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"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.." Ode to Autumn by John Keats

"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.." Ode to Autumn by John Keats

A definite change of pace can be felt in the walled garden – there’s a chill in the air and the decreasing daylight is slowing weed growth to an almost manageable pace!

But in the vegetable garden the harvest is at its most bountiful – French beans, courgettes, spinach, chard, baby leeks, salad leaves, apples, pears, plums and raspberries.

Apples will be stored and some will hold in a cool environment until February when we’ll crave a stewed or juiced apple!

And so the work moves more towards the herbaceous borders which are full of strong, ‘hot’ colours.

The stunning dahlias are showing off their best, the Amaryllis belladonna are baking against the south-facing wall in the last of the warm sunshine.

It’s time to reflect on changes that we might make in the coming weeks – repositioning plants, dividing and propagating favourites.  

Saving the glamour for last….there’s a large pile of well-rotted manure that needs to be spread around fruit trees and any empty beds.

It’s heavy work but an important task so as to add as much organic matter as possible to enrich the soil, suppress the weeds and add bulk to the soil. Pass the pitch fork!

Written by Mags Coughlan, Head Gardener at Ballymaloe House

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