It definitely feels like Winter has arrived. Each visit to the garden sees a little bit more of it tucked up until the Spring…..but there’s still plenty of green stuff to enjoy and food a-plenty growing…..and time to get on with some maintenance jobs and tinkering. It’s a wonderful time of year when everything slows down and we get a chance to slow down too and simply breathe it all in….
I was very kindly gifted a perennial kale recently – ‘Taunton Deane’. It should keep me in lovely kale leaves for years to come. Finally I made time to plant it in my garden and whilst there tend to my other brassicas. The sight of all their beautiful green growth at this time of year is marvelous and I can’t wait to start chomping on all those lovely leaves.
I am a summer girl. No two ways about it – I love the summer; the heat, the light, the explosion in the kitchen garden, the buzz of the insects, the long drawn out nights.
A summer girl I may be…..but I love all the seasons for their differences. I was walking through my kitchen garden today and marvelling at the colours. The colours never mind the vegetables and I thought of Keats and his ‘mellow fruitfulness’……I was assailed by yellows from the fading sunflowers (the seeds will be shared between me and the birds), the fading oranges of the nasturtiums, the pale ‘nudes’ of the squash just desperate to be harvested and turned into gorgeous orange soup, the insipid green/yellow of the beans drying on the plants…all around me was a variation of yellow/orange/red.
In the spring time we have the acid colours; the tips of green, the flowers of yellow……I love to see them because they are a reminder of what is to come. By summertime the colours have become the primary palette that children know; bright dark green, pops of cherry red, pimples of raspberry pink, flashes of bumblebee bottom yellow…..with splashes of jewels in-between (corn flower blue makes me weak at the knees)…..and then we fade in to this autumn hue of….well…..burnt out, done in, fading yellow glory. It is sublime. But the best is yet to come.
Most folk tuck-up their kitchen gardens for winter and think of Christmas and all the hulla-balloo…….and leave the soil behind for a few months. But the wise amongst us know that the winter beds will feed us still and repay us with the beautiful colours of winter: red cabbages, touched with frost….the darkest of green, crinkle edged Savoys, the almost blue/black of the Cavolo Nero, the purple veins that beat the hearts of our brassicas….