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By all these lovely tokens September days are here

"By all these lovely tokens

September days are here,

With summer’s best of weather

And autumn’s best of cheer."

- Helen Hunt Jackson, September, 1830-1885

Well it’s September, the start of the harvest period. The Anglo-Saxons called September ‘haligmonath’, or ‘the month of offerings to give thanks to the harvest’. The kids going back to school this week, might not feel that they want to give thanks though.

I always think September has the feel of a spring clean. So, as well as picking the veg, I am starting to clear plants that have finished. And we are tidying up others. I’ve been fixing up some of the new shrubs that have grown, such as the roses, so that they are supported. Volunteers are popping in to do dead heading and weeding too, which seems to be a never ending job.

The grass has also started growing again, with the rain we’ve had in the last few weeks. However there hasn’t been enough rain recently to keep plants watered, so some are weakening or drooping. We need to keep plants healthy though, as we want many of them in the garden again for next year. So I am still feeding them to keep up their strength for the winter ahead.

Our volunteers had an emergency last weekend when one of the toilet containers got broken. It was found by Peter, who picked up the pieces and told us about it. Then Cynthia called in and re-potted the plants into a bucket. A good bit of team work.

More fungi have appeared round the toadstools in the reading area. Is anyone able to identify them? I would love to think we could pick and eat them, along with our veg. But I really don’t want to take the risk.

Flora, one of our Suffragette scarecrows, has a new head. If you remember, she lost her wonderful fabric one in July. So now we are using photos of suffragettes for the head instead. The new head is that of Millicent Fawcett, a leading Suffragette campaigning for equal rights for women. She helped women gain the vote by leading the biggest suffrage organisation, the non-violent National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies for nearly 20 years until 1919. She also helped found Newnham College, Cambridge, giving women more opportunities to receive degrees. This was because she believed that education made it more likely for them to be given the right to vote.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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