The rhythm of the seasons is changing its beat as summer segues into autumn. In the past, it was a time of year I would associate with final harvests of the summer and then closing down for the winter. I would clear the veg patch and cover it over to suppress weeds, allowing only space for Brussels, leeks and broccoli to battle the winter. I would uproot the deceased annuals in the borders and tidy the beds to wait till the warm weather returned. This year I have even managed to pick some mushrooms from a local field.
But these days I have started the autumnal season with a sense of anticipation for the spring. Like a tight rope walker looking straight ahead rather than down in order to make it successfully to the other side, I am planting stuff for harvesting and flowering in the spring. If I keep my eyes on the early summer of next year, perhaps I won’t even notice winter.
So over the past few weeks I have been nurturing and planting out my own self-grown flowers, like Honesty, Foxgloves, Lupins, and Echinacea, as well as Sweet Williams. I have sown Nigella and Phaecellia in the new bed out front. Instead of a fallow time, it is a season to plant and nurture. And to sit back and see everything shoot and take root in the still warm autumn.
In the raised beds I have planted a Curly Kale, garlic, shallots and broad beans. Broad Beans were something The Old Man never planted in the autumn as he claimed the flavour was not as good as spring planted. But considering the disastrous crop of spring grown Broadies I had this year, any kind of broad beans in 2019 would be an improvement – whatever the flavour. But, to improve my chances I have sown two types: Aquadulce and The Sutton. The first in the raised bed, the second (dwarf variety) in pots.
So now, with any luck, I will have the benefit of watching stuff growing – even in the dead of winter – which is what this whole gardening lark is about, isn’t it?