End of Month View: September 2011

Another month flown, and summer is throwing one final gala before her graceful lapse into autumn. Enjoying this burst of hot sunny days after the sullen weeks before, the borders in the garden are still vibrant.

Cosmos, sweet peas and sedum dominate this border along the field. In my guest post over at Emma’s blog this week, I shared the other flowers that are unexpectedly adding to the swan song of the garden – some evidently rather confused as to the season. Fingers firmly crossed that those still unfurling their first buds manage to bloom before the frosts.

On the opposite side of the garden, the border is looking a little fuller than it did last month: the snapdragons that I poked in along the front have swollen with flowers, and even the newly planted mid section is starting to look a little less sparse. Just one “small” mound of soil still to remove before the outline of this border is complete, and I’m still hoping to get that done in the next few weeks.

The area in between these borders is still waiting to be raked level and sown with grass seed – hopefully soon all this will once again be lawn.

Down in the kitchen garden, productivity is winding down. The carrots have been harvested, the winter squashes are ripening, the beans have almost reached the end of their days and the sweetcorn have been disappointing this year (though what we have harvested has been sweet). Most of the fennel bulbs have been eaten or blanched and frozen; I am considering harvesting the remaining three or four to pickle despite their clouds of rather beautiful flowers indicating that the bulbs will no longer be as crisp and sweet.

We are still harvesting chard, beetroot and some salad leaves from the plot. The celeriac looks small but viable, and I’m hoping to try our first head or two in the next week or so. Parsnips and leeks look set for winter (although you can never tell what is going on beneath the surface) and the cabbages are hearting nicely, despite some caterpillar damage, while the kale that we have been picking all summer is still pushing upwards.

Along the side of the house, the Centranthus has settled in nicely, the red C. rubra still flowering strongly. The herbs that I planted along here seem to have established well too, and unexpectedly some of the small aubretia plants raised from seed have put forth a few tentative flowers along the path edge: another sign of the confusing weather.

And just as the month draws towards its close, this delivery, which arrived yesterday

was transformed by King of the Hill’s hard work in the evening, racing the sun as it sank towards the horizon.

There was too little light left to take a picture of the final result, once everything was trimmed and tidied, but our front space has been transformed. And I now have two more narrow borders to plant up: just in time to add some bulbs. It has been another month of great change for us here: and on we move into autumn.

Thanks to Helen, the Patient Gardener, for hosting this series.

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18 thoughts on “End of Month View: September 2011

  1. How satisfying to see the turf down, the instant garden! your borders are looking lovely. I’ve never managed to keep sweet peas growing into autumn. Christina

    • It’s rather surreal, I’m not used to seeing instant results! Our sweet peas seem to thrive on neglect 🙂 Last year they were flowering into November, though I stopped picking them mid-summer; this year I’ve hardly picked any – in the house their strong scent is too much for my husband’s allergies.

  2. your garden has come on in great leaps and bounds this year Sara you must both be feeling very pleased with the results, my white aubretia has a few flowers and the very early spring flowering primula wanda has lots of flowers, very confusing weather, Frances

    • Thanks Frances, our work in the garden does feel very rewarding. There’s always more to do, but it’s so good to have really made an impact and turn some of our dreams to reality. Our poor confused plants, I hope that the winter doesn’t knock them back too much!
      Sara

  3. You have done loads and it looks lovely. Laying turf is so satisfying, such an instant transformation.

    Thanks for joining again this month

  4. I don’t envy you the maintenance of that turf. Keeping grass looking good is no easy matter, which is why I removed all of mine. You know I would say this, but I reckon that grass is a waste of vegetable-growing space! 🙂
    I’m looking forward to seeing your flower border next year. They are already beginning to settle down nicely.

    • I suspect with our rural location that our grass will never again look as perfect as the turf does at the minute! There is still something about the zest of fresh green grass in the sunshine that I like in a garden, it softens the edges a little. Although I suspect that my borders will eat into more of the lawn over time 🙂
      I’m also looking forward to seeing how the borders shape up next year – and how many spaces I have for more plants!

  5. I wish my lawn looked like that, mine is weed-stewn although I can kid myself that it’s a deliberate bee-friendly initiative rather than just rubbish gardening. Good luck with it, all looks fantastic!

    • Thanks Damo, I think our lawn will quickly join yours in the bee friendly appeal, weeds blow in from the fields around us at a rate of knots. I’m hoping it’s just daisies and clover that spring up though, buttercups are so much more intrusive (but quite likely alas).

  6. What a lot of hard work you’ve been putting in – and what results, especially in the kitchen garden (love your squashes – most of mine just rotted this year)…

    • Thanks Kate. I’m really pleased that we have this burst of hot sunny weather so that we can enjoy it all a little without having to turn a blind eye to large parts of the garden.
      Sorry about your squashes, we certainly won’t have the harvest we did last year.

  7. You have a lawn! Wonderful – though like Mark I would have put plants in, so much easier to look after 😉 Mind you, bare feet on slightly damp grass is one of those perfect sensations…

    That first border looks really beautiful Sara, and I can’t believe how much the other side has filled out in such a short time. You really do have a garden, what a year.

    My corn was a little hit and miss, lots of blind cobs, but oh my word, the taste of the few perfectly ripe ones…

    • Thanks Janet, I’m sure I could fill every spare inch with plants, but indeed there is something about walking barefoot on grass; or spreading a rug on grass to lay back in the sun and read or natter with friends. And I love the fresh green ( or straw-baked yellow in summer!) of grass to really set off the borders.
      I’ve been thrilled with the first border – the rampant cosmos have been the workhorse there, unifying the other plants as they have found homes, they will definitely be allowed back next year :).
      Glad that you enjoyed some good cobs, you really can’t beat the taste of freshly picked homegrown sweetcorn.
      Sara

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