For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.
Edwin Way Teale
It’s a busy old time of year. Now that I have finished all the winter preserving it is time to get the garden into shape. It is sad to see the garden slowly withering away but there are annual rituals to perform that will bring it back to life next year.
Just as at Christmas time families do the same things every year, so this applies to gardeners too. It seems the most natural thing to start to prepare the garden against the onset of winter; to plants bulbs for a fine spring display; to collect seeds from dying plants to save in envelopes; taking cuttings from favourite plants – just in case.
The third stage of the gardening year has begun. Decisions have been made – bulbs have been bought – planning what goes with what and where they will be planted for the best effect.
Thought has gone into what needs to be cut back – what needs to be moved or split up – what needs to be removed altogether. It is an ongoing thing – and when winter finally comes we can breathe again and relax a little – knowing there is little else we can do but sit back and wait.
And whilst the weather still holds we work our way through our list of jobs to be done moving round the garden on automatic pilot – because we know the rituals by now, every year the same but slightly different – each year you learn a little more – put right your mistakes – and learn a little more again.
I found these Chrysanthemums at our local nursery – buckets of colour in beautiful shades of autumn I chose these marmalade colours but could have had russet or bright pink or deep purple – beautiful – then I wondered why on earth haven’t I grown some in my garden – my grandfather used to grow prize-winning ones – they were his pride and joy – although we rarely saw the blooms as they were all covered in brown paper bags – to keep the earwigs at bay. Chrysanthemums associated with garage flowers or those short bush types only found in garden centres. They just don’t seem to be fashionable any more. Such a pity I think.
How are you getting on with your autumn rituals?