October has flown by, and wasn’t it beautiful? Every day was another of those clear, bright, autumnal days that so often get obscured by low clouds, heavy with rain. All over our patch of Surrey the trees have put on a firework display with their changing leaves, vibrant splashes of green, yellow, orange, gold, and finally astonishing shades of red. The garden has been slowly giving up its final yields of plums, then apples, and finally a beautiful giant pumpkin, just in time for Hallowe’en. Those bright, sharp days, and dark, moody evenings where we huddle in doors and tell scary stories are everything about this time of year. This is a time of fire, and spirits; ancient, powerful, and hugely evocative.
This October was definitely a month for harvesting, and for enjoying (almost) the last of the late summer produce. Now as November rolls around, bringing with it plummeting temperatures and a flurry of rain, I’ve be reflecting on what I want to grow next year. Potatoes, onions, corn, runner beans; all these make the list, along with peas and leeks. We have already planted a beautiful pear tree (we named it Guillermo – don’t ask), and have saved up the seeds from our first pumpkin to plant a whole new patch.
As we move into November, the garden is starting to go quiet on us. Aside from some gentle pruning and frost proofing, we’re just letting everything naturally shrink back. Dark evenings are for lighting candles and turning attention indoors, on to the home projects that got neglected over the summer. I discovered two little Ercol easy chairs on Gumtree, circa 1983, both in dire need of some love and attention. And who am I to turn down a bargain and a craft project rolled into one?
Finally, the October plan I was most looking forward to was going to the seaside. We packed our rattly little Golf full to the roof with wetsuits, wine, bacon, socks, and woolly jumpers, and spent a glorious week living in a little house overlooking the beach at Llanbedrog. From the sitting room I could watch oystercatchers foraging along the high tide mark, and a local falcon hunting above the cliffs. We played numerous games of Cluedo, walked along the beach at sunset, drank all the wine, tramped over high cliffs and sandy beaches, flew kites, and met a particularly feisty crab.
I hope October has treated you well. Now it’s time to dig out those jumpers and get wrapped up warm for November.