It's September again and the days are getting noticeably shorter. In July it got dark round half past 10 in the evening but now around a quarter to 9. In the garden there is still a lot to do; such as a spot of weeding and pruning, but there is also a lot to enjoy.
This is what I harvested shortly after I returned from my wonderful holiday in Denmark: some leeks, the first red cabbage, my very first apples ever, tomatoes, corn, red hot peppers and strawberries. The outer leaves of the red cabbage are slightly slug damaged but the rest is fine, I'm glad to say. Slugs have been a real pest this year; there were so many of them after the mild winter we'd had, and the rainy weather this summer really helped those pesky crawlies too. Grrrrrrrrr!
But regardless of enormous quantities of slugs, there's a lot to harvest and enjoy at Bliss this month so I mustn't grumble too much.
There are still some ears of corn to be harvested. We have enjoyed eating them since the end of July. They are great for BBQ-ing, very tasty. But we like them cooked, with a bit of butter and salt, fine too. Cooking them literally 5 minutes after you have harvested the corn, does wonders for their flavour; they are extremely sweet, tender and juicy then. Mmmmmmm, bliss!
The grapes are ripening on the vine, both in my Victorian greenhouse and outside on the new pergola. This year will be the first time for me to harvest my own grapes, so this is something that I'm very much looking forward to!
If you are a regular guest here on Bliss, then you know what happened to my pear tree last year in August, if not read all about it here. So I think you will understand how happy I am that this year my pear is bearing an abundance of fruit.
In a few weeks' time, the first pears will be ready for picking. They are Conference pears and are very good as desert pears but I like making pear pies with them too. Scrumptious!
And the Bliss garden holds more promises of wonderful harvests for the coming weeks.
Looking great aren't they? I do so like pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie and this year there will be a good pumpkin harvest so that I'll have pumpkin soup and pie this autumn and winter until it's coming out of my ears.
My french purple potatoes are ready for harvesting too, more about them in a later post.
Strawberries I have been picking almost non-stop since the end of April this year. They are so sweet and we enjoy them very much, as do the birds and slugs!!! Luckily my frog friends have been helping me in the strawberry patch by munching a lot of slugs and by doing so they kept the slug pest there under control. The froggies did startle me from time to time though. There I was, peacefully picking my strawberries (as you do) when suddenly a frog would leap up from the strawberry patch, almost giving me a heart-attack (not really of course, but they did startle poor, unsuspecting widdle me with their antics).
But we are not thinking only of our bellies here on Bliss in regards to the harvesting aspect of gardening.
What do you think of this harvest then? Lovely, isn't it? It makes me so happy to pick a nice bunch of flowers in my garden, putting them in a vase or other container and then come into a room and see and smell those colourful displays of cut flowers.
This year I've been cutting flowers non-stop from the Bliss garden since early May. I enjoy making bouquets, both for my own home and for giving them away to good friends, family members and neighbours. It's such fun to see how happy people are to receive a bunch of garden flowers; their eyes lit up and then the nose dive into the flowers soon follows. And it's safe for them to inhale the flowers' wonderful scent deeply, as I do NOT use any chemicals at all.
Because of the unusual warm and sunny weather we had this year from the first of April until half May, we have been enjoying our roses in flower since the end of April, which is very unusual. And they are still going strong now, six months later. This is one of my favorites: Guirlande d'Amour, a white rose that flowers prolifically and has a wonderful scent. This is the rose that you have been asking about, Jodi, in an earlier post.
I love my roses to bits and they have given me so much enjoyment this year. What other plants can flower that long and have such lovely scent too? From early May to the end of June the roses in my front garden looked spectacular. Many a passerby-er stopped for a good look and to smell the roses too, I'm happy to say. Right now my front garden is smothered in white roses once again, the third time this year that they flower in such a profusion.
My front garden is a pastel dream in Spring, then during Summer it is completely white, but when Autumn is almost there ......................
more and more colour is added. I do so like to end the gardening year with a bit of a bang! And hot and vibrant colours really say Bang! to me.
In my back garden the Japanese Anemones are taking pride of place at the moment. They are one of my favorite plants as they flower when very little else does. I like the shape of the flower too, very unpretentious and daisy like.
Also in my back garden, I noticed that my Camellia, that I bought earlier this year in March, looks very promising already as it has many flower buds and I wonder when it is going to flower. At the moment my Camellia is in a big pot outside so, if necessary, I can always bring the pot into either my Victorian greenhouse or conservatory to protect the flowers if the weather turns beastly all of a sudden, something which has been known to happen during September/October in this neck of the woods.
But for the time being we at Bliss are enjoying the garden and all the wonderful gifts it brings us. Happy gardening, fellow garden bloggers!
In the garden, the decadent seeks to create a moment of beauty, which should then be allowed to fall into decay and ruin.
Medlar Lucan & Durian Gray, The Decadent Gardener, 2006