Can this really be the last article of the year? It’s mad, the days have just raced away again. We have made it to the end of another mixed up season and whilst we have sat bemused by the twists and turns, nature has held the reins. Try as we might, something will always catch us on the wrong foot. What a wonderful close to the growing year though, the autumn held on and the colours have been fantastic. Quite magical. So now we are on for the big tidy up, the housekeeping jobs that restore order for winter and clear the deck in readiness for a new start.
The bugs and caterpillars have packed up, leaving our plants in peace, the soft stuff is removed to cover and the hard stuff clipped and in order. Some ground has been turned, a barrow of manure steams on the edge of the plot and the seed catalogues have arrived. Of course the more canny pests are still around, the mice have already grubbed up a few beans, the squirrels have wrecked a new ‘Squirrel proof’ nut feeder and there are plenty of rats about too. The pigeons aren’t giving up either and I am a needing to keep an eye on the netting over the greens. They seem to understand that if you keep pulling at it you can create a way in.
There are a few bits to do when the mood takes and I am about to plant some bare root hedging to fill out a couple of gaps in an old boundary and I am going to whip around the greenhouse with a bit of disinfectant. Then I will be researching, tucking into those new catalogues. I am like a kid with a bag of sweets. I reflect on the highs and lows of the growing year, highlight the things that impressed, rejecting those that didn’t and seeking the new. Gardening has changed enormously and I spend a good amount of time trying to seek out new adventures. Gardens these days are decorated, with many cultivated spaces greatly reduced and evermore interest in containment. So, it has become very important to ensure that what we plant is going to be worth the trouble. Whilst I do sometimes see the reinvention of some plants as being pointless, there are some very worthwhile developments in small and coloured vegetables, and there are some extraordinary new flower colours .
And finally, enjoy reflecting on another special year.
Happy Gardening, happy Christmas, order a catalogue today !