New no-dig beds, James Grieve and other plans

The rain has finally arrived, and brought with it a cool, freshness that signals the end of summer here in Bedfordshire. Autumn is definitely on the horizon; the earth no longer smells warm and baked, and the sun is sitting lower in the sky. The long nights are finally beginning to draw in and I sense that the birds are beginning to fatten up, foraging and gorging on berries, nuts and seeds that we leave out for them.

The garden marches on, despite the relentless heat followed by relentless downpours in late August. My raspberries are ripening slowly, though the berries are a dainty and the yield noticeably smaller than last year. I’m still collecting blackberries from our scrambling brambles, and the apples from our two little trees have ripened early too. In the flower borders, helenium, cosmos and the Californian poppies continue to bloom. The veg patch looks bare, save for a few strips of chives, carrots, burgeoning nasturtiums, and a blaze of bold colour from the marigolds and zinnia that have thrived despite a prolonged heatwave and drought-like conditions. 

I’ve been longing to get back to my little potager, but I’ve been so busy with work and motherhood. To be honest I’m surprised I’ve achieved as much as I have this year, harvesting fruit and just about keeping things looking relatively neat and in order. Winter, spring and summer of 2018 have been seasons of extremes, and I have a feeling 2018 isn’t done with us yet. I’d love to think a gentle autumn is on the cards – fresh, sunny days interspersed with enough rain to keep things ticking over. I’d love to think I have enough time to put my autumn plans into action:

– Create two new no-dig beds; one for soft fruit, and one for cut flowers (if I can persuade Rich to give up some more lawn!)

– Plant in leeks

– Paint the tool shed

– Tidy the greenhouse

– Mulch, mulch, and mulch some more

– Tidy our little woodland patch

– Plant the paper birch trees

– Plant a James Grieve apple tree to create a trio of Blenheim Orange, Charles Ross, and James Grieve.

With the nights drawing in fast as we hit the midway point in September, I can feel my time is becoming really limited again. I’m working hard to rebuild my freelance portfolio, but with little E now over the two-year mark and catapulting around toddler-style, and Rich busy with getting DIY patch up jobs around the house before winter comes, my hands are really full at the moment.

cosmos flower