Wednesday 1 October 2014

End of month view: September 2014

September in the garden. Actually, I wasn't in the garden, as I was mainly off travelling with my best friend Kerri who was over from Oz for her 50th birthday. When I was around, I was too ME tired to do any gardening. This didn't seem to bother the garden too much...

In the Kitchen Garden, quite a few things have gone to seed. Some were intentional, such as the heritage varieties of peas, lettuce and dwarf french beans.
Saving seeds: Dwarf French Bean Ice Crystal Wax, plus Lettuce 'Bronze Arrow'
and Pea 'Lativan', the latter two from Heritage Seed Library.

I love the colour changes of Ice Crystal Wax - the drying pods on the right.

Others weren't intentional, such as my climbing french beans which weren't picked. However, it doesn't matter as I can use the beans in the pods in winter soups, so not really a problem!

I was rather excited to see that by the end of September the Kohl Rabi was really growing well. Am hoping to start cropping it by the end of October. I haven't covered these with netting to stop white cabbage moth as I have with other brassicas. This seems to have worked out ok. Am I lucky, or do white cabbage moth not have a taste for Kohl Rabi?!

My first fennel bulbs are almost ready to eat too. Mmmmmm.

And the Perennial Kale is growing for England (bottom right). I also haven't netted these. They have been chewed on a bit, but largely survive the depredations of white cabbage moth.

On the negative side, the tomatoes had barely started FINALLY going red or yellow before they got hit by blight. I had hoped to save seed from my Estonian Yellow Cherry tomatoes, but that's not going to happen after all. I'm starting to wonder why I bother with tomatoes.

Flowering in the garden in September has brought one surprise - Digitalis! Do other people get their foxgloves flowering later too, or is this just an odd occurrence?

So far no sight of any saffron crocus in the Strawberry Border, where I planted them. But the autumn Crocus, pulchellus, are flowering beautifully in the Cornus Border.
Crocus pulchellus (not sativis as originally listed. Thanks to @emmathegardener for advice.)

Slightly late to the party, but no less welcome, is Anemone hupehensis 'Splendens'. It is planted in the shadier end of the Shady Border so this may be why it didn't flower until the end of September, rather than from August as I expected.

Along the back fence, the nasturtiums and Salvia uliginosa continue to march towards domination.

As does the Helianthus 'Lemon Queen', growing almost over the young greengage tree.

To my great delight, Actaea simplex 'Brunette' finally flowered. It was worth the wait.

Signs of autumn have arrived in the Cornus Border. The leaves of the cornus shrubs are changing colour, and the colour on the red stems of Cornus alba 'Elegantissima' are stronger.

Going into October, the key tasks will be collecting the vegetable seeds that I'm saving, getting some weeding done, and planting out bulbs and corms. This will be done slowly, as the ME isn't great at the moment so I have little energy. But despite that, the fact I was away for much of the month, and doing a mind-wipe of the blighted tomatoes, I'm rather pleased how the garden was flowering and producing during September.

Overview from study

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End of month view is hosted by Helen Johnstone, aka @patientgardener. Visit Helen's blog for her September 2014 EOMV and links to other bloggers EOMV posts.