In September I’m always tempted to start trimming back to get a proper head start on autumn, but my advice to myself is always #ResistTooMuchTidying.
I advise holding back and I would encourage anyone to do the same. Try to eek out and enjoy the colour and fading glory of the garden with its majestic seed-heads as much as you can. I’m leaving the sunflowers for my mini flock of playful sparrows.
The #totalflowerfest has received some party gatecrashers in the form of luscious lime, marvellous magenta and decadently violet Gladioli. I’d completely forgotten I’d planted them in late May. Big pots of zingy perennial Helianthus ‘Miss Mellish’ are also late arrivers to the floral throng. So I’m happily heading into autumn with plenty of colour still bobbing around.
It’s been a bit of a mixed bag this year for my edibles. The heat in June meant lots of tasty leaves and herbs shot straight to seed, whilst some of the tomato plants in the greenhouse grew wild and wacky from fluctuating temperatures and heat stress.
Outside, however, my ‘Marketmore’ cucumbers have been a total triumph.
I’ve been busy researching what to do with my rather wonderful crop.
In honour of my late Nan Gladys, who would generally pickle pretty much anything, I have a big bowl full of stripy slices soaking in Sarsons vinegar at the bottom of the fridge.
But #JoyOfJoys, a new bottle of ‘Hendricks’, came with a mini cocktail book. I’m diligently working my way through it, making cucumber balls, spears, and thin, curly slices a go-go, not to mention experimenting with sugar syrup and cucumber purée. #deeelicious. It’s #G&Theaven. Karen Walker would be so proud. #SendForMoreGin #
The others I’ve grown are all colourful beefsteaks. For me they’re a bit disappointing in terms of the yield, although I’ll forgive ‘Brandy Wine’ and ‘Black Russian’ as the colour, juiciness and flavour of both are pretty orgasmic.