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September: A month of rejoice and receed

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Adamn Greathead
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree

Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 44
Location: West Midlands

PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:03 pm    Post subject: September: A month of rejoice and receed Reply with quote

A month where the nights linger and daddy long legs invade the home. A month where light levels rapidly diminish which, to me, creates poignancy within this garden and, seeing as the garden and I have an intimate relationship, I inevitably feel sad too. It soon becomes aware that the nights get considerably cooler and heavy dews reign our mornings. Most plants are fading yet some survivors hold strong against the elements.

Here in this garden, Helenium Morheims beauty exuberates enough colour for my eyes and enough nectar for the bees; their tall majestic spires adding a welcome cheerfulness to what would otherwise be a dull time of the year. Cannas also bare a real erotic heir to the garden due to the way they capture the hearts of passers by. September certainly wouldn't be the same without the jovial face of Geranium 'Patricia' staring back at me increasingly beautiful as the autumnal sun rest delicately upon their magenta complexion. Alongside all these plants are a host of others that are more than welcome in this garden such as Buxus sempervirens; a miniature hedge far up in the horticultural hierarchy; it provides much needed greenery come the winter months where death hangs tangibly over the garden. I grow a number of box hedges. These are cut once a year in September and no other duty within the gardening year holds such a key point in my life. I know that once all the hedges are trimmed, topiary is shaped and the Malvern autumn show has passed, I will have no urge or desire to even walk out into the garden. All thoughts will be centred upon pulling through the winter mentally unscathed from such a haunting season. It is, at this time of the year, that I start to lose touch with the garden (by no means is this laziness revealing itself nor is it a plea to remain warm inside, instead it is something which happens within me) . I change. I lock myself away from the garden, even thinking about it is unbearable. I have to try and pull myself through and often do this by antiscipating a new year with new ideas and fresh vigour. I do, undoubtedly, feel sorry for those who too, like me, experience such a grotesque feeling where it is almost like I lose my mind and replace it with somebody else's. (I would love to hear from anyone who experiences these feelings as well).

September does, however, have it's good points. The time has come to plan the vegetable garden and it's rotational plan. I love to sit at my desk with a steaming mug of tea and plan what will go where and what it will follow. I have learnt from experience that the job gets done better if I spend a lot of time on it and I do very often refrain myself from participating in anything else until I have completed my plan. This can take hours. (Once I sat planning for three hours straight, supplied with an endless amount of tea).

Spring cabbages can also be planted now to fill the 'hungry gap' of May next year where little else is ready to harvest. An additional job which takes centre stage in this household, at this time of the year, is the sowing of green manure. They are so dependable it is unreal. I wave the organic flag when I say they are a safer bet than manure, containing no chemical toxins or pathogens. It stands that organic manure is like gold dust: you either find some and it costs you the earth (excuse the pun) or you can't find any at all. Green manures are the solution. They are quick, efficient and easy to use. Liberally broadcast the seed on a designated area , rake it in and wait. Depending on variety they normally take a week or so to germinate then they will grow like the clappers and suppress any weeds which were thinking of invaded your well-tended soil. Personally I prefer Phacelia and Vetch, the former being more of a weed suppressant and the latter a nitrogen fixer- ideal to precede brassicas. But whatever your fancy, enjoy this month and don't take what it brings for granted. It only comes once a year...
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