We are now heading towards that time of year again, where everything starts to slow down.
The leaves are turning red, yellow and brown, the robin is singing its heart out, the swallows have disappeared and the geese have returned back home.
In the garden it means lifting the last potatoes, protecting tender plants and preserving (or eating) the last tomatoes and cucumbers. But looking back - what a year we’ve had! In all honesty, we have never had so much fruit and vegetables! Although the potatoes are smaller this year, the cabbages, carrots, onions and parsnips are gigantic! Good job we had two Italian wwoofers the last two weeks (volunteers who come and help in return for a bed and good home cooked meals), because cutting up 7.5 kg (16.5 pounds) of onions would take a single person a long time... and cause them to cry a lot! But the wwoofers barely shed a single tear - mainly because they were wearing safety goggles! My top gardening tip this month - always were protective glasses when slicing large quantities of onions!
Tufty and her clan (our hens) are still healthy and thankfully the crooked neck Tufty had, hasn’t come back. Soon, they will be able to eat the pests and bugs in the garden, but for now they are out in the fields (and the neighbour’s garden apparently), up to no good, knowing them! They will probably be able to find some insects because, as you know, I grow everything organically and that means I never use any pesticides.
This year I finally created my herb garden and it has been a huge success, too! Some plants are so big (like the borage) that they block the garden path and I have to walk around then to get from one end of the garden to the other. The bird border which I created last year has done really well too. I’ve planted all sorts of plants and shrubs beneficial to birds: like cotoneaster, sunflowers, juniper shrubs, a crab apple tree and berberis. We didn’t have long to wait before the birds ‘flocked’ to our garden - we’ve already counted an impressive 23 different species of birds. There have been some rarer species too, like willow warbler, reed bunting and nuthatch. I have to admit, that I’m pretty pleased with how it’s all turned out!
It just goes to show how important it is to garden without the use of chemicals, you’ll be rewarded with lots of different varieties of birds to look and marvel at!