Although the seasonal tasks I had in mind involved cutting back, weeding, clearing and the like, along with making sure all outstanding pots were planted out, these are not the only tasks that demand attention at this time of year. I have barely started on my tomato chutney production and have therefore neglected regular picking of tomatoes, but soft fruit at least has the advantage of being able to be weighed and frozen immediately on picking without having to be ‘dealt with’ first. With two different varieties of blackberry, picking has continued over a two month period, whilst my double cropped raspberries are just beginning their true autumn cropping. Vying with tomatoes for their ability to glare at me until I do something with them are the pounds and pounds of cooking apples, dealt with up to now by giving them away but now requiring some preservation for my own purposes.
I do, though, have a number of jars waiting for labels to be printed – from the left tomato chutney, damson jam, quince jelly (from my chaenomeles, the ornamental quince) and damson jelly. As I write, I have several pounds of tomatoes simmering away in the pressure cooker with onions and herbs and other seasoning, to make batches of tomato sauce. So that’s a start – and tomorrow perhaps I will tackle the mountain of apples, or at least a small hill of them…
True garden tasks have therefore been minimal – but a few pots were planted out today and some thought exercised about the pump feature – namely that the ceramic sink we had in mind is sadly Too Big for this project. The Golfer has cleaned most of the rust off the pump and propped it up in approximate situ, but it remains a work in progress.
Another work in progress is replacing the gate which separates the rest of the garden from the productive area at the bottom end. As I am going to grow clematis up both sides of this archway I felt it would be more appropriate if the gate opened the other way so when it was hooked open, as it usually is, it would not be hiding the clematis.
It has been hard to prioritise tasks this week, with new projects always seeming more attractive than general maintenance or labour intensive tasks like dealing with all that fruit, but I am thrilled to be seeing progress from something I finally managed to a make a start on last Monday – sowing seeds for next season’s blooms. That’s definitely a seasonal task that brings its own rewards!