Harvest – to gather in crops and a time to reflect on the garden. How many of us have been gathering in home grown products over the last 2/3 months? And what has 2018 been like for you – have you reaped what you’ve sown?
It has been somewhat challenging for the grower – the Beast from the East and the long hot summer contrived to make gardening a bit of an uphill struggle. Even with hours spent watering, lawns turned to dust and flower beds faded. I came home from a beautifully sunny and warm holiday to runner beans not setting and cracks appearing in the raised beds – not a pretty sight.
But with a little perseverance and a bit of TLC all was not lost. Not everything flourished of course but that really is the nature of gardening. Perhaps that’s it’s appeal – the challenge of the unknown. You start out all hopeful in the Spring, sow the seeds, plant up the borders, weed water, mulch and cross the fingers. Then BOOM the weather decides it won’t play ball so if you take your eye of the garden for just a minute new plants die and seeds won’t germinate. But hey who doesn’t love a challenge. We Brits have never let the weather get us down and as gardeners we will keep on trying to create that wonderful outdoor space or grow ourselves some really fresh food. The results of course may not be of uniform shape or may get damaged by disease. the weather or bugs ( as per my apple trees) but I wager it will taste good.. I bet there’s not many of you, however bad your results were this year, who have not browsed the seed catalogues or planted up bulbs for the spring. You see gardening gives us hope and we certainly need that with all that’s going on at the moment
As for my garden – the roses were blooming lovely!
The runners recovered, cropping well into October, potatoes were fine despite the lack of rain, carrots OK after second ( or was it third ) sowing, onions good, tomatoes good, strawberries delicious, but raspberries a disaster. My raised bed of pinks, despite showing cracked earth, have flowered and flowered – still have a posy each week in the kitchen – their smell is divine. Had a few good servings from an early crop of Kale and the chickens enjoyed the rest once the leaves had been invaded! Parsnips still to be dug – waiting for the first frost as it makes them sweeter.
So – although not the most prolific year – the garden certainly gave me back something really good. And do you know what? I am going to do the same again next year. Let’s all harvest our thoughts for the coming months, plan what we shall be sowing in the spring and hope all will be well despite the challenges that lay ahead.