In the Garden

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been enjoying the cooler wetter September days. I got fed up with watering so it’s a relief not to have to do that everyday.

I mowed the lawn for its last cut of the year and cut back some of the dying and overgrown foliage: the mint, fennel, and ivy which were starting to swallow up everything else. I also harvested the rest of the tomatoes, mostly green unripened ones. I don’t think they’ll ripen much more in the garden now and a couple of them were starting to show signs of the dreaded blight. A week or two on the kitchen windowsill and they’ll soon turn red. If not I’ll make green tomato chutney.

There seem to be more potent fragrances intensifying at this time of year. The sharp tang of tomato leaves. The smoky evenings when the neighbour’s burn their garden waste. It lingers on my clothes and on the cat’s fur. The fragrant herbs – mint, rosemary, chives, marjoram, lavender that I cut and bring inside to dry.  Occasionally, there is the familiar thud of an apple as it falls and hits the soft damp ground. A carpet of mouldering fruit… the air is thick and sweet with it.

There are few garden birds around this time of year. There is a pair of collared doves who live nearby and settle in the trees, and on chimneys and my neighbour’s fruit nets. And the robin has been visiting daily throughout the summer. Sorry for the picture quality taken through the glass window, but I thought he looked photogenic on the lawnmower handle.

I have not done such a great job with the garden this year. The plot has been a bit neglected and I have no worthy excuse other than perhaps laziness and putting other things first. I have grown some vegetables besides the tomatoes, there is kale, beetroot, leeks, lettuce and potatoes. But they are difficult to find between the weeds. I can only hope to do better in the future.

I’m going to scale back a bit next year and plant less. Focus on clearing some of the invasive plants and dividing the larger perennials. It is easy to get enthusiastic about all the plans in the spring – I know next year will be no different – but I shouldn’t make more work for myself than I can sensibly sustain.

I do not want a garden that is too neat and pruned, and soulless. I much prefer the cottage garden style, which seems to be a lot freer way of gardening, but it actually takes a lot of work.

It is a careful balancing act. One person can only do so much. I would like the garden to be a pleasurable space rather than one I’m constantly struggling to keep under control.

I wish you all a peaceful weekend. Weather permitting, I’ll be spending most of it in the garden 🙂

12 thoughts on “In the Garden

  1. It really is a balancing act, isn’t it? I, too, get caught up in the fervour of spring and want to plant all of the things…but then I have to keep them all alive until they settle and that can be a bit daunting when the weather is uncooperative. I visited the veg patch this morning and averted my eyes in shame at the prevalence of weeds. 🙂 xo

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    1. It always hits me about mid-August. I go out in the garden and it’s turned into a wild forest overnight! I’ve been using the edible weeds – dandelions, ground elder etc. in the kitchen – then I don’t feel so bad about them taking over the rest of the veg. We can pretend we planted them on purpose 🙂

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  2. I’m reading this on a night shift in a grotty soulless office and your beautiful and evocative post has completely transported me to your garden. What a blissful escape. Thank you!

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  3. our garden is wild and littered with falling leaves from the black walnut trees and the maples. later on it will be the oak trees. Our tomatoes are still going but that will end when we have a frost sometime in the next few weeks. Your garden looks very green to me still!

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  4. Your garden is still looking productive Kim. I hardly bothered with mine at all this year other than try to maintain what I already have. I think next year I might just throw handfuls of seed at it and see what comes up!!! Lovely picture of the robin on the mower. x

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