Glowing and growing

The illuminating properties of light, literal and metaphorical, have always lifted people’s spirits. I can’t help but be cheered by tomatoes glowing in the sun on a windowsill where they have been put to ripen.

Soup made from freshly-picked tomatoes is also cheering – and warming, as autumn weather bites around the edges.

The autumn-fruiting raspberries are glowing so that, even in half-light, it is easy to distinguish which are the best to pick. I like that one branch has numerous fruit in various stages of development. It looks as if they will go on ripening for a while yet.

The cranberries are not only ripe but sweet-smelling as you brush past them on the path.

New plants are growing and seeds of last-chance salad greens have sprouted.

The news informs us, but it does not lift our spirits as a garden can.

My heart breaks for the people who have to flee their homes, their gardens, their animals, their life-time of effort, for an unimaginable future.

Harvest season

We’re enjoying the last of the season’s vegetables from my garden.

The autumn raspberries are beginning now, however, and are best eaten straight from the canes. Bees are still all over the raspberry flowers, so there is plenty more fruit to come.

The roses are still producing their second flush of flowers – less enthusiastically than the first, but charming nevertheless. The shasta daisies are all but finished, but the Japanese anemones are at their best.

The days are often warm and calm. The evening sun stretches in through the front door.

I’ve replenished some hanging baskets to add some colour and interest – and to use up scraps of coir lining.

I splashed out on a water feature – the least kitschy one I could find!

Also on my shopping list were new gumboots and a garden hose. I spotted this sign on a door at The Portstone garden centre:

The Grow Festival is on this weekend in the Botanic Gardens. The school gardens are delightful. Each garden had helpful students ready to answer your questions and explain how each part of the garden showed what they had learnt.

Adults had been creative too, with garden designs and accessories.

There were workshops on subjects such as tree pruning, and Ruud Kleinpaste (“the bug man”) gave an impassioned talk about how each part of our environment interacts and how we can help. This reminded me of aspects of the BBC programme featuring Judy Dench and her love of trees.

The nearby cafe was offering seasonal food – barbecued corn with spicy toppings and fresh watermelon.

This is a truly delectable time of year.