raspberryfool: (Gardening)
Autumn is a sad time in the garden. The lovely, fragrant fruitfulness is mostly past and the plum tree is already shedding its crop of leaves upon the grass. Yet, my tomato plants are still on the go, producing a goodly crop after a slow and late start. I'm particularly impressed with the 'Gold Medal' this year; last week I pick what must be my heaviest tomato yet; a 15 1/2 oz beauty that almost dwarfed my hand. There are others still ripening; I wonder whether they'll be quite that weight! The other varieties are doing nicely too; 'Gardener's Delight' have a full, rich tomato soup taste, and the 'Sunstream' produce fruits that, when ripened fully, have a distictive flavour of strawberry. Here's hoping they'll make it to Samahin intact and blight-free!

The grapevine in my garden has done me proud this year, producing many bunches of luscious purple grapes, uo to the size of large blackcurrants. Usually, they're quite acidic and take a little getting used to eating. This year, however, they've been pleasantly sweet and juicy, making my fingers sticky as I munch them. There aren't enough, alas, to consider pressing to make a vintage Chateau Raspberryfool Rouge 2011; i doubt I'd manage a bottle of juice! But they're very pleasant eating, and walking barefoot up the garden whilst scoffing them felt very deacdent, especially during that lovely, warm Indian summer we've enjoyed. Talking of grapes, I've been given a white dessert-grape cutting and I need somewhere to plant it out for next spring!

The French beans produced an excellent crop this year, providing many-a-meal with some sweet, green beans. I'd left lots of pods to mature for seeds, and I harvested these before taking out one of the pyramids. The warm weather has encouraged two plants to produce their tiny, mauve and very lovely flowers, so a late bean bonus is on the way. Into the space i've transplanted the leeks I'd scattered around the garden. These haven't done half as well as their counterparts in West...; I can't quite understand why. Perhaps they'll thrive now that I've moved them - who knows?

And so it's into the annual autumnal clean-up; digging out weeds, cutting back and cutting down. I'm going to reduce the width of an old privet hedge that runs along my northern boundary; having reduced the height of the front hedges, I can see the lawn coming back to life. Hopefully taking out the back hedge will have the same effect. It'll also give me piles of firewood for my Samahin bonfire!