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October, ruddy-cheeked, comes o'er the plains

Updated: Oct 15, 2018

October, ruddy-cheeked, comes o'er the plains, And as with rustling step it speeds along, Its feet beat music to the harvest song... ~Albert Laighton (1829–1887), "October," c.1859

It’s October, a busy month and not just because my birthday is coming up. The weather is getting colder now, so some of our more cold sensitive plants are beginning to die down. Finished sunflower heads are being chopped off ready to dry and feed the winter birds. And we have bulbs to sort and plant. Weeds are growing everywhere too, they never seem to go.

I’m still picking a few things growing in the garden. Our volunteer Fred has been happily munching on the lettuce. And we have ripening chillies too. Mainly red, but one plant has produced yellow ones. I didn’t even realise you could get yellow ones.

We had a busy volunteer’s session this morning, tidying the yard. Or ‘yardening’ as we now call it. Pauline did a good job with reorganising our collection of pots and containers. While Jane, Claire and Helen made themselves useful pulling up weeds, emptying pots and collecting canes as well as generally reorganising things. We rewarded ourselves with yummy birthday cake afterwards.

One job I haven’t been doing is collecting slugs and snails. We have not seen as much damage from them this year in comparison to last. We’ve had a few marigolds eaten in the last month or so, but they seem to be keeping away from most of the other plants. I think our experimenting with different slug and snail deterrents has helped, as well as the dry early summer. Our favourite deterrent has been the wool that we circled plants with. Slugs don’t like moving over it, so they don’t get to the plant. However I’ve been following the RHS and their testing anti-slug and snail remedies. It’s been quite a big project. But their conclusion was that nothing really worked.

We are also planning the changes in the garden for next month. The new theme will be 100 years since the end of WW1. We are asking groups to make us poppies to put in the garden. There will also be a couple of workshops at Hazlehurst Studios this month to make things for our theme. So keep an eye on the website for details of dates and times.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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