October in the Garden
There is no doubt that we are at the end of the gardening year. The blueberry leaves have turned the most vivid scarlet colour (don’t think it shows up too well here), and the berries are ripening as fast as the birds will let them. The fennel is a cloud of yellow flower and setting seed. It seems awfully late this year, so I don’t know how much of this seed will be viable. I have done a lot of tidying up and cutting back, planted a lot of bulbs – three kinds of tulip and what I hope will be a succession of daffodils for cutting, starting with ‘quail’ (pale yellow and, it claims, scented), and ‘sailboat’ and finishing up with the pheasants eye narcissus, which takes us almost to the end of May, and brought most of the pots into the greenhouse to overwinter. The window-boxes are down, and I have put out some cyclamen for the winter, and this bowl of cheeriness to get us started.
All the summer birds have gone, and the black-backed gull colony has dispersed for the winter. There are more ducks on the river, and flocks of starlings everywhere, lining all the roof tops, chattering in the bushes, swinging on the telephone lines. I have started to feed the birds again, and there are sparrows, goldfinches and a chaffinch at the feeder already. You can hear geese calling in the morning and evening as they head for the quiet fields on the Carse, and all this year’s froglets are looking for warm places to hide.
The last week was dominated by the moon. The harvest moon often dominates the sky in September, to the point that William Kennedy, one of the Glasgow Boys painted this picture (which you can now see in our local Art Gallery The Smith , was a supermoon this year,and accompanied by a full eclipse. We had bright days and cold clear nights of astonishing beauty. Today, however, is not like that. We have had torrential rain and we are expecting the same again later today. The fires is lit in the evenings, and it is dark in the morning when I go out to look after my grand-daughter. I have been trying new things with my making harvested herbs, herb pepper to add zing to pates and marinades, and some tinctures and herbal oils.I am going to try them in salves and remedies for the smaller ails and discomforts of the winter months. The year has turned, and it is time to be indoors.