There have been whisperings recently; on the allotment, in garden centres and nurseries, even on busses and trains….. “it’s the end of the season”. I’m overhearing snippets of conversations over garden fences as I trot along to my kitchen garden; “I hate the end of summer”, “it’s so sad when it’s all over”. It seems the whisperings and rumours may be true…..a Sunday visit to the allotment in high summer brings me to a crowded, happily noisy place full of activity and excitement…….but my most recent visits have brought me to a ghost town or, rather, a ghost garden.
Across the site the lawnmowers and strimmers have been silenced and are locked away, the shed doors are firmly shut, the garden furniture and bunting are packed away, bean poles, all around, are empty, falling down at crazy angles casting shadows on bare soil which are reminiscent of a Nash painting, the kids toys have been taken back to garages and homes to be forgotten for a few months……I hardly recognise the site until I get to my own little patch of it.
For me there is no such thing as the ‘end of the season’ only a change of season…..and it’s the busiest of all seasons for me. In the spring we dig and sow….in the autumn I dig and sow…..but I also harvest and harvest some more. There seem not enough hours in the day just for the harvesting, cooking, bottling, storing….never mind the digging and sowing. Hours and hours will be spent in the kitchen to make sure all my hard work will be preserved and stored to last through the months ahead.
There is no winding-down on my little patch at this time; there is no ‘end’….just a lot of ‘beginnings’. This is the perfect time of year to begin to redesign the space to make the most of every inch, to dig out those much-needed new beds, to build new structures…..this truly is the busy time. It should be called Spring! I don’t mind that the majority of those on my site disappear for 6 months at this time of year – it means I get the place to myself – I’m just a bit sad for them that they miss out on some of the fun and the food still to come.
Happy “start of a new season” everyone.