Thursday, 11 October 2012


- that is the question.

As I sit here watching the ash leaves fall like yellow snow onto the lawn that I have just mown, (a great way of collecting the leaves), I am undergoing an internal debate over whether to leave the dead stems of perennials till spring or tidy up the garden, get it spruce before the winter.

The control freak in me wants to make it all organised, manured and ready for next year. The naturalist wants me to leave it all for the wildlife. The grasses would be left anyway - they look so spectacular in a hoar frost.

Do I cut back the phlox, dig up all the bolted leeks, fork over beds, clear the streams - or not?

R has trimmed the vegetation at the side of the stream and I can now see it has silted up with the debris washed down by the storm rain - of which we have had plenty this summer. Though it is autumn, summer is back again today - it is raining.

We are just back from southwest Scotland where they are at least a week nearer winter. We went to the Wigtown Book Festival and heard Miriam Darlington on her book on otters - 'Otter Country'. Afterwards we walked around the White Loch of Myrton. The dreaded Japanese Knotweed was there as well as a strong bloom of green algae. The more the farmers fertilise the fields the worse this will get.

Whilst we were away it must have poured down for the track up to the house has developed channels where the water has washed away the lighter chippings.

Despite fruit and veg disasters this year one success has been the carrots planted in plastic tubs with the bottoms knocked out. Supermarkets cannot compete with the sweetness of newly pulled carrots.
Yet, I have had to go to the market and but beetroot and cauliflowers for our soup. I did wait until they came down to a reasonable price. As it is raining this afternoon will be cooking day, make soup, pot it in plastic containers and freeze.
In the depths of winter there is nothing as good as hot home made soup for lunch. Well, perhaps a deep-fried Mars Bar and chips with chutney and mushy peas? (I do not really mean that.)

I wonder about myxomatosis being back - lately we seem to have had only a solitary rabbit in the garden; the same cannot be said of the squirrels, which must have bred like rabbits. (I know that is not genetically accurate and we are talking dreys not warrens but you get the gist.)

Another puff of wind and another leaf-storm outside my window, time for home made soup.

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