The Autumn Equinox is usually announced by the hours of daylight and sunlight being equal, this took place this year on the 23rd of September, yet sitting here looking out of my conservatory windows, one could easily be fooled into thinking it’s July! Yesterday almost hit 30 degrees C and today is looking to do the same. My body clock is whacked, and to be totally honest if it wasnt for the heavy dew and morning mists I could quite easily pretend that winter is far from round the corner!
The garden is equally confused, many of the annual plants are either experiencing a second flourish or have self seeded and the seedlings have germinated and growing exceptionally well.
I have more tomatoes than i literally know what to do with, having dried some, ‘chutnied’ some and ‘passata-ed’ some i am still being provided with dozens of sweet juicy fruit, and the Calendula which i grow close by to attract the aphids and black fly have been flowering for at least 5 months, only a small patch is being left to set seed for next year.
The Chamomile and St Johns Wort especially seem to have embraced the death throes of summer, embracing the renewed heat and light, a real boon as all my St J’s has been turned into pills or tincture leaving me no safety stock. I think ill make a batch of St Js oil, the Chamomile…I have plenty, I think I’ll simply enjoy this crop of flowers (as im sure the Bees will too in their final pre-winter rush).
With a healthy crop of Wormwood growing beneath it, the main feature of the borders is the Mugwort, i have been so proud to have this plant growing in my garden this year and its looking truly stunning at the moment. The stems have turned a rich russet and the flowers are just starting to fade and set seed. It seems to love our sandy, nutrient poor soil. I pray she comes back next year.
Another pleasant surprise has been the Aconite (Monkshood). Every morning i see Her beautiful blossoms, peeking through the conservatory windows, so alluring, begging me to touch and fondle flower and leaf alike…i know better!
Despite this warm weather I know I mustn’t be complaisant, judging by the berries and acorns adorning the trees and hedgerows, this winter will surely be as severe as the last. The conservatory is rapidly becoming a green house and rosemary and lavender cuttings as well as Belladonna seedlings merrily grow away, oblivious to the coming chill!
My biggest joy has come from my Beloved. I thought I lost her at one point, she went to sleep and I thought that was it. But my patience has been rewarded and my precious Mandrake has sprung back to life…better than ever. Maybe she will give me fruit?!
My little Salvia divinorum plant, which not so long ago arrived through the letter box a mere sprig is rapidly growing into a triphid, I couldn’t be happier!
My White Sage worries me, what started as an incredibly vigorous young plant from seed has slowed to an almost halt and He’s not looking so good, maybe a light trim will reinvigorate (any excuse to get a whiff of that heady scent!). For some reason this year I decided to grow Chillies, Lord only knows why as I don’t especially like Hot or overly spicy food and these bad boys are HOT!! I will dry them and make some use of them I’m sure 🙂
The spring bulbs have been planted, Daffs and miniature Narcissus, Crocus and Snowdrops as well as English Bluebells (Please folks grow ONLY english bluebells not the Spanish invader!!). The woodland garden out front will hopefully look fantastic come the spring (I’m almost wishing the winter away before its begun). All that remains is to dig the new Rose bed now the monster Laurel has been removed!
At the top of the garden Comfrey tea ferments nicely and wo betide anyone who goes in for a sniff…the plants however love the strained thick green juice once diluted 10:1, the pulp goes on the compost heap which is just about ready for turning!
As winter approaches and this glitch of warm weather subsides it will be all hands on deck putting the garden to bed…but for now, the sun is shining and millions of fine webs glisten all over…I am still on vacation, so time to grab another coffee and take to the garden to read the last chapter of “Walking the Tides” by Nigel Pearson.