October in the garden – There’s life in the old girl, yet!
So, last month I wrote about the garden winding down. And it’s true that we definitely aren’t eating much out of it at the moment. But that doesn’t mean that it’s gone dead! No, in contrast, it seems that October in the garden is full of life, and not all of it plant-based…
My herbs are mostly doing really well. The thymes, tarragon, rosemary, sage and garden mint are the gifts that keep on giving. It seems as though no matter how much I forget to water them, cut loads off them to cook with, or generally mistreat them, they don’t seem to mind one bit. The mint looks very sad if I forget to water it, but once I remember, it’s right as rain within an hour or two.
The leeks are also doing really well. I have used most of the second bed of leeks in the place of spring onions in some recipes from Jamie Oliver’s new book. For some reason, the leeks in that bed were much more delicate and spring onion-like. The ones that remain are very hardy and will be making some very tasty soups soon. I’m thinking leek and potato, leek and sweet potato, leek and pumpkin. I might make a chicken and leek pie soon, too. It’s at times like these when I think maybe I married the wrong man, as if it were up to me, I’d just make cheesy leeks and eat those forever, but sadly Peter hates cheese sauce. I know, I know. Why didn’t I find this out BEFORE the wedding? Sad times, my friends.
The thing that isn’t doing so well? Eugh, my chocolate mint is pretty grim and I’m afraid will be hitting the compost bin tomorrow when I’m out there weeding. This sounded like a great idea – it really does smell and taste like mint chocolate, which is my absolute favourite taste. I had big plans to make ice-cream with it, and dry it and sprinkle it on top of puddings and all sorts, but in the end I barely ate any of it all summer, and it’s a big wuss in comparison to the other plants I’ve got. I’ll definitely be finding something else to go in that pot next summer.
And excitingly, there’s new life in the garden! The shallots I planted a few weeks ago have started to sprout, which is very exciting for a garden that’s meant to be entering a quiet period. And bizarrely, one asparagus spear has emerged from the earth. Some of my bulbs have started sprouting very early, too, so I guess that means it’s been a very mild autumn so far. I’ve covered the bulb shoots with more soil, as it appears they may have had too little soil left on top of them (I planted them last year, so I think I should have pulled them out and replanted them, rather than leaving them in the pots, as it was difficult to tell how deep they were – clearly, not deep enough!). And I’m very much hoping that this little asparagus spear grows tall enough before the frost comes for me to cook it up and eat it!
And finally, what of our non-plant life? September was definitely the peak for spiders, but we still have so many lurking around in the corners of the garden. They are fat after a summer of gorging themselves on insects, and I’m very glad I’m not arachnophobic, as they’re quite creepy looking!
So – that’s life in my garden this month. It’s nice to see things still coming to life, despite the much shorter days we’ve been having lately… I’d love to know what you’re seeing in your outdoor space or on your windowsill this month!