden furniture today ready to haul it into an outhouse. The heavens opened while I was halfway through the task and now the wooden furniture and I are sodden. 

There are loads of berries on the the trees and bushes. Does this mean that we are in for a hard winter? I don't know whether that is an old wives' tale or if it has any basis in fact.

A blackbird is nesting in the bush to the left of the kitchen door. Whenever I come outside it flies out of
the bush in front of me screeching it's head off. You would think it would be used to me by now.

There has been so much rain that our grapes are starting to rot. I picked a bucketful and made a couple of bottles of juice.. It looked beautiful and was quite sweet. I didn't drink much and a good job too. Oh, the bellyache!

The freshly picked corn on the cob are far more successful.

 The light levels are low, there is obviously far more rain still to come


I'm going to hunker down inside.