A few mild days and I’m able to spend some time clearing up the garden in preparation for the winter months. The dahlia in the photo above that just last week was abundant with tight pink blooms, is now black and dead.
The ground is slick with rain. The rich sticky mud clings to my gloves and my shoes as I gather the lifeless stalks and brown leaves that have collected all over the ground. I snip off the old branches off the fennel and fuchsia, and muddy droplets flick onto my face.
Bo, our cat, hates the rain. Each morning she is impatient with excitement to get outside. She races around the house trying to attract our attention so we’ll open the door for her. But if it’s raining… a sad kitty will sit glaring out the window waiting for it to stop.
She loves it when we are in the garden with her. She’ll follow us around and play hide-and-seek and scampers out of nowhere making me jump. Can you see her hiding in the undergrowth, or disguised as a plant in the pot?
At this time of year, it is so cosy and warm inside. So inviting to stay in the warmth of the nest of the house, I often put these outdoor jobs aside. Yet, when I do venture out, when I don woolly hat and gloves and old clothes and get stuck into the rhythm of the work, I am always glad I did.
The smell of the garden is earthy at this time of year. There are few insects, and only an occasional robin or pigeon come to visit. The light fades by late afternoon. When I go inside my glasses mist over, and I have to peel off my gloves and wipe them with my cold red hands.
That’s it for the garden work for this year. I’ll be popping out to harvest a few leeks or some winter salad leaves now and again, and to snip a sprig of thyme or rosemary for the Christmas roast, but mostly I’ll hibernate for a couple of months til springtime calls me back outside to prepare the vegetable beds for planting. It seems like a long while off, but I know it will come around quicker than ever. For now it’s time to put the kettle on for a cup of tea.