Thursday, September 10, 2009


September 2009

The growing season is slowing down. The pumpkins are ripening on the vine, the last beans are growing, the aubergines and peppers are giving their last fruit and the tomatoes are giving an incredible quantity of small, red juicy tomatoes that are sugar sweet. A top tomato year and not a sick plant among them. I am thrilled. Because a ripe tomato, plucked from the vine, rubbed off on your jeans and popped straight into your mouth, that is surely the nicest work in the veg garden.
The three sisters patch is finished, nothing but dead corn and weeds. The beans are picked, shelled and stored, and I only got one mini pumpkin from the patch, so it will need improving next year: protect the pumpkin plants early on, plant the corn much closer together and make a big stack of manure to feed everything.
Another interesting spot is the herb garden. It is flourishing, probably because I weeded it more this year! It has given me an excellent supply all summer of tarragon, parsley, mint and thyme (a big jar of dried thyme for all my winter stews, pan fried potatoes, pork roasts, yum yum). I planted sage this year and they have done very well, several shrubs of it which I hope will live through winter. I made a little flower bed next to the shed this year with some compost and a few roof tiles and I am thinking of transforming it into another herb bed: there is already one sage in there and I could add marjoram, any other suggestions?
I am as always positive about the next season. Perhaps you are a true gardener at heart when you look among the spent bean plants, the empty onion bed, the shrivelled pumpkin vines and you are already thinking of where to plant the winter garlic, what beans to grow next year, what those irises will look like when they reappear in the spring. And the sight of a huge pile of manure gives you an erection... well almost.
I hope all the other gardeners have had just as good a season as I have had and are ready to attack the ripping out, cutting down, digging over that is the gardener's lot in the autumn. I can't wait.

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