Sunday 25 September 2016

Winding down

There's not much for me to do in the garden at present apart from clearing-up. This picture epitomises the season - the last of the tomatoes, with tatty foliage, scarred fruit, and blight winning the battle.

In fact, it was while I was editing that photo I noticed how bad the blight was on the green tomato, and it prompted me to rush out and pick all the remaining fruit on my tomato plants. I had to discard several, which were beyond redemption. Having brought in a fair few though, I will be keeping a very close eye on them, because almost certainly some of them are already infected and will go brown before they ripen. This year I have been very careful not to put any tomato material into my compost bins. It is all bagged-up and awaiting a trip to the tip.

These lovely Cherokee Purple toms were ripened indoors. They look good, don't they? There is a little bit of cracking on most of them, but that is normal for this variety.

I'm seriously considering taking down the climbing beans now, but I keep on hoping that they will have one last spurt of activity. Some of the best pods I got this year were the ones I picked in the first week of September. Taking down the beans is a job that I like to get out of the way before the weather turns really bad, because dealing with loads of soggy wet bean plants (in a gale of wind) is distinctly unpleasant!

I'll soon be picking my harvest of apples and pears. It won't take me long!

 I have the grand total of eight apples and two pears.

At present I'm having a big re-think about fruit trees. I've had the pear-tree for several year now and it looks strong and healthy, but it never produces much fruit. I think I need to get a pollination partner for it. Likewise the apple-tree. The one I have at present was new to me last Winter, so it's unfair to expect a big crop in its first year, but I'm sure it will do better if it has company. The fruit it does have are big, clean specimens and I'm looking forward to eating them. The variety is "Winter Banana", which is supposed to be ready to harvest in October. That's next week!

Most of my flowers are nearly "done" now too. This is Dahlia "Bishop of Llandaff".

That particular bloom doesn't look so bad, but this one is more typical of the state of play right now:

Or this one - covered in cobwebs which have trapped stray seeds and pine-needles.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been a bit remiss with dead-heading. In the case of Dahlias this is something you have to be very careful with, because the difference between a new bud and an old flowerhead is not always obvious, and it is only too easy to chop off a bud by mistake!

New bud at right (rounded), old flowerhead at left (pointed)

The Verbena Bonariensis is still going strong.

I'm in no hurry to cut those ones down, because I love the way their tall lithe stems provide support for huge swathes of spiders' webs in the Autumn.

This is my Hydrangea - sporting its Autumn plumage. During the Summer it was all pink. Now it has faded to a sort of pale green with pink speckles.

Now that most of the garden is slowly "settling down to sleep", I expect that over the next few months I will be writing less about gardening, and more about cooking, so be prepared for a change...


  1. We're hurtling towards the end of the season now. My tomatoes have suffered from blight this year, a first for me as they're usually safe in the garden, but I've now picked all the fruit and the plants have been discarded. I do like the look of those Cherokee Purple, I hope they taste as good as they look.

  2. Plenty for us to do at the moment on the allotment.

  3. Tatty...that's the word of the month :) Yes, everything is looking tatty. Soon to be tidy again when beds are emptied and dug over.


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