Or so my calender informs me. Autumn is approaching and there's a nip in the air, early in the morning and late at night, that wasn't there before. But today it is still Summer and as it is such a lovely day we'll do a spot of gardening.
During the day, when the sun is out, it's still very nice and warm, around 18 to 23 C. That's an ideal temperature for working; neither too hot nor too cold. But before we start work, let's have a look at the garden first.
I love those dark, almost black Holly Hocks, they look great!
Sedum Autumn Joy, who would be without this little trooper? Not me, that's for sure. Such a nice sturdy plant, that hardly needs any looking after, and flowers its heart out year after year during a time when the garden is, slowly but surely, winding down. I also pick the Sedum flowers to put in a vase; they last for 3 weeks or more, not bad, eh?
The Conference pears are almost ready for picking. Well, I think they're almost ready, somebody else already had a bite or two, as you can see here.
I leave the pears that have fallen down there as so many of my garden friends enjoy them: birds, butterflies and bees, to name a few. So bon appetit mes amies! I'll wait a bit longer until the pears are ripe and juicy. :-)
The borders next to my conservatory are still going strong and have been looking good since early March. Hopefully I'll get to enjoy my borders for yet some more weeks to come.
On the table near the pear tree there are 2 Cyclamen, one white and one pink. Both I've sown from seed. Soon I'll put them inside so I can enjoy them during the winter months. I always put my Cyclamen outside in the garden (if it's not freezing of course), once they've finished flowering inside. I totally ignore them for a month or two and then hey presto, they start making flower buds again and I can either put them back inside or let them flower in the garden.
The Japanese Anemones are flowering their little hearts out for me. Such wonderful plants and so very reliable. At the moment I have 2, one single white one and one double pink. Both look great at this time of year. They both started flowering last August and we'll be getting a few more weeks of blooms from them yet.
On the pergola I've hung some bird feeders filled with seeds and nuts; the birds will be needing a bit of extra feeding soon. I hung one feeder in front of the cat room (Merlijn, Surprise, Dolly and Kadootje sleep there during the night) so that my cats will have some amusing live TV to watch.
Right, let's go to the potager aka kitchen garden because that needs a bit of work right now. I've got some sowing to do and some harvesting as well.
Heart wrenching though it is, those Nasturtiums have got to come out. I need this bed for sowing Winter Purslane or Miner's Lettuce (winterpostelein), Claytonia perfoliata.
So out it all came and then I put it in my compost bin. I have two compost bins, they were made by the under-gardener, and both are almost stuffed to the gills, as you can see.
And here's the bed cleared and sown with Winter Purslane. The big flower in the middle turns round and round in the breeze. This helps to keep both the neighbourhood cats out of this freshly sown bed and also the birds. I don't want the cats from our hood digging in this bed, I much prefer them to do that in the gardens of their own guardians, not in mine. My own kittycats never go to the toilet in my garden, they are far too civilised for that and use litter trays instead.
While I was busy in the potager I met my friend Macavity, a stray cat, there. I've been looking after him for almost a year now and during that year I have slowly earned his trust. It took a long time as he was very afraid of people. But today a miracle happened, I put Macavity on my lap and he stayed there for at least 10 minutes!!! Wow! And this from a cat that was at first so terribly afraid that I was barely allowed to stroke him while he was eating. Now he's asking for cuddles and allowing me to put him on my lap, isn't that just wonderful?
But all is not right in Macavity's little world. If you look closely you'll notice that he has a nasty wound on his left cheek. That's from all the fighting he's doing as he's an entire male and needs to defend his territory and compete for females with other entire male cats. I've counted at least 5 entire males in my neighbourhood, which is so sad, to say the least. I wish people would take care of their pets in a responsible way. Cats need to be neutered before they are old enough to bring more kittens into this world that nobody wants or needs.
I hope that Macavity will soon be ready (mentally) for a visit to my vet. He needs to have some tests done and his vaccinations, and be neutered. This year he has been wounded at least 7 times, this can't go on as I don't want him to lose an eye or get hurt in some other way. I want my boy to be happy, healthy and safe; he deserves it. I don't think he will ever be an indoor kitty but we have the garden cottage waiting for him. That could be his little house for the rest of his life.
After a few more cuddles with Macavity I cleared another bed. Onions had been growing there but I've harvested them and then the Elderberry was seeding itself in this bed. All those seedlings need to come out as I have quite enough Elderberry in my garden, thankyouverymuch!
There, all done now. In here I've just sown Salad Rocket 'Frastagliata' (Eruca sativa or Rucola coltiva).
I also cleared a third bed, it was full of weeds. My potatoes Red Duke of York had been growing here this year. Now I've sown some Winter Spinach. After I'd sown the seeds I watered them in carefully. All they need to do now is germinate and grow! It's nice to have a bit of green on your plate from your own garden during winter time. In my Victorian greenhouse I've sown some lettuce, so hopefully I'll have some of that on my plate soon too.
This Pink had grown a lot this year and it was now ready to be "harvested". Here you can see what I mean by that.
The earth is still warm enough for the cuttings to grow and root, and come Spring next year, if all goes well, I'll have a nice little row of Pinks to cheer up this part of my potager with their bright pink colour and wonderful scent.
As usual, there was something to harvest in my kitchen garden; there (almost) always is. I've picked ripe but also some unripe tomatoes. The ripe ones will go in a salad, with the green ones I will do something else. I have already eaten those grapes and they were nice and sweet. The hot red peppers always come in handy in the kitchen as I love spicy food. It's really nice to harvest something in the kitchen garden after all that work I put in this morning. So satisfying and tasty too!
Today is a bit special as this is my 101 post since I started blogging last February. So far over 18000 visitors have found my blog and they come from all over the world as you can see here. Most visitors are from the USA, closely followed by those from Europe, but I've visitors from South America, Asia, Australia and Africa too.
So what can I say except: welcome to Bliss, thanks for visiting and please come again!
La fleur est courte, mais la joie qu'elle a donnée une minute
N'est pas de ces choses qui ont commencement ou fin.
Paul Claudel (1868-1959)