Wow! Where has this year gone? It only seems 5 minutes since I was planning what I was going to plant in the school garden, agreed to help in the local community garden and took the decision to back off from blogging for a while to allow my mojo to heal and rejuvenate. As for my own garden, it has had the year off to replenish the depleted nutrients which have resulted from several seasons of year on year growing and in spite of zealous digging in of fertilisers. My beds are currently buried under a generous layer of farmhouse manure and freshly mulched hedge clippings, ready for the autumn/winter weather and local population of worms to work their magic, breaking it down into the much needed, aforementioned nutrients. With any luck growing season 2018 is going to be a good one.
Over in the school garden, the children have worked very hard all year and although we haven’t had the usual broad spectrum of crops this season, we have had a very successful year for potatoes and beans. Pride of place in the school garden is a huge pumpkin, currently the size of a beach ball (well a rugby ball shaped beach ball) but as yet still yellow. Todays gardening club will include the cutting back of the leaves around the pumpkin to allow the sunlight to get to it – we need it orange for Halloween. Runners beans have been very successful this year and the club children have all been asked to bring a bag for potatoes, beans and carrots. Talking of carrots, we never got around to thinning them out and so I’m expecting some very knotted looking specimens this afternoon. I must remember to have a camera ready to document the childrens’ reactions.
My little gardeners have never shirked the less fun jobs in the garden, tackling weeding and tidying up with determination, if not enthusiasm, and preparing the garden, poly tunnel and shed for over wintering is one of the main tasks that will need to be dealt with over the next couple of weeks. Once the beds have been cleared, the children will be planting onion sets for over wintering, ready for a spring crop, in the long bed and the raised beds will be set to mustard leaf which will be dug in as a green manure some 6 weeks later. Unfortunately the use of farmhouse/horse manure isn’t a viable option for the school beds and so I’m hoping that the mustard crop will do the job and replenish the soil for next seasons crop.
Gardening hasn’t been the only activity keeping me busy this year. My knitting needles have been very busy making various toy animals and I am currently working on a jumper and hat for Middle Mudlet. It’s a pattern I used before (blog post here) and which she loves, just in different colours and once that is finished, I have a group of Woodland Creatures to make, in time for the village Christmas market.
But my main project for the back end of this year is to finally start putting down on ‘paper’ the jumble of characters that have been occupying space in my head. My endeavours may come to nothing but I have to give it a go or it’ll be one of those things I will definitely live to regret not trying.
Now it’s time to go make a coffee, dig out my gloves, trowel and snips and get ready for Gardening club. With luck, in a couple of hours time, 20 children will be proudly heading home, clutching bags of potatoes, beans and carrots, sown/planted, cared for and harvested by them, ready for sharing with their families and I’ll have some photo’s to add to this post before publishing it.