Autumn tastes, tones, textures.

I love summer, of course I do. How could you not love the beans sprouting after three or four days, salad leaves doubling in size in a week, cascades of calendula and tagetes bringing colours, bees and other insects to the plot.

But autumn has a melancholic majesty summer cannot quite manage, where the gardening is less easy, the growing is more perilous, the fight for life against the onslaught of pigeons, slugs and snails somehow more precious. It seems right that gardening should sometimes be more serious, that its gift shouldn’t be taken for granted, that the things you don’t do are as important as what you do.

Sunday saw the last of the beans, the putting away of the wigwam, the only structure we have. I love having height on the plot, even if it’s only fennel flower going to sweetly to seed. But the subdued autumn aesthetic of plants hugging closer to the ground also appeals.

I clear the spaces, hoe and rake around, wondering whether the bare patch will be home to onions, shallots, broad beans (seems we’ve succumbed again this year) or a new home for the baby kale which needs protecting from pigeons. Never taken to netting, preferring instead to plant a thicket of sticks, like Viking defences against invasion.

I gather salads and chard and chat away to Mary (we seem to see much more of each other at this time of year) while we use her patent cropper to pick apples off the shared tree. So happy to be there, and here, and with you. Now, any gardening or other stories you’d like to share?

09 10 2012

Allan Jenkins

8 thoughts on “Autumn tastes, tones, textures.

  1. a poem discovered the other day for national poetry day here

    Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy
    Not a red rose or a satin heart.

    I give you an onion.
    It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
    It promises light
    like the careful undressing of love.

    It will blind you with tears
    like a lover.
    It will make your reflection
    a wobbling photo of grief.

    I am trying to be truthful.

    Not a cute card or a kissogram.

    I give you an onion.
    Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
    possessive and faithful
    as we are,
    for as long as we are.

    Take it.
    Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
    if you like.

    Its scent will cling to your fingers,
    cling to your knife.

  2. The words of some souls have an especial power, don’t they, and Carol Ann Duffy touches many of us, deeply, Stateside, too. Here, by transatlantic return, one of ours.

    Come Slowly Eden

    Come slowly—Eden
    Lips unused to Thee—
    Bashful—sip thy Jessamines
    As the fainting Bee—

    Reaching late his flower,
    Round her chamber hums—
    Counts his nectars—
    Enters—and is lost in Balms.

    – Emily Dickinson

    • Sorry to hear you are finding the type difficult to follow. Will look to see if is a problem for others, thanks. Howard.

  3. Could we throw a picture banner across the top of the blog, Howard? Something to jazzify the look and feel? Likewise, is there a way to have a photo collection we could emphasize? A very great strength, your photographs, and it would be a good thing, I sense, not to lose them to archive-hood. Also, I haven’t explored this yet, but is it possible for posters such as myself to get piccies and videos into the mix?

  4. plea for patience as we take our first first toddler steps into independent adulthood, actively seeking to ‘dress’ the site and to offer the blog to guest posts. Nick? Anyone have any other thoughts on typeface?

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