Saturday, 4 October 2014

End Of Month View ~ September 2014


The illustration is 'The Vine Diptych' by the Swedish painter Carl Larsson.

Sometime in early September I realised I had not put together an End Of Month View for August but could not work up any enthusiasm to write about the month.  I think that it was because this August was best not mulled over too long - here it was cool, often wet and windy too. All in all a huge disappointment. On the hand September has been amazing. The days have been positively singing with many hours of soft sunshine. It has been hard to resist the call of the garden and the allotment during the noticeably shortening daylight hours.

Before I continue I should mention that this post will be photo free as I've had a camera crisis. The camera I usually use no longer directly downloads photos on to my computer. I had been relying on taking the camera card out and sticking into a USB multi -card reader as an alternative for some time but this method has suddenly refused to work. I think that the photos are hopefully trapped somewhere on my camera. In the meantime I'm still getting to grips with my new camera which was a present from himself when I celebrated a significant birthday earlier this year. I've been practising with it but do not feel confident yet. Hence a month with only a handful of photos which readers may well have already seen. So a quick summary of September ~

Allotment - clearing up has started but still much more work to do to prepare for winter. We've been enjoying the odd strawberries and endless bowlfuls of autumn fruiting raspberries. The apples except for some 'Sunset' have been picked. 'James Grieve' and 'Katy' have not done particularly well this year but 'Sunset' has a good crop although the fruits are on the small side. I'm hoping that the fruits that I had left on have stood up to last night's rain and wind.

In the greenhouse the vine has produced a bumper crop of grapes probably more than ever since I've been tending the vine. I inherited the vine so do not know what the variety is. It is purple fruited, tasty but annoyingly pippy. I'm happy to eat a few but there's no way we could keep on top of this year's supply. With a damp week ahead predicted I'm hoping to pick the remainder tomorrow. Then it's either wine or grape jelly on the cards.

The French beans petered out as September went on but 'Cobra' has started to re-flower. I doubt if there will be enough time for more beans to mature but you never know. I am still picking courgettes. We ate the first at the end of June and have been eating them since. I have to confess that I've not fed them since planting and am wondering what would happen if I had done so.  Next year I will repeat what I did when I initially planted them which was to add some worm compost and some shredded comfrey leaves in each planting hole. It seems to have done the trick together with the weather.

A 'Black Futsu' pumpkin is in evidence and its extensive foliage may be hiding others. I also planted some small pumpkins this year. 'Wee Be Little'  produces small bright orange globes and is still in production. Will definitely sow them again next year or something similar.

All has nor been rosy though. My later crop of dwarf French beans were all munched by the molluscs which was rather a blow. The big disappointment though has been tomatoes which should have been plentiful in September. The failing lies completely with me. I need to give some serious thought as to where I situate the plants - greenhouse, garden or allotment. Food for thought over the winter.

Garden - not so much to say about the garden which still needs an injection of late summer colour. I'm working on it though and will report back in due course. I'm also finding it harder and harder to work out a satisfactory balancing act between allotment and garden and do both justice. At the moment the garden is suffering. This is something that has been concerning me for some time and an issue that I need to consider carefully. The time may come in the future to say goodbye to the allotment although I don't feel ready to do that just yet.

Plant purchases - over the last couple of months these have included : kalimeris 'Charlotte', hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears' (unfortunately my slugs have not read the blurb which says slug resistant), heuchera 'Georgia Plum' and agapanthus 'Midnight Dream' wended their way home with me from the Southport Flower Show'. Hemerocallis 'Light The Way' which I fell in love with in France this summer was duly tracked down to the Beth Chatto Gardens and a couple of plants were ordered. In September a trip to Abi and Tom's Garden Plants at Halecat in Cumbria resulted in the purchase of pulmonaria 'Blake's Silver', crocosmia 'Honeybells', aster 'King George' and clematis 'Heather Herschell'. Then there was the fabulous salvia 'Amistad' from the nearest garden section of our local improvement store.

With thanks as always to the lovely Helen over at 'The Patient Gardener's Weblog' for so kindly hosting this monthly meme.

17 comments:

  1. September has more than made up for August, hasn't it? It would be nice for the weather to last a little in to October, though we've had some rain today. Enjoy your new camera, I think it's just a case of having a go with it each day to get used to it. I love those Mouse Ears miniature hostas, I've had my eye on those for quite a while but haven't bought one yet.

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    1. September did indeed compensate for August Jo and then some more. We've had much rain over the last three days or so. The jury is still out here on ' Blue Mouse Ears'" - will see what happens next year.

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  2. Oh those wretched molluscs. They have an annoying habit of turning a blind eye to labels.
    Isn't it wonderful that we don't garden in an era when such attire was de rigueur in the greenhouse!

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    1. I know but I somehow don't think that what I wear in the greenhouse would catch an artist's eye Jessica. It must have been tremendously restrictive. Imagine digging! I would be bound to have one accident after another if so togged up.

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  3. I am in thunderous agreement about August, my blog was quiet too! September flew by in a blink of glorious weather, and October has now come with a pinch of cold and the first rusty leaves in my garden, it must be autumn at last!

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    1. I think that autumn has certainly been making its presence known these last few days Katie but it was good whilst it lasted :)

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  4. Molluscs got most of my dwarf beans this year, but I somehow fooled them by bunging some in another bed, apparently they hadn't updated their maps... You have made some tasty sounding purchases Anna, I look forward to meeting them, though I sympathise with the new camera thing, it can take a while to become accustomed, however splendid the new model. I don't envy you seeking balance between garden and allotment, I have as much as I can deal with here, and am still struggling to balance the needs of my little kitchen garden with those of my front and back ornamental gardens! I do know that I wouldn't be without somewhere to grow edibles though, despite marauding molluscs. Wiulkd converting to a half plot be feasible?

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    1. Well done you - I like the idea of mollusc maps :) I can imagine them slithering away reading directions - juicy French beans this way .... tender lettuce ... to the right etc., etc. I may well talk to the council about the possibility of a half plot Janet but then the dilemma would be which half to retain ........

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  5. I am a bit disappointed, I thought it was you in the picture picking grapes, although I did think that you were a bit overdressed.
    I hope you get to grips with the camera.
    I like the sound of your new purchases. I've been looking for that Salvia. Have you been to Beth Chatto's? It looks good all gear round. I went last week and bought a few must- have plants.

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    1. Would that I looked that elegant in my greenhouse attire Chloris :) I think that I will get to grips with the camera eventually. More practise needed as well as a thorough read of the manual. We visited Beth Chatto's fabulous garden a few years ago. These purchases came via her online catalogue which I've ordered from a couple of times.

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  6. Doesn't Time do strange things once one has retired - despite the extra hours there are still never enough of them, are there? No doubt the decision will be made when the time is right. Hope you get used to your camera - I got through about 3 of them in my first year or so of blogging, but so far so good with this one, even though I don't use it to its full capacity. Interesting to read about your various successes and not-quites. I have this Mouse Ears too, by the way, and our slugs have enjoyed it too!

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    1. When I was younger I was always dubious when retired people said that they did not know how they used to find the time to go to work. Now I know Cathy :) I'm not encouraged about your experience with 'Blue Mouse Ears' :(

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  7. Perfect photo for your end of month view Anna. Sounds like September has been on the whole fabulous for you and that's great. And you made me crave for some grape jelly now!

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    1. Thanks for your visit and comments guys. Would gladly have sent you a jar of grape jelly but himself went down the wine route.

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  8. Glad you've had an enjoyable autumn, Anna. I thought everyone had an outstanding summer in the UK. Sorry to hear about your camera troubles, fingers crossed that you can sort it out soon. Made me realize how very visual we are! But I like that painting. Our two vines developed poorly so our hope lies in the future.

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  9. We had a miserable August Annette but September was great. Autumn only starts with the equinox with me so there's still a long period of it yet to come :) Hope that you have better luck with your vines in the future.

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  10. September has been fantastic, although I feel it has slipped by whilst I have been glued to a computer.:( I understand your camera woes. Wellyman bought a new, fancier camera with lenses in spring but it's quite complicated to use with lots of different settings. He's picked it all up really quickly, I haven't. I do need to persevere with it but for now WM is head photo taker. I sympathise with your garden/plot dilemma. It's hard, isn't it? Have a lovely weekend.

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.