The garden is trying to get the message through that it is Autumn. The temperatures and the sun are blantantly refusing to pack up and go away. I am stuck in the middle, humouring the garden by going along with some of its autumnal hints – making apple tart, picking up the first bout of walnuts to fall – but still enjoying the chance to still go bare-legged, eat al fresco and be able to swim in lakes at the weekends.
Today they found a compromise, garden and weather. The sun stayed hidden for part of the day and the temperature dropped from over 30°C to 25°C. Autumn sent a a token shower of rain and a few gusts of wind, sprinkling the garden lightly with dry leaves.
Not convinced that Autumn really has set in, weather-wise, I decided to sieze the moment. Shears in hand I set about cutting back the herbs in our rockery. I am not a gardener by any means, but I do love dealing with herbs. I get a great feeling of satisfaction when I can smell the sage, rosemary and mint on my hands having given them a bit of a pruning.
The same goes for lavender and geraniums. They are such forgiving plants, I find, always coming back no matter how little I tend to them. They are better for a bit of tlc, that’s for sure. I always think of cutting back lavender as giving the plant a good haircut . It looks a lot neater and grows back bushier the following year.
While I was out in the garden this week, enjoying the sun, I began to give some thought to using the garden more in Autumn. It tends to see plenty of fun, with the kids being able to play without fear of sunburn. A lot of works goes on too. Leaves are raked and loaded into wheelbarrows. Walnuts are gathered and set in crates to dry. The rosehips get used for wreaths and table displays. So why don’t we do so much sitting outdoors in Autumn? The nip in the air I suppose.
Not that there is much of a nip yet. In glorious sunshine I made myself a cuppa in the outdoor kitchen as I wondered how many more times this year I would use it. As I stood there, I remembered the rugs I have for garden picnics. They’ll do just as well to drape round shoulders or over knees, warming us when (if?) the chill in the air finally arrives.
I took one out to remind me to use them. It is my favourite of our rugs, being soft and snug. The shades of green suit the sage and lavender so well. Hopefully there’ll be some crisp Autumn days for me to sit out and enjoy, coffee from the outdoor kitchen warming me from within, this rug keeping out the chill from the air.