It’s now September, I’ve noticed the days getting shorter, it’s dark by 9:00pm, the night-time temperatures are starting to fall and the supermarkets have started displaying their Christmas decorations. The year is moving on, most of the plants have flowered and I’ve already started clearing the borders of finished biennials in preparation for the next set. In my mind I have the distinct feeling that the year is moving on and that we’re well into the descent to Christmas and Winter, where the garden goes dormant and looks the most bleak.
While we do have several evergreen plants and will have something in flower through most of winter, it’s nothing compared to how the garden is in mid summer. It’s a while until the clocks go back, but I’m already beginning to run short on time on those evenings I garden after work, I’ll be needing headlights on the lawn mower soon.
Despite the fact that the garden seems to be gradually winding down, it is a very busy time and I experienced this same phenomenon last year too. There are seeds to gather and cuttings to strike (although some would argue I have enough seeds already). Weeds that have escaped the trowel need to be found and exterminated. It’s also the last chance for lawn treatment as the daffodils will start waking up in a few months. Not to mention thinking about winter protection for all the half-hardy plants, pot plants and seeds trays that will need safe over-wintering. Plans for the borders next year need to be made now to keep gaps from appearing. On top of all that, there’s the general clearing out of dead plants and keeping things looking reasonably tidy (I’m not much of a neat freak but I will have immaculate lawn edges).
There is still sometime yet before I’m forced indoors, the Stargazer lilies are still flowering, even the Abutilon has managed a single, tiny lantern flower, roses are in a second flush and the sunflowers are fully open. Despite the miserable excuse for a summer we’ve had, there are still some warm evenings where I can sit outside to watch the garden start drifting off to sleep. That’s if I manage to clear enough space on the patio, which has filled up with seeds trays and plants waiting to be planted, again.