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A genuine log of the garden in early Autumn.


The three people who noticed my previous blog will no doubt remember that I said, at the beginning, that I don’t post much on GOY in summer. Who does? Summer is the time for getting out into the garden and enjoying it, with perhaps a little work. If you haven’t seen it then refer to my last blog, but not if you think gardening is very serious or that a blog about what to drink in the garden in summer is a great sin on a ‘how to garden’ forum. Just for the record, this doesn’t mean that I never do any gardening cos I do but most of it is done NOW through to spring, not in June, July, August. That is the time for sitting and smelling the roses.

This is a genuine gardening blog, to remind myself, as I head towards my dotage, of what is currently happening as I look to my harvest.

Let me deal with the bad news first.

Cherries and plums (Prunus varieties) were awful. Spring this year was late round here. Only one cherry tree produced a handful of fruit at the right time. I think the other two cherries would have produced a few but the birds, which I encourage, were nicking them before they were ripe and before I got the nets out. Ah well, if the birds were hungry enough to pinch unripe cherries then they are welcome to them. The golden gage and the damson were well down and the greengage is too young to produce fruit yet. In fact, I just found (the only) 3 fruits on the damson, which are not yet ripe (August ripening) and I don’t think I will be making either damson jam or damson gin this year.

The other really bad bit was the herbs. The whole lot. Stripped completely, including my bucket of thyme and oregano which has been going for years. Not, I think the work of slugs or snails, because that included a (new) grow bag with parsley, basil and new rosemary in it which was kept on a bench where the gastropods never visit. The same symptoms were found in the rocket and land cress. Fortunately I had taken a cutting or two off the old rosemary when I saw it getting brown and they are fine. It’s just the tender stuff. Suggestions of cause please on a postcard (or put it on here so we can all see).

Now the good bit.

All flowering border plants, whether annual or perennial, were great. Best year for, well, years. Even the spring bulbs were good from the snowdrops through the daffodils and to the tulips.

Tomatoes were (and are) delicious. I grow 4 varieties, my main crop being Super Marmande but also a yellow one, a mini purple plum and red cherry ones. All beautiful.

The greatest things, for me, are my hard fruits. The Cox apple is now eminently harvestable, crisp and sweet at the same time. The Egremont russet: Our Australian horticulturalist friend, the boss-lady, a couple of neighbours and I just had a tasting of the first pickings (2) which didn’t quite pass the twist test but were very near. We were, again, delighted. Crisp, sweeter than the Cox and ‘custardy’. A week and they will be delicious. The Granny Smith’s: (I read on a web site two days ago that ‘you can’t grow Grannies or Golden Delicious in the UK’, well what have we been eating well into the winter for years? Actually, if you taste those horrible Golden Delicious that our French neighbours have been bombarding us with then I don’t actually want to grow them) These are nowhere near ripe. Please give me another mild 3 weeks and the crisp, sour (but not too sour) taste of the Granny will be at it’s best.

This is a genuine blog and I could waffle on for ages but please tell us how your own harvest went. Even the disasters.

More blog posts by sarraceniac

Previous post: Summer in the garden (but not horticulture)



Hi, I don't grow fruit or veg, so I can't comment on them, but the perennials have done really well this year, but I only recently started growing perennials, having grown hundreds of annuals for years, Derek.

22 Sep, 2013


I love Goy when we get side tracked into food and drink and putting your feet up in this wonderful summer.......and picking the fruits of our labours can you have 500%..? Thats how much nicer my toms and peppers are than last year, the apples and pears are dripping with fruit and even Stella cherry filled a huge bowl that we were hunting for recipes to use up......cherry and white choc muffins were ace!
And in a sauce with duck!

Pleased you have had some success, no idea about the herbs though....x

22 Sep, 2013


I don't grow fruit and veg either, but my perennials have done well, and the sunflowers which I grew this year have been stunning. The fuschias have been disappointing, so have the penstomens, which have always been great in other years. Overall it's been a good year in the garden. As for putting my feet up in the garden in the summer, yes I have the occasional nap on the lawn, but I love messing about in the soil all year round, and am always planting new things, repotting stuff, taking out a few plants, moving them around, deadheading, weeding, doing other people's gardens (for fun!). I just love being active in the garden all year round:)

As for alcohol, I like a half pint of real ale in a pub now and then, but I've never drunk alcohol in the garden, I'm normally the only one there!

22 Sep, 2013


I'm more for elderflower cordial these days but a sunny day and a glass of pimms and good friends to share with.....we have been so lucky this year x

22 Sep, 2013


Louisa. Our Aussie friend is going back home next year and has really taken over my garden at our request. Now, the question is, is Cheshire too far for you to travel to Scarborough about 3 times a week to 'mess around in the soil'? I bet it is, even though my only rules are: I hate straight lines of flowers with soil between them and I hate straight paths between plants. Oh and the garden has to look like a jungle even though it is very organised to anybody working on it. But you get to take whatever you want out of it. Another query. How do others 'plan' their plots?

22 Sep, 2013


Being that I began my garden from scratch 3 summers ago, this has been the most perfect year in the garden and I've done very little! In years past, the weather hasn't been ideal, therefore I've always found something to do. I love getting out in the garden what ever the weather.
I don't grow fruit or veg - but have tended and cared for 2 neighbours tomatoes whilst they were away on holiday. My disaster was panicking when I thought I'd killed one set of plants. I hastily ran to another neighbour for his 'expert advice'. Apparently, I wasn't giving them enough water. I adjusted that and bingo! I've had my share from both crops and they were all delicious.

22 Sep, 2013


LOL! Sadly yes, Scarborough is a little far for me to come and do your garden! It's a few of the neighbours gardens I 'do' just for fun, it's a great way to find homes for the plants that get too big for my own garden:)

I don't plan, I just go to garden centres, buy stuff that appeals to me or is in the sales, take it home and see if I can find a home for it somewhere....

23 Sep, 2013

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