We didn’t manage to get away for half term this year as my school once again made me an offer I could not refuse and I instead found myself organising and leading a half term hockey camp for a visiting prep school. But rather than dwell on the places I could have gone, I was able to appreciate how lucky we are to live where we do. And at this time of year, with this sort of weather, Somerset is not a bad place to be.
Some see autumn as a depressing season, but I have always enjoyed it. When I was younger this was probably because I could look forward to my birthday but, with advancing years, somehow a birthday is not the harbinger of good tidings like it used to be. Instead I enjoy autumn for the glorious colours of the trees, for the incoming migratory birds and for days like today, which presented the opportunity to be out on such a gloriously sunny November morning.
After taking the dogs for a walk the main order of the day was more planting. This year we are going large (super size perhaps) on bulbs. Over the last couple of days I have planted 200 tulips as well as an indeterminate number of ranunculus. I planted a load of the latter in tubs last winter and although I did get a good number of blooms I think I could have done better by giving them more space – as well as feeding them more often. So this year I am hedging my bets: some in pots, some in the greenhouse and some in the cutting patch.
The tulips have gone in what was the lily pond – now renamed the tulip bed and reshaped to fit the theme. But again I am not putting all my eggs in one basket or bulbs in one bed, and have planted some in the cutting patch too. All of this would have been a lot harder if Mrs B had not invested in a bulb planter – a tool I had not come across before, but which I will never be without from now on. In making a hole for the bulb, the planter takes what looks like a core sample of soil which ultimately is deposited on the ground. After while your bed is covered in bore holes and the detritus from a pig’s latrine. But it works for me as I happily plop a bulb in each hole and then cover it up (did that sound right?!)
If all goes well we will have a good number of blooms to sell come May next year.