The first season of The Walled Garden is slowly winding down. Most of the crops have been cleared but we still have lots of curly kale and cavolo nero as well as glorious rainbow chard. The spinach and last of the lettuce are hanging in until the first sharp frosts which will finish them off. Baby broad bean plants are already in and starting to wind up their canes. They will over-winter ready for an early Spring crop. The cellar is full of potatoes (Nicola and Charlotte) and lots of squash in different shapes and sizes. The runner beans were not a great success, too stringy even when young, but we’ve dried the beans which look beautiful and are delicious in soups, casseroles and risottos. The new asparagus bed has been planted, the rhubarb is in, as is the onion bed and 90 raspberry canes have just gone into the fruit cage, along with gooseberries, tayberries and blueberries. We’ve had enough new strawberry plants from the runners of the first bed to fill a whole second bed.
The greenhouse has got some winter salads – mizuna and winter purslane as well as some tiny snapdragons and hollyhocks coming on for the Spring. We’re waiting to see whether my first attempt at lavender, penstamon and rose cuttings will take!
The dahlias, gladioli and peonies are all cut down and mulched for the winter. The chrysanthemums came earlier than I expected and are now fading in the greenhouse. New roses have gone into one bed – some new colours for cutting and bringing into the house. Hundreds of tulip bulbs have been dug in deep, waiting for April. We’ve also put some rugosa roses by the hedges to encourage bees in the Summer and are looking forward to giant rosehips next Autumn.
Now I’m looking forward to January when seed sowing in the greenhouse will begin in earnest and the plans for next year’s beds will be made. Meanwhile we’re just hoping everything stays tucked up tight over Christmas. So much to look forward to!