Well autumn aye?!

I always find this a strange turn of seasons. Especially because the transition is so vague. Spring is cut and dried. We are so over winter that we are happy to declare the 1st of September the first day of spring no matter how freezing and miserable it is. It is spring people and we just need to wrap up warm and get on with it. Embrace the cold, it won’t be like that for much longer. We are braver in spring. Each climbing degree is cause for celebration. Each slightly later sunset is a glimmer of hope. We get out there and do stuff because the growing season is upon us.

Orange seems to be the predominant colour of the autumn season – that and the pale grey of powdery mildew!

At the other end of the growing season there is a reluctance for it to end. Summer just flashed by in the blink of an eye, surely, we aren’t ready to enter the slippery slope down to the chill of winter again. I’ve only just warmed up. Well to be fair, I’ve overcooked. It was a hot summer and despite good intentions, I didn’t do as much as I wanted to do because it was too hot. The season we long for all year turns out to be just as unbearable at times as the one we loath. We just lie to ourselves because summer is better than winter, right?!

The lush growth that once flourished across the garden has taken up an air of fatigue.

In autumn we aren’t as brave as we are in spring. The temperatures drop a couple of degrees and suddenly it is too cold. I saw someone say on social media the other day “apparently 21ᵒC is the new freezing!” Six months ago, I would have contemplated going swimming in temperatures like that. (I say contemplate loosely) and now I find I’m reaching for socks and complaining it is really too cold to do anything in the garden, not until it warms up a little.

empty beds
At this point in the season this is a common sight… beds bereft of their once verdant crops and soil dry from a season of giving.

Summer makes you soft! Well it makes me soft. I don’t feel as fit as I did in the spring either. The garden doesn’t actually require much physical work like digging in the spring (which is just as well as it is too hot!) And the food is good, so good, the desire to over indulge in another heaping bowl of fresh tomato pasta with homegrown onions and garlic and fresh basil and a cheeky glass of red to go with. To not eat the glut would be wasteful, but it turns out eating the glut can full the waist!

Ahhh Basil, the seasoning of summer

So here we are in this weird twilight of a season and I wonder if I wasn’t such a gardener, ruled by the seasons would I notice the change had occurred at all? Or has it? You see the weather hasn’t really changed. The end of a heat wave made the normal weather for this time of year take on a decidedly autumnal feel, but the sky is still blue, and the days are still long. Or long enough for this weary body to not notice the sun going down is closer to bed time, or is bed time getting closer to the sun going down? Who knows?! The days are still hot, most of the time – the afternoons can be positively sweaty!

And yet some plants carry on regardless of what the season is doing, so long as its needs are being met. This watermelon clearly didn’t get the memo the seasons have changed.

And to make matters worse there is confusion as to when this change over happens. By the meteorological calendar the seasons change every three months on the 1st and for my control freakery in the garden this is perfect. But astronomically we are still in summer for another couple of weeks – Yay! But you can’t really have your bread buttered on both sides – can you? Start spring by the calendar and end it on the equinox? I suppose I could. It would help to ease my angst at all the gardeners in the northern hemisphere counting away my growing season as they countdown to their spring. They are very valiant sticking to their guns and holding out for the later astronomical spring start. I don’t have that kind of self-control!

Broad bean cover crop
But all is not lost, the broad bean cover crop is emerging from the dusty soil bringing with it a promise of something good ahead. (But not the beans themselves as they aren’t all that nice!)

But whatever season we are in, the garden is calling out to me to make a few changes and get it ready for the months to come. There is something in the air that makes this window of transition subtly noticeable, and as a gardener, in nature most days you become attuned to it. Like when you notice your best friend has changed her perfume or has a new pair of shoes. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. For all you non-gardeners out there who barely notice the seasons: “The end is nigh!”

Come again soon – things are come out and things are going in.

Sarah the Gardener : o)

4 thoughts on “Well autumn aye?!

  1. Spring and autumn are my favourite seasons – not too hot, not too cold (just as Goldilocks liked it!). I do hate that it is dark again in the morning when I have to drag myself out of bed, makes it that much harder to wake up.

    One of my favourite snacks is dried (I think? or maybe they’re fried? They’re crunchy anyway) broad beans flavoured with some slightly spicy, salty seasoning. I love them, and will devour a whole packet in one go. Don’t know if you could try something similar with your beans?

    1. I got up a little earlier today and was surprised just how dark it was! Eek, summer days are slipping away. I’ve had those fried ones before, they are quite moreish. Hmmm I wonder if I can recreate them… : o)

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