Late Autumn Orange Calendula
A mild late autumn morning, crabapples (for the blackbirds) ripened, most of the big tree leaves fallen, ready for raking and bagging, the house Wisteria going yellow, the Calendulas still flowering in the Allotment garden...
Beautiful greenery visible out of every window, the morning pot of tea snug under its crocheted tea cosy - is three cups too many? But it's just a little bone china thing, not a mug. The log burner gurgling and ticking gently, Tiger the senior cat stretched in front. Dogs in their chairs, patient for once.
Monday mornings always feel different. They are perfect for making new garden resolutions - maybe even starting something big and potentially beautiful. I can even hear my garden whispering 'C'mon - let's doooo something'. No, wait a minute - that's probably my dogs!
Of course, late autumn can so easily turn into early winter -just like that. So should I write a list? Who needs a list? I do, perhaps? I could just carry the list around in my head and not tell anyone. I've already done a Monday morning stock-take - sixteen bags of horse manure need spreading on the Dog-Path garden. The large bonfire (nearby) of damp ash needs removing. Ash out, manure in - I can see quite a tidy little trundling circuit happening here.
Gardener with Gunnera
I've thought of two more things for my list, should I want to write one, which I don't. Not really. Lift the pink dahlias, and trim the Gunnera leaves. The first real frost can't be too far off. And the garden behind my cottage needs a clean-up. Paths, weeds, excess gum leaves and debris removed. Hmm... So it's not a question of what to do, rather what to do first. And second. And third, and then what after that... This is a list which seems to be organising itself. Blast!
Late Autumn Yellow Calendula
I am going rather well. Not so well that I should be eating spoonfuls of peanut butter as a reward, though. Naughty gardener! And I have discovered a brand of rice crackers (good) which taste just like crisps (bad). So to balance these dubious eatings, I am getting into my frog suit (AKA neoprene waders) - just as soon as I've finished my coffee.
So far this morning I've trundled the barrow ten times, and leant over (almost falling in the water) trimming the Gunnera around Car Bridge.
After two hours clumping around in my froggy suit, I deserve this. Yes! A clean, dry shirt, my snuggly mohair woolly, the log burner going (I loooooove my log burner), and the low afternoon shining through the yellow Wisteria leaves and into my house.
I can now write up my gardening journal with pride, knowing that I have piled up all the Gunnera pieces - watery stems and seed-heads separate to the crackly leaves - underneath the hedge. Two more hours work, this. No time for any more trundling. I have to be careful where I tip the bonfire ash. The rhododendrons, for example, don't particularly like it.
Willow Bridge Gunnera
I am showered, and my feet are enjoying being in softer shoes. It's 5:30pm and dark already, the end of a rather lovely (and exceedingly mild-mannered) late autumn day.