Our Bedfordshire Champion onions, grown from seed, have continued to stand tall in the garden, their green plumes resolutely unyielding to time or weather. Given the deteriorating weather as autumn advances, it seemed wise to stop waiting for their foliage to yellow and droop, and to take advantage of the recent sunny spell. Thus one morning last week found me digging up the onions and leaving them on the soil through the day to dry a little in the sun, before moving them into the greenhouse to continue curing.
Around the garden, autumn continues to scrawl its signature. The lower leaves of the beech tree have begun to turn colour. I love the tawny stripes between the veins, as chlorophyll production in the leaves begins to slow in response to the lower temperatures and reduced sunlight.
The drying heads of the sunflowers are bowed, like giant seed dispensers for the birds.
The purple thistle heads that swayed gently all summer beneath the bees at the edge of the garden have dried to form wonderful architectural shapes against the sky.
The leaves on the blueberry plant have taken on a vibrant colour.
Elsewhere, several plants seem almost oblivious to the changing season; the sweet peas and nasturtiums still flowering profusely, the courgette plants still producing their beautiful golden flowers and tender fruits.
October is a lovely month, as woodsmoke drifts through pale blue skies in the cool sun and the garden begins to put on its last display of the year.