‘Gardening is a thoughtful activity, but ‘thinkers’ tend to look down on it. It’s practical and repetitive, they reason, and it is often very dirty…’
Robin Lane-Fox ‘Thoughtful Gardening’.
This is an excellent time of year to think; to look back on all the delicious things that we have grown; the successes, things we would rather forget and to plan how we might do things differently next time around.
There’s a back to school feeling with autumn in the air; we’re going to turn over new leaves, label plants properly, clean and sharpen our tools every day and remember to feed, water and harvest everything in good time.
This year the garden has benefited no end from a fantastic, sturdy, deeply dug rabbit proof fence, and proper cages for the brassicas. The cabbages have done so well, were they athletes, you might consider testing them for performance enhancing drugs.
The fruit bushes produced currants as big as Kalamata olives, strawberries were a triumph (however, we need to plant more next year) and the rhubarb has just kept on coming back so the chefs have had a wonderful supply of fruit to preserve or use straight away.
The dahlia are just coming into their own to carry us through this late summer stretch when most of the annuals are fading. The cutting garden, all thanks to Tess, is a lovely place to be at the moment to see Amaranth, Zinnia, Verbena, Gladioli, Cosmos, Sunflower, Didiscus and Snap dragon. It’s a shame almost to cut them as they look so happy all together, slightly wild and out of control.
There is a hefty supply of tomatoes still to come and the wide variety of beans, Borlotti, Tsar, Runner, String are just about ready for the chop, though the chefs like to keep some on the vine to dry until late autumn to see them through winter.
We’ve had trouble with the peas as the birds love them so, but hopefully next year they’ll be grown in cages like the cabbage. There are a few delicate leaves such as Agretti and Perilla that have been difficult to succeed with, but after a few attempts we’ve got the formula right and there is something for the table.
The next exciting project in the pipeline is a water tank that will have water pumped up from the River Leach that winds itself through the grounds. It will be pressurised to ensure that we can use several hoses at once so the garden can rest assured. In addition to this, we have a kitchen gardener from Heligan joining our team, so all in all, it has been a very successful season, I think.
Enjoy The Garden Team's 'Quick Garden Pickle' recipe below.