October delivered plenty of rain though with occasional glimpses of sun to accentuate the Autumn colours. We managed to get away for a week to the Peak District which provided a welcome break from the now well established routines of our pandemic disrupted year. Between the weather and the holiday, time spent in the garden was limited but I still managed to capture a few images.
Our Tiny Garden
This month the garden is scattered with the leaves from our tree. Many of the summer flowers have now died back but for a few added late on.
Before we went away for a week I made sure to harvest all the Winter Squash from the allotment so that they could spend the intervening time curing in the airing cupboard. This toughens up the skin and means they will store well throughout winter. For cooking I generally prefer the smaller squash which can be used up all in one meal. I run out of ideas of what to do with the larger varieties and we lack the storage space required. The stripy ones are a variety called ‘Delicata’ which I’ve grown for the last couple of years and has a really lovely sweet flavour. I also grew a variety called ‘Blue Kuri’ for the first time so I’m looking forward to giving them a try. We produced one Pumpkin which was specifically grown for Halloween carving with my boy. It was much smaller than last year’s effort but made a good little Jack O’Lantern nonetheless.
I don’t have a greenhouse so I grow all my tomatoes outside. This can mean that they don’t all ripen but we seem to have had a particularly large supply of green fruit this year. Not wanting them to go to waste I tried some experimental green tomato marmalade which I found a recipe for in my old school preserve book by Marguerite Patten. It’s a slightly curious concept but I’ll be interest to see what it tastes like. I also tried some green tomato ketchup which I based on a Jamie Oliver recipe though with the sugar content upped to compensate for the lack of sweetness in the fruit.
October is really about the rich colours of trees before they shed their leaves for winter. We have an ornamental cherry tree in the garden and its leaves go fabulous shades of yellow and pink like rhubarb and custard. It’s a fairly short-lived display but a welcome one nonetheless.
Not being too handy with the secateurs means you can enjoy the architectural forms of flower seedheads in Autumn such as the stars of Eryngium, the feathery spikes of grasses like Calamagrostis and the nodding arches of Crocosmia. While they may not provide the riot of colour that summer brings but they certainly have their own charm not to mention providing food and shelter for our beleaguered birds and insects.
The Viola in the palette planter have continued to chuck their luminous colours brightening up even the greyest of Autumn days. The pink Cosmos have also benefitted from the mild conditions and kept flowering throughout October, while an Aster that I bought late provided a splash of purple and yellow. The latter were a little short-lived, perhaps because they only arrived in garden at the end of the season, or perhaps because of the soggy weather.
To see what was happening in the garden in September click here
To see what comes next in November, click here
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