This weekend looks to be the last weekend of summer weather, as next week rain is coming in and the temperature will definitely feel more autumnal. Still we’ve had a lovely Summer, albeit a little wetter than last year and this caused problems with blight on most of my tomatoes and some of my potatoes. But other things thrived like courgettes, onions and sweetcorn. So swings and roundabouts really. But that’s the joy of gardening, you never know what each year will bring, I think that’s why I love it so much.
With Autumn upon us the big tidy up can begin. It’ll be slow to start with as much is still in the ground, but soon it’ll all come at once. Got to fill up the garden waste bin completely before every collection, well we pay for it so I’ve got to get my monies worth out of it. They don’t collect ours all year, they stop just before Christmas and then start again at the beginning of March. Their theory is people don’t garden during the winter months? Excuse me! Surely that’s the busiest time with all the pruning and tidying up. But apparently they know more about gardening than we do. If I have too much garden waste in the garage then I’ll have to book a slot and take it down to the tip and put it in their garden waste there.
Anyway back to the calm of my garden….
I let all the chickens out in the garden to play together. Victoria is showing them who is boss, but I can’t leave them alone while I quickly pop inside because I don’t know what they’ll get up to. The new ones tend to keep together most of the time, rarely going onto the grass. One however is a little braver than the others and jumped up into the utility room, just to see where I was going. Victoria has never even done that. I think little and often is the key to they settling down together, it could take a few weeks but we’ll get there.
For dinner we had pork, so I wanted to harvest some veggies to go with it. For some reason this year I don’t seem to be able to grow any straight carrots. To be honest I don’t mind. These ones however weren’t as wonky as the last lot, but still several legs were on show. I also harvested 4 corns. There are only a couple left now, so I’ll have to pick them soon before they go over. The corn has done really well this year, better than usual. I think they also prefer the cooler wetter summers. So with corn on the cob and crackling from the pork, dinner was a messy affair, but very tasty.
I removed the remaining runner beans and tidied up the cane structure. The structure will be a permanent fixture and next year I’ll grow cucumbers up one side and tomatoes up the other…maybe….that’s the plan so far, but it might change. A couple of the canes had come loose, so I reattached them. Cable ties seem to work well, and are strong. I know they’re not particularly eco friendly, but they’ll last for a very long time and are cheap to get hold of from Screwfix. I got some new coloured solar fairy lights so they are draped over the bamboo structure now. Feels like Christmas in the garden.
Just before I went in at the end of the day Mark and I harvested the grapes. I don’t know what varieties they are because one I got from my auntie and uncle’s garden before they moved to Spain, and the other one was from where I used to work at a garden nursery and didn’t have a label on. I was told to put it on the compost, but I asked if I could take it home instead. Well it’s flourishing in my garden with lots of Claire loving, like all my plants really, as well as my chickens…..oh and the humans in the family of course. This is the best year I’ve ever had with grapes, I managed to get an entire bowl full. I washed them, and now they’re in the freezer and over the winter when I have a little more time (hahaha), I’ll make some grape jelly from them. Now I just need to tidy up the grapevines which are growing over the metal arch and then they’ll be ready for next year. I have one vine planted each side of the arch and wanted them to grow up each side and meet in the middle which is exactly what they doing. I’m so proud of them.
Well that was it for today, it’ll see what other sorting and tidying I can do this week when I get home from work.
Happy gardening xxx