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  • Writer's pictureThe Blooming Old Gardener

A late summer garden has a tranquillity found

"A late summer garden has a tranquillity found no other time of the year." - William Longgood

On a dry day the Bloomers garden is a tranquil place to be. Sitting listening to the bees and birds. Although I can’t sit for long, as I keep seeing things that need doing, a bit of weeding or something that needs cutting back or deadheading. Actually, I keep a garden chair there now, so I can sit down as I work round the garden, much easier than bending. The weather is more autumnal now, so I’m wearing a mac in the garden too. I must look an odd sight to those who are passing, but there are those who say I look an odd sight most of the time.

We’ve had some very productive Sunday Bloomer sessions. Lots of weeding and cutting back. I’ve ended up with a car boot full to put in my green waste bin. It’s great to get the volunteers together as a distanced team and good for exercise and our mental health.

We often have visitors coming to talk to us while we are there. And some visitors post photographs of their visit on our Facebook page, ‘Old Town Bloomers Including Incredible Edible Runcorn’. We love to see how people enjoy the garden.

As usual we’ve been getting fungi appearing, this time the raised bed is full of small round ones. That’s probably not their botanical name. We still have the remnants of fungi growing all over the reading chair too. Talking of reading, we need books for pre school children for the book tree. So feel free to pop some small books on to the bottom shelf. And perhaps take a book too.

I’ve been planting young cabbage, winter lettuce and kale plants in the veg garden. Most of my earlier kale and cabbage plants were eaten by caterpillars. I thought the butterflies were avoiding the red kale, so they were surviving well. However, I found that their caterpillars ate the red kale when they’d eaten everything else. So I had to re-sow and start all over again, trying to protect them using a net curtain.

The tomatoes in the garden have lasted well, but soon I will be picking the green ones. It’s chutney making time. Although someone recently gave me a fried green tomato recipe I want to try. You slice the tomatoes, dust them in flour, then dip them in egg. Then dip them in a mix of spices and panko style breadcrumbs. Gently deep fry them in oil and drain on kitchen paper. Then sprinkle with sea salt and serve with something yoghurty. Think I’ll give it a try, as it reminds me of a film I used to love.

As usual, we have lots of plants flowering in the garden, particularly purple ones and our grasses are colourful too. I love the way each one is different. It’s a shame that they die down in the winter. If you look around there are lots of plants with colourful leaves that don’t flower, these can give us colour all year round.

Over the summer we have been collecting donated bricks for the rockery we are building for next year. Our new volunteer Josh has been using them to create the base of the rockery, giving it good drainage. It’s great to have a volunteer who likes doing the heavy work that many of us can’t do. And it’s good to have a new volunteer too. We also have donations of stone from volunteer Chris. These are gradually arriving at the garden. So keep a watch out to see the rockery slowly grow over the next couple of months.

I just do the light work for the rockery. Like propagating alpine plants. I’ve been taking cuttings and splitting lots of different plants all summer. Not all survive and root. Which is lucky, as I hardly have enough space for all the ones that do! A lot of these plants have new homes now though. And the donations from their new owners have helped towards soil and gravel for the rockery.

It’s nearly October, with the full moon on the 1st. As the nearest full moon to the start of autumn, its going to be the harvest moon. With people using the bright light from the moon to work a longer day to bring in the harvest. I certainly won’t be picking my veg at night. Though you might find me out celebrating a birthday or two in October.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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