Home garden Our garden in September

Our garden in September

by Clare Mansell
Our garden in September

Let’s be frank, at this time of year gardens are not terribly exciting or photogenic, but having documented our work through the summer I want to keep track of what we are doing even as we enter into autumn and the season of bare beds and dormant growth.

In September we cleared out the spent summer crops from our window boxes and pots and started thinking ahead to winter growing. Although I’m not an experienced vegetable grower, Theo is so enthusiastic about growing food to eat that I want to try and keep up the momentum. So out went the beans and in came some seeds for early-producing peas and Lambs Lettuce, along with some seedlings for brocolli


The Lambs Lettuce has gone in our window boxes (which in case you missed it, we use because they are high enough to be rabbit proof!) under some plastic covers which I found in the depths of the shed. The first tentative growth has just started to poke its head above the soil, 10 days after we planted them.


Our pea seeds have been planted under plastic bottle cloches and haven’t done anything yet, although we aren’t expecting to be able to eat them till about March…


On our last garden centre trip, Theo also spotted some brocolli seedlings which apparently will be good to eat in 5 weeks. We are about 10 days in and they look almost exactly the same as when we brought them home, so although Theo is enthusiastically counting down till when he can eat them, I’m not feeling terribly hopeful.


One summer crop which has taken its time to produce, but I think is just about ready finally are our snack cucumbers. Another Theo spot, these are teeny tiny cucumbers which you are supposed to eat whole. Having not grown them before I really have no idea quite how small they are supposed to be when you harvest them, but this is them today…


We have also added a blueberry plant to Theo’s collection of pots, this is another one we’ll be waiting a while for. It won’t produce till the end of next summer, but it’ll be lovely when it does. Blueberry plants seem to be rather “in” at the moment and several places are selling them in twos or threes so that you can have a long season of fruit spread out across varities.


Another recent addition to the garden were a couple of Griselina shrubs which I bought from our local farm shop. They are supposed to be particularly good for coastal locations so we have planted them near our seaward boundary. Unfortunately planting anything in our garden is always less than straightforward.

The land next to us which is now a nature reserve, has been at times a brick yard and a small scale tip. We’re not quite sure the part that our garden played in this, but digging down always involves a few surprises and a small hole can turn into an hour long project. Here’s a look at what I found when I dug a hole for two Griselina plants. The plastic flower pot is to give you an idea of how big the hole I was trying to dig was…not big at all!


The third hole I tried to dig resulted in an even more tricky result. A dead end essentially! Solid concrete a few inches down… I have no idea what it is, or was.


But to end on a positive note, here’s a photo of a lovely plant which I bought in the sale corner of our garden centre. It looked pretty dead when I saw it, but I googled the name and thought it might be promising and a few months on it is beautiful…. just don’t ask me what it’s called because I’ve forgotten already!


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