Friday, October 5, 2012


The best autumn colours so far this year are in the lean-to glasshouse on the gable end of the barn. These are vine leaves. I'm loath to cut down this glorious display but I'm dicing with a stitch-in-time situation. The leaves drop suddenly, almost all at once, and become a fiddly awkward job to pick up, falling as they do among the clutter of pots, tools, boxes and all the other detritus of an untidy gardener. I'm still risking it, going into the greenhouse warmth to bask, looking out across the courtyard and soaking in the sensation of sunshine.

Along with red vine leaves are red apples littering the lawn. They're smaller than usual, but at least we have them. Many orchards have suffered this year from the cold summer and resulting lack of pollinating insects. Flocks of fieldfares have been scouting, pausing in the trees around the Haggard but not settling yet, having no desire for apples in their still not-yet-rotten state.

So the job began. The extra freezer turned on, then out to the Haggard armed with carriers bags filched from countries that still give them our for free, harvesting windfall apples. Four bags full thank you very much. Wait for them to freeze, defrost, through the fruit press and our first juice of the year.

The garden is full of seeds and berries. It's also full of birds. Two blue tits this morning, landing on these spikes of knotweed, bullfinches last week. A robin beneath picking up anything dropped. The tits and finches have their acrobatics well-honed, landing on a delicate stalk and taking the droop as it bends beneath them, balancing finely as they peck at the ripe seeds.

In case of panic this is KNOT Japanese knotweed but a native variety.

Blackbirds are squabbling over the profusion of rowan berries. Piping calls echo through the Hollow.

And in the Grove, deer footprints. The (oh so adorable) feckers are eating my garden again.

No comments:

Post a Comment