It might be the last week of October but we are still picking little bowls of raspberries every day, they just seem to go on and on (and I’m not complaining!).
The rocket, too, is cropping really well, and lurking in the depths of the ever-growing leaf litter are other baby salad treats.
Chervil never fails to amaze me, it looks so dainty and fragile but is a tough as old boots and adds a delicate aniseed flavour to salads. There’s a good row of ‘Winter Density’ lettuce coming along behind (both seeds from vegetableseeds.net) if only I can keep the slugs at bay – I suppose there has to be a downside to the mild weather.
The winter greens have really got going at last so although we’re going to miss our usual staples of parsnips and leeks this year, we won’t be completely veg-less.
Usually at this time of year we are tidying up the garden after a busy growing season; this year, we’re still creating a garden so it’s all systems go. Roger hired a mini-digger to make several jobs quicker and easier. These included digging the base for a polytunnel. The timber is from a pile that was left here (what a bonus) and the soil is deep and rich so we should get off to a good start next spring.
Last year I raised a dozen ‘Connover’s Colossal’ asparagus plants (vegetableseeds.net again) from seed and they were going well in our French garden. Upset at the idea of having to start all over again when we moved – let’s face it, asparagus is a long-term project – I lifted them into pots and brought them back across the Channel. They’ve grown like stink in their pots so I decided they would be better off in the ground (at this point, if planting asparagus is completely the wrong thing to be doing in October, I apologise to those who know better!). Using some more of that reclaimed timber, we built a raised bed at the end of the soon-to-be-polytunnel: this should be a perfect spot for them, sheltered, sunny and well-drained. Just a matching bed on the other side to make now.
Much of the ground here is wet and boggy; we’re draining some areas but want to exploit others in order to encourage wildlife. So, another job for the digger was to dig out an area which is naturally very soggy to see if the clay will hold water to create a pond without the need for a liner. Answer, after a couple of days’ heavy rain: yes, it will. There’s much digging work to be done here but it should make a great wildlife pond once it’s done.
Thanks to all at vegetableseeds.net for my October voucher: we have lots of decisions to make over winter about what to grow next year. I think I’ll probably end up ordering herbs rather than vegetable seeds this time as I’m keen to extend our collection and try some new varieties. I’m also planning to raise lots of wild flowers from seed to keep the garden as wild and natural as possible. There’s still plenty of colour in the garden (not exactly wild flowers, but still very beautiful) . . .
. . . and of course, Nature at her wildest is showing off, too! 🙂