September-October, 2021: garden diary

“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” – John Keats, To Autumn.

The onset of Autumn has brought with it occasional mists and plenty of fruitfulness. But in more abundance this year have come high winds and lashing rain, intermingled with some extended and pleasant spells of sun and warmth. The change of seasons has brought very changeable weather.

Our Rhus Typhina, or Staghorn Sumac, has put on a particularly splendid display of autumn colour, first with its fruits and then in early October with the reds and oranges of its leaves.

The Cosmos have hung on right to the end of October, their vivid mauves, violets and pinks defying the first frost to appear.

A similar tone is displayed by the Sedum, its rubbery leaves affording it protection from harsh conditions.

Even more striking have been the low-lying but gleaming Gazania Tiger Stripes flowers, seemingly indestructible by any storms.

As for fruitfulness, we’ve had an amazing crop of both eating and cooking apples; but our sweetcorn and Cylindra beetroot have been so-so.

If our planned house move goes ahead, this will be our last season in this garden. It’s been a very interesting challenge and we’ve learned a great deal.

But one of the greatest satisfactions about gardening is that one never stops learning …

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