Keats had it about right with his Ode to Autumn: A season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. In the garden the first early morning mists heighten the aroma of gentle decay and dwindling fecundity. The apples are dropping, we have picked the pears, french beans are finished and even the runners have reached the end of their race. We even managed to eat the pears before the went over into mush.
The hostas are now mostly bare skeletons after the constant onslaught of slugs and snails. But they make for some lovely colours and patterns. It is the colours that lift the spirit in autumn. It is too easy to bemoan the shortening days, cooling temperatures and arrival of equinoctial storms (remnants of hurricanes from across the Atlantic), but there is beauty in the garden and along the hedgerows. Blackberries are brilliant and the raspberries that we planted at the start of the year have given us enough to sprinkle on our cereal each morning. Look great, taste great. Already I find myself looking forward to next year when the raspberries will be really
There is an air of packing up and hunkering down. I have started clearing beds, such as under the Morello cherries: a bed that had some iris in it and not a lot else as far as I can guess, so some small lilies have gone in there today. General tidiness is the order of the day and we have chopped the runner beans down and cleared large patches of the garden.
Elsewhere I decided to chuck in a load of plants that Lynn has given to us. I am not sure what they are, but I cleared the bed at the top of the mole slope and spaced plants out according to what I am guessing they might become. I decided to call that bed the pot luck be, because the outcome of that will be even more one of chance than normal. We will see how it all goes, but it looks tidy for now.
The Old Man returned this week and said that he noticed that Jim had done a lot of work while he was away. I made sure he knew who had done most of the work and even found myself in a conversation about what work to do next in the garden (saw down the tortuosa willow to shed more light on the lucky dip bed).
It’s beginning to feel like I actually manage this place.