A cloudless sky, warm too, at least in the sun, but that was deceptive; leaf litter crackled underfoot, and in places the ground frost didn’t thaw. A day to keep moving, working.
With the leaves all but gone we can start work on our hedges; see where we need to concentrate our attention, filling gaps, weaving, and pruning to encourage growth at the base. As the leaves have fallen, we’ve also discovered a Song Thrush’s nest in the oldest section, so at least one part of the hedge is beginning to be colonised.
The nest will be left over the winter months, we’re both intrigued to see what remains of it come next Spring.
We’ve begun seaweed collecting, so it must be Autumn.
The change in seasons slows activity across our site, yet we look around and wonder if we’ll ever get our plot ready for spring; tasks over Autumn and winter are the difference between having leafmould to use next year, or a supply of compost to refresh over wintered brassicas as Spring returns. Soon the hedges will lose their leaves, revealing their structure beneath, enabling pruning and pleaching to begin again; the rhythms of the year embedded in repeated tasks, but each year, slightly different. The wild flower areas will change this year, and parts of the hedge need replacing, replanting. We’ve moved the rhubarb crowns, replanted artichokes, rescued the hollyhocks from an onslaught of comfrey.
The greenhouses weren’t even built until this spring; their presence has created a whole new layer of possibilities. A new dynamic, as oriental brassica seedlings move from cold frame to greenhouse for harvesting over winter; hardy annuals wait their turn to be moved into the new cold frame, their winter quarters. Flowers are now allowed as much space over the seasons as vegetables, sown and planted in rotation to ensure nectar and pollen sources at key times.
The light shifts, leaves fall, are collected, we harvest the last of the beans for drying & sowing, pick herbs, drink tea.
At home, our pumpkins join our apple harvest, the cat makes himself space to sleep amongst them.