September marks a big shift, with the race to keep on top of all manner of growth slowing. As summer draws to a close, harvesting, storage & preserving demands centre stage, with deadheading continuing as regular interval acts.
Basking in late summer sun
Golden yellows and warm mulberry shades of autumn combine with perennial pink & purple hues.
Wings & whiskers
September’s pinks and reds set earthy browns of off beautifully.
Silky threads and diamond jewels
The softer light of late summer and damper air of early autumn accentuate natural sparkles.
A deceptively strong spider’s web studded with raindrops resembles a sparkly net, stretched midway up blades of amply watered grass.
A well used kneeling mat…
It’s been a mighty busy year, as the kneeler (and the gardener’s many pairs of kneeless trousers) show. Borrowed here by the new gardener’s assistant; his back to the afternoon’s work on the old bonfire site: Now home to a huge rabbit warren – and a great experiment area to see what vegetables, fruits and wild flowers can live on the ashy site, with it’s over enthusiastic fluffy pruners.
The other challenge is for our new Gardeners Assistant to learn to live alongside the rabbits themselves. And the feral cat, chickens, and sheep. We’re aiming for happy harmony above instinct. He hasn’t met the deer yet, though they’ve been almost daily visitors since his arrival.
It’s well known that gardeners have to be optimists 🙂
Cropping & storing
This spring, when selecting seeds, we decided to explore the huge world of cabbage. What a voyage of discovery – from the deeply textured, almost black leaves of Italian Calvadero Nero, to shiny smooth, truly buttery ‘Butterball’, and sweet tasting, neatly ‘Pointed Cabbage’; a mass of which is now gently fermenting as we make our first vat of Kimchi.
Carrots are always a winner, and so versatile. But for the first time, I’ve used their tasty, deliciously green tops en masse in various dishes too. They are said to contain an astonishing six times more vitamin C than the ‘carrot’ itself, as well as lots of potassium, calcium and phytonutrients.
The beans (green & purple French beans from seeds saved from last years crop, plus newly purchased runner seeds) have been bountiful, with pickings so far amounting to over 17 lb of runners and 12 lb each of purple & green french beans. All blanched and frozen. We’re not quite ‘winter ready’, but getting there..!
Who needs teething sticks?!
‘Waste not, want not…’
“The truth is: the natural world is changing, and we are totally dependent on that world.
It provides our food, water and air.
It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.”Sir David Attenborough