Well, it started as a comment on a post by James Higham, Early Autumn, but as sometimes happens, the comment got so long winded I thought it might be better as a post in it’s own right. I have left it pretty much as I started to write it in the comments section, before I decided to make it a post.
CherryPie, like you my garden has suffered terribly this year. Even when my roses did finally bloom, a short, sharp summer shower stripped their petals in one day. The only thing my garden has been able to produce in any great quantity, this year, is slugs. I don’t think I can recall a year when the beasts have been in such abundance. Although a lifelong gardener, I never knew that they came in such a variety, or could get so big. The biggest to date was, at full stretch, nearly 8 inches long *shudder*
Like dearieme, this year’s fruit crop was pretty much wiped out by two days of torrential spring rain (so heavy it removed all the blossom before pollination could occur) so my children were left with nothing but slugs and snails to harvest. We nearly had an early crop of strawberries, unfortunately our puppy, BuggerLugs, decided he liked them also. He managed to strip 12 plants in half an hour, discarding the yukky green ones as he went. We took very little satisfaction from his obvious distress, later in the day, when he sicked up 3 times his own body weight in red gooey stuff.
Ah well, with Autumn almost here, us die hard gardeners can finally admit defeat, put away our gardening gloves and start planning for next year. As we do so, we can sit back, relax and grab a breather, like the plants we love so much. We can spend the darker evenings and chillier mornings drinking tea and poring over seed catalogues, safe in the knowledge that next spring we will be back.
I always welcome Autumn with open arms. For an avid gardener it signals a slowing down. A time to rest and recuperate. It is a time for putting the garden to bed. As I begin to strip my garden of the plants that won’t survive the winter, and spend less time watering, weeding, dead heading etc, I get more time to marvel at Mother Natures year end swan song. Whilst I’m busy cutting back, mulching up, digging out etc, Mother Nature is busy producing conkers, horse chestnuts and pumpkins.
Of course, whilst we are all busy digging out our winter woolies and searching for welly boots, thick socks and gloves we know we bought last year, Mother Nature is happy to flick up her skirts, show everyone her red and gold undergarments and then drop them all over the lawn, before departing for another 6 months.
I love Autumn, I just wish Mother Nature had a better aim. The 60ft high sycamore tree actually belongs to next door and whilst I am more than happy to admire her knicker flicking, raking up the fall out is a real drag.