That autumn coolness

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The air is cooling down fast and even though we are enjoying warm sunny days, evenings and mornings are chilly. I am very excited for this autumn, my first year of pumpkins, the apple tree full of fruit, picking blackberries, bonfires and the most wonderful news I had yesterday – we are getting an allotment in October! We will be able to choose one out of five plots, must start thinking about my criteria, I thought I will be just offered one place so this feels luxurious to be able to pick the best. I am trying to plan ahead but without seeing them I can only imagine what they will be like, I can only assume there will be lots of clearing and weeding and soil improving. Will there be a shed? Or even a greenhouse? Or maybe raised beds would be preferable? I have to start reading my Allotment Manual and wait patiently. The two months I have will give me time to make sure my garden is taken care of and any other unfinished projects.

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I am hoping to produce a large number of perennials and raise them in the greenhouse to fill up the gaps in my flower beds, I collected lots of lupin seeds and I have some lovely black hollyhocks which are already growing. I also got organised with spring bedding plants, namely wallflowers, I have a tray of seedlings that will be strong enough to be planted out in October and should give us some bright colour in the spring (I can’t believe I am talking about spring 2014 already!)

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This weekend I am sowing more spring onions in pots and planning other crops for overwintering like garlic and broadbeans.

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My largest and most orange pumpkin.

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Freddie got a packet of sunflower seeds and I was so happy when they turned out to be not entirely yellow and short with multiple flower heads, this helps to use them in vases but I am also drying the past heads for some winter bird feed.

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Note to myself for next year: more zinnias and sow them early! They are great as cut flowers and they also brighten up the garden.

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Last month, feeling bit desperate to have something flowering into autumn, I bought a couple of hellenium plants and I am so happy with these, they look fantastic in the border. This sets a theme for the late summer/autumn garden, I will try and grow rudbeckia Brandy and more echinacea in similar rusty colour. Then I will move the pink echinacea to the far bed where the theme is pink and white. It should look nice.

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Speaking of the far flower bed (which was bare last year and turned out fantastic this year) I did a small experiment, it turned out to be a gardening success. When we moved here there weren’t many nice things in the garden, few roses, crocosmia, recently discovered daylilies and a woody old phlox. The phlox was so old it only gave me one stem with few flowers, it looked old, sad and tired. So this spring I dug it out, split it in four, started to nurse it to health in pots, then I planted it out into semi shaded area with rich soil and this summer I have four beautiful plants with multiple perfectly rounded heads full of blooms. Thinking back I could have probably made more plants but perhaps I will split it again in a couple of years. Crocosmia got split as well – it is so easy and productive, it grows all over the garden now. I find this part of gardening the most exciting and very satisfying.

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5 Responses to “That autumn coolness”

  1. Anna B 3 September, 2013 at 4:58 am #

    Cool news about your allotment! Your garden and crops look fantastic :)

  2. Beth 12 September, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    I think your garden is looking quite colourful and productive! I am so very jealous of your zinnias and pumpkins, I didn’t grow either this year, for the first time and they are both badly missed, especially the squash/pumpkin. Great news on the allotment, I hope you get on that doesn’t need too much work :)

  3. The Sneaky Magpie 13 September, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    Anna, thank you!

    Beth, I bet it does, knowing my luck! I am already regretting not planting more pumpkins, I only have a few. Lessons, ha ;)

  4. Erin 26 September, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    I can almost smell the crisp air just from looking at these photos. So exciting to see real pumpkins growing. What are your plans for it once it reaches maturity (? is the the proper phrasing?). I bet you make an awesome pumpkin pie (or six) with it :) xo

  5. The Sneaky Magpie 30 September, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Erin, it will probably be roasted as well as put in a curry or soup. I love pumpkins in savoury dishes most. x

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