So for a blissful two days between Transport Day at COP26 and the arrival of my next last-minute job with an insane deadline I had … some actual spare time. Or at least what was left over of my waking hours after I’d started to tackle the massive list of admin tasks that had been filed under ‘after COP’ over the last couple of weeks. Naturally, the garden beckoned.
These days the gardening people advise you to do a lot less in autumn – digging, cutting back and tidying away for the winter is all somewhat frowned upon, and who am I to argue with that? But I did have one thing I wanted to get sorted ready for spring and that was preparing a permanent home for my instant rose garden, which I had been gifted in the summer.
With the little rose I’d moved earlier this year still flowering away happily, and November be damned, I decided it could do with some pals so I spent a nice afternoon clearing out the worst of the weeds (even as the podcast of Gardeners’ Question Time I was listening to was telling me that exposing soil to the air was a complete no-no in carbon terms). The next step will be to cover it in manure and compost for a bit, and hopefully I can move the roses in the new year.
As so often with the garden, as soon as I was out there to do one job I started to realise all the other tasks that needed doing. Like raking the cut grass off my ‘meadow’ (which I probably should have done two months ago, but hey ho), and emptying my potato bags. For yes, despite deciding not to grow potatoes this year after getting a bit of trouble with blight, I did inherit a couple of bags for growing potatoes in from some friends who were downsizing. I filled them with the soil that was left over from excavating the sitooterie bed, and then added a few volunteer potatoes that showed up in the greenhouse over spring, and then pretty much left them to get out of it.
From this minimal amount of effort, I have harvested a fairly minimal amount of potatoes, but it is at least an amount larger than none. In what has been a neglectful gardening year, I’m taking that as a win.