Moving towards the end of another season, but what a good season it has been. The last few years have been such a struggle, trying to keep one step ahead of the unpredictable and often very wet weather in the summer. We have had many comments on the flowers we’ve grown this year –in particular, the shower bed has been a riot of pink (Cleome), blue(Salvia and Agastache) and white(Cosmos) and the bed near the shop entrance (new this year) has also attracted a lot of attention. The new shop bed will be different again next year – some of the plants this year have been annuals used to fill gaps, waiting for the perennial plants to grow and fill their allotted space. Most of the shower bed plants were grown from seed too – so not expensive to copy in your own garden.
We have managed to supply the shop with some fresh produce from our vegetable garden. Tomatoes were slow to get going (cold spring) but then did well in the warm spell. Usually we have tomatoes to harvest in August – this year they have only just begun to ripen at the end of August. The early crop of strawberries in June/July flew out of the shop faster than they could be picked and we can now offer a few raspberries for sale.
It’s that time of year again in the conservation fields, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. The first field – Rowan Spinney – is a wonderful spot for watching birds. Plants going to seed and producing berries are all food supplies for a range of wildlife. Meanwhile the second field – Orchid Meadow – has done its’ usual job of supporting a lot of beneficial insects and small mammals and also quite a range of butterflies through the summer. It has been mown and the hay been baled and removed. Cutting the grass as low as possible allows a range of wild flowers to thrive – most will have set their seed already and will need space and light to germinate (either this autumn or in spring). The Yellow Rattle – a semi-parastic plant, which helps control the more vigorous grasses – has established at the lower end of the field. Last month we took some of the dried seed and sowed it in other areas of the field to facilitate its spread over a wider area.
Towards the end of September we will begin clearing the summer bedding and planting up our home-grown wallflowers. Some more spring bulbs will be going in as well – not sure what just yet as they haven’t been ordered! Tulips and daffodils will certainly feature in our displays for next spring. Meanwhile enjoy the fine autumn weather (at the moment sunny and warm).