This week it has been raining more or less constantly, and even when there has been a break in the downpour the skies have been dark and brooding. As soon as we went into September there was no denying it anymore: clearly summer is over. With this realisation comes a melancholy feeling that lingers like a wet blanket around me. Change is in the air and the blissful months with my family all around me are but a memory to be cherished. I think it would be all too easy to give in to the inevitable autumn melancholia, but thankfully I have discovered the perfect medicine for it. I'm one of those weird people who actually like housekeeping and cleaning as I find it utterly therapeutic - and the step up from this is garden therapy! Clearing the garden after the season can be intensely purifying of any negative feelings, and luckily for me there is a lot to clear in my vegetable patch.
I tend to work systematically and clear one bed at the time. I like the orderliness of immersing myself in one task and finishing it before starting on the next one. The marigolds that have brought a joyful sheen to my garden all summer have now for the most part gone to seed, and with a complete lack of sentimentality I remove them from the raised beds. They have invariably dropped so much seeds already that they will spring up here and there next year again, but over winter I like my beds clean. This means that I remove all unwanted weeds too, and spend a good deal of time digging out roots and self seeded sapling.
My carrots are still going strong, so I harvest a bunch of these beautiful Purple Dragons for dinner. No matter how diligently I thought I had harvested the onions I always end up finding a bunch that has hidden in the soil when I remove weeds and work the soil over.
The end result is neat, and I feel my spirits lifting. The instant result is so utterly gratifying!
The potatoes are next in line, and I lift the last of the Purple Rain potatoes. Yes, this summer has had a theme in purple coloured varieties, and I delight in being childish and playful in my plantings.
I hope I have gotten all the potatoes out of ground, but knowing from past experience there will probably be some nasty little escapees that start to grow in the spring like weeds. For now though, even Båtsman (my Godfathers dog) seems to approve of a job well done.
The rest of the vegetable garden is still a glorious mess left for next week. My back has only just become better after a long troublesome spell that left me bed-bound for almost two weeks, so I am careful not to over do it. My mood is greatly improved though. Living in a cold climate with four distinkt seasons and certain chores specific to each of those seasons has a comforting rhythm to it. Going into autumn and tidying up after a bountiful summer reminds me of all the lovely people in my life that I am so grateful for. It is a bit like tidying up after a really wonderful party; such fun that was had but kind of nice to be enjoying the quiet on my own as well...