It may only be September, but it is starting to seriously feel like autumn in the garden now and has been for a few weeks! The nights are drawing in and the garden is starting to mellow into autumn, plant by plant. I’m hoping our resident hedgehogs are doing enough to fatten themselves up for the winter; but judging by the amount of time this one spent at the food bowl the other night, I think he or she at least has got the right idea!
We’re planning on getting a hedgehog nest box this year to help them out a bit further. Hopefully we can find a suitable spot for it under the brambles that are gradually taking over the back end of the garden. Said brambles have been fruiting for weeks now – lovely fat juicy berries.
The beauty of picking blackberries from your own garden, especially if you garden organically, is that you know there’s nothing untoward been sprayed on them (with the possible exception of the lower ones which may fall foul of neighbourhood cats scent marking!)
I’ve picked some, but there are too many for us really, so I’m hoping the birds will take their fill, although they seem at the moment to prefer the suet bird food provided and are spurning the healthy fruit option!
Our other fruit crop is from our Discovery apple tree, which is an early cropping variety with lovely red sweet apples.
The tree a few weeks ago looked like this – laden with apples that were already starting to drop on our shoddy attempt at a lawn.
Again there were too many apples for the two of us, but fortunately Chris has a cider-making friend who kindly came round and cleared most of them for us. Hopefully we’ll get some of the finished product! So a day’s apple picking and a few weeks later the tree is looking like this – leaves just starting to change colour from green to yellow in places.
Another “crop” from the garden are the artichokes – Globe ones. To be honest they don’t really get harvested as I always leave them until they’re too big and tough. And anyway, I love the purple flowers which the bees go crazy for and they give fantastic structural interest amongst the prevailing weeds!
Small mushrooms are also popping up now in the “lawn” – another autumnal sign. I’ve no idea what species they are or whether they are edible, so they’ll stay where they are amongst the grass.
One final thought – as if the approach of autumn wasn’t daunting enough, some of the apples from the tree have already made their way into this – Christmas is coming!