The Week of the Harvest

The barley and wheat were harvested last week, and the garden went quiet as all the seed-eaters disappeared into the fields for spilt grain. Now the straw has been baled and the calves are browsing in the stubble. The first greylag and pink-footed geese have begun to fly in, the winter starlings are mustering in the orchard, the cormorant has taken up residence in the river, and yesterday nine goldeneye came up with the tide. The swallows were still here yesterday, but gone this morning, and I’m looking for my gloves.

This is cheery, though. A stray violet, growing just beneath the frame of the greenhouse has come into flower. Apparently this happens often, and they set seed more readily now than in spring too, but I don’t remember ever seeing one here before.

I spent Saturday tidying up. I ripped out the spent beans – a very disappointing harvest this year – and weeded and mulched with the contents of the growbags for tomatoes – also disappointing. I’ll never try to grow Marmande again, though the few fruits I got cook really beautifully. so now, all I have to do is to keep the slugs and the pigeons off the cabbages!

I did a bit more clearing, too, to make storage space for all the canes and posts I won’t be using for a few months, and came across this fungus growing on the log-pile. I’m hoping that this will be a good overwintering place for invertebrates and small mammals, so I haven’t tidied here too much.

Looking forward to next year, I have created a small patch for my grand-daughter to have a garden of her own. It is going to be filled with ‘fairy’ flowers – candytuft (fairy series) lupin ‘the fairy’ and ‘thumbelina’ zinnias – plus the fairy rose in a pot. It’s going to be very pink and frilly, but as the Flower Fairy books were my original inspiration to garden I don’t reckon it will do her any harm. And, finally, I found that the honeysuckles I raised from cuttings last year have borne their first flower.

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