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Our garden is nurturing us

“We may think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it's our garden that is really nurturing us.” - Jenny Uglow

Well British Summer Time is over and Halloween and Guy Fawkes is behind us, so I feel autumn is really here. But that doesn’t mean that gardening is over for the year. We may not want to go into the garden as much because of the weather, but it still needs us. And we need it. I love the way the garden changes with each visit. It’s full of interest. You never know where the next lot of fungi will appear!

The 1st of November was Samhain, a Pagan new year, the beginning of winter and time to bring the cattle in. It was also seen as the time when the spirits of the dead could return to earth. Sounds a bit like Halloween or Day of the Dead to me.

We’ve not been meeting up much for volunteer sessions, partly because of the weather and also availability. So volunteers have popped into the garden when passing to pull up weeds. Our main weed seems to be dock leaves, which have long roots. So I have to remember to take a trowel to get them up. We also pop in to tidy books and toys. 2 new toy containers have been fixed up against the railings now. We have been given some kid’s instruments, toys and vehicles. So we now have somewhere to keep them tidy.

Unfortunately we’ve had to take the bird feeders out of the garden. We’ve had reports of rats being spotted around. And although they are scared of humans and shouldn’t be a problem to visitors, we don’t want to attract them. The birds will still have insects and sunflower seeds to eat though and we are leaving water for them too. I remember reading that you are never more than 6 foot from a rat. But apparently it’s more like 9 - 30 metres. But they like to live where there are people who leave rubbish. At least we don’t get as much litter blown into the garden now we have the troughs at the front.

I’ve been planting onions and garlic in any veg garden spaces that have become available. And that includes in between the winter lettuce, kales, cabbage, sprouts, celeriac and broccoli that I’ve put in. I’d read that rats don’t like the smell of onions and that it would keep them away. But I’ve found some dug up, so I’m not sure that it works. Could it be birds though? Anyway they haven’t eaten them, so I was able to re-plant.

There are still flowers in the garden. We are about to see our last rose of summer. And at the same time the chrysanthemums are bursting into flower too. Just as so many flowers are ending, this plant starts a riot of colour. We have 2 yellow plants in the garden, typical of a chrysanth, whose name comes from the Greek word ‘chrysos’ meaning ‘golden’.

We are planning to decorate the garden for Xmas on Sunday 8th Dec. So we have been sorting through our decorations in Hazlehurst Studios. And making a few Christmassy bits too. Our elf shoes made from Leylandii cuttings look quite good. And we’ve taken nuts home to make some mice to hang. So put 8th Dec in your diary and come along to the garden. The decorating session will be followed by a volunteers Xmas barbeque party.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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