Caption: One of the compensations of the end of summer; the architectural form of cardoon and grasses

This morning the water on the bird bath was frozen, not just a little bit, but with proper pieces of ice. There’s a moment when we accept summer really has finished and this morning I shrugged my shoulders and sighed, ‘well that’s it gone’.

After a cup of tea, a digestive biscuit and a moment of sadness, my thoughts turned to the list of things that need doing before the days really shorten. Growing some autumn sown broad beans is something you read about in magazines and I’ve always wanted to try. So this year I’ve bought a packet of Acquadulce broad beans ready to sow in November that will go in a raised bed once the old courgette plants are cleared.

In addition to the beans, Kale is invaluable for spring eating and I’ve have been planting out some heirloom varieties that I grew from seed earlier in the season. Try ‘The Real Seed Company’ who have old varieties available like Asparagus Kale and Southerland Kale. These can be grown as perennials apparently which seems incredible, but I’m giving them a go. My plants are looking good and strong to date and I’m excited to see how they’ll come on in March.

So all in all, there’s plenty to get on with and that’s before planting the 250 tulip bulbs ‘accidentally’ purchased via the internet and catalogues. The retreat indoors may have started but there’s still lots to keep us gardening.



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