The overlap into autumn, the next season has officially begun. It is kind of weird because, aside from the onions and garlic, the transition from winter to spring is effectively a blank canvas. The beds are empty, cold and often wet. In the best case scenario they are free from weeds but often they are a wild jungle that needs taming – with a machete. This sounds quite a miserable situation, but the enthusiasm is strong and the work required is tackled with gusto because the taste of a sun warm tomato is almost there on the lips as much as it is in the memory. Aside from memories from last season and the hope that it will be better, there isn’t much of an overlap at all.
The progression from spring to summer is all about progress. Aside from the anomaly of the onions and garlic, not a lot is coming out. Most of the plants are growing and beginning to bear fruit. There isn’t a lot of coming and going, just a lot of going on. The switch between the seasons is almost unperceivable and doesn’t have quite the anticipation as spring does. Although the warmer days and longer evenings are gratefully received.
The arrival of autumn on the other hand is tinged with sadness. The heydays are coming to an end. The glory days of summer fruit and bountiful harvests find their way into jars and freezers to remind us in the depths of winter just how good we had it. Plants that have stood for a good six months collapse exhausted in a compost heap. But with the passing of the good times, autumn throws us a bone and gives us cool season crops that planted in the lingering heat of the fading summer grow perfectly well as the temperatures slowly decline into winter days. A gardener can continue to indulge in growing a good crop even on days when the sun doesn’t shine and a beanie is needed to keep the chill from around the ears.
And then winter comes and the garden stands still. The plants that remain there from the autumn wait patiently to be eaten, growing almost unnoticed and gradually the beds empty out waiting for the spring.
But we’ve only just entered autumn so I will try not to dwell on the winter just yet. The days still feel like summer should and aside from the date on a calendar could still very well be. The soil is still warm and plants are growing with vigour. The harvest is still coming in and will continue to for quite some time. But not forgetting it will all be over soon for many plants, I took my plan and laid down seeds to ensure the harvest would continue well into the winter. There is a quiet comfort knowing there will be plants growing for months to come that will need my tender care and I can continue to wear the label of contented gardener.
Come again soon – I may just get into a bit of a pickle.
Sarah the Gardener : o)