Welcome to my monthly diary as I continues to follow the life at our garden at Ednovean Farm through October and into the autumn. No sooner had the last diary been posted than the first gale of autumn swept through the garden scattering the strappy spent fronds from the Cordyline australis across the lawn and tearing at the tall pampas seeds.
Our first job on Monday at the beginning of the month was a good two hours of collecting the leaves before we could even contemplate moving on with the borders. An essential job as the fibrous fronds like to lurk hidden in the long grass waiting to trap and jam strimmers and clog lawn mowers – they do burn with a very satisfying crackle though and are great for bonfire lighting!
With the onset of autumn I’ve started the long trudge from the muck heap across the lane, barrowing back the rich dark manure to the garden. I find it oddly satisfying to spread the weed suppressing mulch across the beds in a warm winter blanket. The crumbly muck that forms from Danni’s well rotted Miscanthus bedding (You can see a grass theme developing here) has proved the best mulch over the years before finally sinking into the earth as the years go by to form rich dark soil. Strangely enough we don’t have so much topsoil here in place – the courtyard gardens were formed from the old farmyards where farming has taken place probably since Saxon times. They have been dug deep into the subsoil of the hillside to tuck the farm below the horizon in centuries when threats mostly came from the sea and the Italian garden of course was planted in the horses old sand school, with the only real soil in the raised beds that flank it. My first stop was the big date palms in the Italian garden that sit in a mixture of sand and rab, to spread a nurturing mulch around their base. No sooner had I returned with a second barrow full than I found a waiting Robin on one of the urns that flank the Italian garden entrance, ready for the rich harvest of worms that accompany the garden treat. Somehow the little Robin waiting for his worms was a real signpost of the continuity of the garden through the seasons – the seasons that shape its life and a promise that the winter days will have their own beauty in the days to come.
Over this month I’ve slipped a few spring bulbs in here and there in the hope that they will either cheer up the first days of spring or make a winter mouse very happy – we’ll have to wait and see. At the moment we have mild moisture laden air gently caressing the garden as its fades away and what will November bring – ah again we’ll have to wait and see.
Here’s a little video from the other day when the cats lounged on the hot gravel in the sunshine and the garden was full of birds song and maybe the distant song of the sea.