It was a fierce night here, with strong winds battering us from the south. In the morning, all is serene in the cool sunshine, although a few casualties are in evidence: several of the late rosebuds are found on the ground, although one deep red one remains still shyly holding her petals close.
I finally removed the last sweet peas this weekend, leaving the roots in the ground to enrich the soil. They have still been producing blooms right into November, but were looking otherwise rather tired – and we needed the space. I have saved some seedpods though to sow again for next year, as these plants brightened up the garden with a range of lovely colours, with long straight stems and wonderful heady scents.
In their place went the spring cabbages raised from seed that have been languishing in pots in the greenhouse for a few weeks. They seem to have ridden the night’s tempest unharmed; five Durham Early and five Spring Hero seedlings to enjoy the nitrogen-rich soil.
Twice as many young plants again are still in pots in the greenhouse, to be distributed to friends and neighbours. Ten cabbages for the spring should be more than enough for the two of us – one cabbage goes a long way!
The lettuces are still buoyant in the sunshine – there is something rather amazing about harvesting lettuce from the garden in November. The salad bowl leaves are still growing strongly; taking just a few leaves from each plant in the row yesterday I picked a huge bowlful to wash, spin and store in the fridge for the week ahead.
I certainly didn’t expect that we would still be eating homegrown salads so late in the year; with beetroot, radishes and handfuls of carrots we are rather spoiled. There are still more than half a dozen romaine lettuces to be harvested; I am wondering about transplanting them straight into the ground in the greenhouse before the weather is due to turn cold again in a couple of days.
We could still be eating our own lettuce in December at this rate!
We have many jobs still to do before winter takes hold. The greenhouse needs a good clean out, the last pepper plants and marigolds (still gaily flowering) to be removed, and flower pots and seed trays to be cleaned. I must sow some sweet peas for next year, and give the apple espaliers a light winter prune. The year’s end seems to be accelerating towards us now; the race is on.