October is only two and a half days old and it is already a month of extremes. The first day was gorgeous. The sky was blue and the sun shone brightly and you could almost feel the summer in the air. The extended daylight savings hours had me out there pulling out weeds right into the evening hours. It felt amazing and I found myself thinking – just one more bed before I go inside and start dinner. I even tackled the brassica bed.
I couldn’t kid myself that I was leaving them there for the bees as the abundance of bright yellow flowers had given way to setting seeds. So with the sun lowering over the hill, I started the arduous task clearing the weeds and revealing the soil. Most of the brassicas had been there since last spring and weren’t all that pleased to be evicted. The stalks were so thick I decided it was best to use the loppers, and even then I couldn’t make a straight cut right through in one slice. I had to hack at them!
Removing them has altered the view of the landscape once again. It is constantly changing. But they had been there for so long, slowing and silently increasing in size so at the time of their demise they were over a metre in height. You will have to take my word for this as I was completely lost to the garden that evening and enjoyed being completely immersed in dirt and weeds and the imagining how the new occupants of the bed will fill it, that I completely forgot to take a before photo.
I didn’t get the bed finished, and I didn’t even get the remnants of pulled weeds and massacred brassicas to the compost as the family’s hunger was becoming increasing obvious and I had to abandon my work to feed them. And it is all still there where they lay as the weather has changed. It now feels less like summer is possible and more like we are being dragged back into the depths of winter. We are at the mercy of a seasonal tug of war. I am so pleased my peas are growing safely in the greenhouse as this seasonal turn would have possibly been the last chance for peas for Christmas for any attempting to grow outdoors.
Before the weather took a turn for the worse, the soil had finally dried out enough to sow my carrots. It has been such a sodden roller coaster so a spring. Just when you thought it would be dry enough, then the rain would come again and saturate the soil. Now I am pretty particular when it comes to my carrot patch. I obsessively work through the soil removing any sticks, stones, lumps and bumps that could cause my carrots to take a turn or split into a forky odd shaped carrot. This is next to impossible to do with damp soil. So I took a chance and dug out three deep rows – as deep as I want my carrots to be long. Each row will be planted at intervals so I can have a continuous supply. Then I sieved the soil back into the row so it was light and fluffy and perfect for carrots and sowed the first row. I take my carrot growing very seriously.
And now all I can do is stare out the window at my garden through the rain and wait for a repeat of that glorious day, with a bit of luck, it will come back with friends and we will soon be able to forget – for a few months, what it is like to be cold.
Come again soon – while it is raining outside, my greenhouse seedlings still need watering – now where is my brolly?
Sarah the Gardener : o )