Autumn days may be bright and colourful but they are often dull and grey. Days are short nights are long and I find myself longing of spring. Sometimes though these grey days make me look at the world in a different way. In a grey world devoid of colour you can see things differently.
The first frosts have done away with the beans and courgettes in the garden. The onions are lifted. Some are dry enough to hang in the woodshed but others still need a few days.
It’s the time of year of stews and soups. There are no squashes to enjoy this year but the broccoli in the tunnel is looking good and some nice red cabbages await harvesting. This weekend we’ll have the first of them with a roast. The first of the self-seeded lamb’s lettuce is ready for picking in the greenhouse.
Even at this time of year it is good to know that I can go to the garden and pick my own vegetables and fruit. I know that I am lucky that I still have the option to go to the shop if I need food. I was thinking this after reading Lori Fontanes thought-provoking piece on what we do with food in 2015. Lori asks how in 2015, food can be wasted when people are still staving? A few things I have read this week have been asking how, as the human population continues to expand, can we ever feed everyone. The world is a finite place with finite resources. I do not believe we should head down the GMO route – the opposite in fact. I feel we need to grow simple nutritious food suited to our climates (where ever we live) and everyone should be encouraged to plant something – even a few herbs on their windowsill. There is a certain joy in growing your own; a certain sense of achievement; and you learn a lot too.
The weather for October is unseasonably mild and sunny. Misty mornings are leaving plants covered in a fine dusting of dew.
All around the garden leaves are turning red and orange.
Nuts and apples are ripening, and even the autumn raspberries which weren’t looking very promising early in the season are coming into their own with the mild sunny weather.
And the last flowers of the summer are hanging on. So there is much to be grateful for.
The mild autumn weather means that there are still bees around. Late flowering plants such as devil’s bit scabious are great for providing vital pollen and nectar late in the season.
The Common carders are still busy in the garden, though all these photos were taken on a walk up Croaghmoyle last Sunday.
Many males bumblebees have distinct yellow faces so there is no problem handling them, as the males don’t have a sting. In fact, this little fellow seemed to quite enjoy the heat from my hand as it wasn’t a very warm day!
To see some lovely cuckoo bumblebees (and other great garden wildlife) check out Gardening Jules lovely Wildlife Wednesday post