A quick look around the garden in September.
August turned out to be a glorious month, with hot days and plenty of sunshine. The tomatoes in the greenhouse hit full production and everyone in the family was under instructions to eat at least eight tomatoes a day. For some reason there has been dissent and even rebellion so I’ve cooked, bottled or frozen piles of tomatoes that will provide us with a taste of summer during winter.
Tying the bean supports in the middle, rather than forming a wigwam shape, has worked. The lowest beans are still inside the supports, there’s a bit of a bottleneck in the middle, but the higher ones dangle down outside the support making them easy to pick.
We haven’t sown anything in the garden over the last month apart from some rocket and lettuce, but Bill has transplanted most of the leeks into their growing beds. These leeks will be our mainstay vegetable throughout the winter and as soon as we clear a row of vegetables, the gap is filled with leek plants.
I’m picking autumn fruiting raspberries nearly every day, but battling against wasps. The wasps start by eating away the bottom of the berry and then work their way up, leaving a mangled dried out berry as you can see in the photo. As one who picks by feel as well as sight, I’ve had to be very careful as the wasp is often inside the berry, which can be a bit of a surprise. So far I haven’t been stung but I do get bitten by the insects that lurk around the raspberries.
The apples in the garden are just ready. We’ve started to eat the Discovery apples, which need eating as soon as they’re picked as they don’t store well and the other eating varieties will soon follow. We’ll eat some and use the rest for apple juice and cider. The Bramley apple tree is so laden with fruit that the branches are weighed down to the ground.
Summer has been so good this year that we’ve spent more time than ever in the garden. We’ve eaten lunch in the shade of the apple trees, had supper in the evening sunshine as we watched the sun dip below the farm buildings and I’ve sat outside in the afternoons with a cup of tea, soaking up the sunshine. In the hope of good weather, we swapped the dodgy barbecue (an old fire grate that used to be in the house) for an outside oven and consequently there’s been a lot of cooking in the garden this year – barbecues, roast leg of lamb, hot smoked rabbit, pizzas, bread, roast tomatoes cooked overnight in the residual heat…
It really has been a wonderful summer in the garden this year.