Monday, 22 October 2012

The wind-swept four

The team of gardeners had been itching to get their hands dirty. After we had to admit defeat to the courgettes which took a lot of space but only produced dwarf courgettes, we wanted to pull them out and prepare the beds for the winter crop. I admit I wasn't really in the mood to get out of bed and into the cold, but once I sat on my bike, merrily singing along to Jason Mraz (the weird looks you get ...) I was looking forward to the session. In my bag I had freshly baked pumpkin bread, cream cheese and jam to feed the hard workers. This time we were only four as others weren't able to come, but that didn't stop us from getting some serious work done. We planted Aquadulce beans, which will be ready in March/April, Garlic, which will be ready in May/June, transferred millions of Little Gem, Red Frill, Giant Red Mustard, Pak Choi, lambs lettuce from the cold frame, enriched the compost with manure, replanted Cavalo Nero, cut back the lavender and thyme, thinned out the sorrel, which will make my evening meal: pumpkin/sorrel soup with roasted pine nuts for a bit of bite.
I always find it exciting to get on the roof when I haven't been there for a week, and I wasn't disappointed; seedlings had pushed through the compost, more leafy green was waiting to be harvested, and this time, we all got a huge surprise: our Chrysanthemums have finally started to flower in beautiful fiery colours.
After an hour of grafting, we had worked up an appetite and sat down for a tea and snack. Since the garden is now closed for the public, we had it all to ourselves, which made for a nice change, albeit a slightly chilled one.
Filled with fuel and in desperate need to warm up again, we got cracking and flitted around the roof like maniacs. It was only when it started to rain, that we began to pack up, harvested plentiful and made our way home. A solid four hours in the cold was enough for the day, we found.
Next big session will be on the 4th, and hopefully everyone will be on board then, because there's lots to do. Autumn or winter is not an excuse to abandon a garden.
We are planning to re-pot all fruit bushes, prune them back a little, we'll need to build structures for the beans, check on the seedlings' progress, plant the strawberry runners to sell next year, and mulch the beds. I'll also take home the chilli plants and foster them over the winter, the peppers will go with one of the other members. I think it's worth a try to keep them as we only had one chilli, and the peppers only just began to produce.

Anyway, it was a nice and relaxed day, and that's what gardening is about.


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