I have a confession to make, depending on your views about magic (I happen to believe wholeheartedly in the “magic” Mary Lennox and Colin Craven discover in The Secret Garden) it will probably shape your reaction to my confession, but nonetheless it could be deemed quite a significant one to some…up until this year I had never read any of the Harry Potter novels!
Now you may be wondering what on earth this uninteresting anecdote has to do with the seasons changing, and quite honestly it has very little, except the following quote quite nicely reflects the sudden arrival of Autumn on our patch. Now it may be widely out of context, but here goes:
‘Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Crisp…golden…apples…imagery which surely points towards Autumn announcing its presence amongst us. A walk down any lane and one can find falling golden leaves and shining conkers starting to drop. Whilst out in the garden the bright pinks and purples, and zesty oranges and limes of Summer’s flowers give way to the deep rich hues of chocolate and auburn shades.
Delightful dahlias are very much the star of the show in the floral world, but I find the atmospheric shift into a calmer, slower season draws one’s attention to the abundance of foliage and foraged finds waiting to be discovered. A hoard of orchard and hedgerow bounty means pies and crumbles galore, with blackberries waiting to stain and prick through the thorny brambles, and apples and plums weighing branches down, tempting the onlooker with jewel like shimmering glimpses.
Back on the Ginger House patch things are moving on apace as we battle to get as much done as possible before the weather truly does turn against us. I am learning the importance of stopping to take stock and appreciate how far we have come and how much we have accomplished in just a few months. The images below demonstrate how much we have achieved – we now have beds with biennial seeds settling in before Winter’s arrival. The constant promise of flowers next year sustains us; hardy annuals have been sown, sweet pea seeds ordered and cuttings taken. The greenhouse is full and it appears one can never have too many seed trays!
Now don’t ever be fooled into thinking growing flowers is all a bed of roses (excuse the pun!) – some days are just plain arghhh! It turns out a bulb planting day is very much one of those days. There is only one word for back breaking trench digging – tough! Through gritted teeth and a whole lot of family teamwork we got there though; digging out and planting up three 1.2m x 6m beds full of narcissi, daffodils, alliums, muscari and other Spring bulbs. Now we just have the tulips to go!
As the weather changes embrace the season – put your wellingtons on and go and splash in a puddle. Take a woodland walk and collect conkers and golden leaves. Go and pick blackberries, stain your fingers and make a scrumptious crumble or jam. Light a fire and snuggle round with family and friends. Soon we will shut the potting shed up for the Winter and join you!