I think I got in just before the real autumn arrived. You know the one. The one that brings scudding clouds, wet rain, chilly starts, damp mushy leaves, and condensation on the glass when you pull back the curtains in the morning. The real autumn, the one the poets don’t write about; the walking to school with a heavy heart autumn.
But enough of that, it’s been years since I walked to school.
I want to tell you about what I did on Sunday before the real autumn arrived. And what a sun day it was too. It’s hard to believe that since then it has hardly stopped raining. Still, it’s good for the garden and that is what I want to go on about today.
On Sunday I awoke knowing that I wanted to do something but not at all sure what it was. There were plenty of things I didn’t want to do – tax returns, tidying up my corner of the kitchen, putting the ironing away. But on such a lovely day it seemed wrong somehow to fritter it on things not at all frivolous, so I decided to spend Sunday avoiding doing the things I’d avoided doing the Sunday before and indulge myself a little.
Of course fun is in the eye of the beholder, and one man’s fun is another’s torment, but fun can quite often mean a spot of gardening; at least it can for me. So it was off to the nursery just off the M60 with a crumpled twenty-pound note in my hand.
In the spring I like to grow my plants from seed, but at this time of year with only a few pots to plant, I just buy some. Call me a purist but I try to avoid the Garden Centre experience with its restaurant, ornaments, furniture, and Christmas decorations, preferring a place that simply sells plants.
Three trays of yellow, purple, and cream pansies, a couple of trays of orange and mauve violas, four shades of pink cyclamen, a dwarf conifer, an ivy, and a couple of trailing variegated sages later my twenty quid had been well spent.
Back home I emptied the going-over summer bedding from my tired pots and basket and replaced the root compacted compost. I find it hard to throw plants away, so anything that might overwinter was planted in my back yard – just in case. My twenty quids worth of plants filled the basket, four good sized pots, and (because I had plants left over) four or so smaller planters. I even tucked some dwarf narcissus and crocus into the compost of each.
So that’s it. The autumn and winter planting done with even a touch of spring ready to come through in the New Year. I’m looking forward to watching them grow - all very satisfying.
I still need to do my tax return though.