Fruit and flowers

It’s that time of year which mainly involves chasing: leaves, hats, anything not pegged down.

I swear I swept this path here in the London garden, and by the time I reached the end at the gate, more leaves had covered the bricks when I turned to go back into the house.


I wouldn’t normally be that fussy, but I’m actually harvesting the leaves to use as a mulch around the trees here in the front garden.

And on the large garden at the other side of the house, it’s all hands to get the leaves off what’s left of the lawn.

Back in France I can see that a frost is predicted this weekend. It will be my first of the season and that means dahlia death.

I can cut back the dead foliage and lift the pots and see how they are faring.  I will probably divide some and then repot them and rebury the things back where they were.  A good blanket of mulch for winter and they ought to survive.

Or maybe I’ll keep some in the potting shed over winter to force them into growth a bit sooner in spring.  In the ground they are slower to come into growth.

Or as I call it – the anxious weeks when you think they are dead. And spend a ridiculous amount of time on your hands and knees peering into the mulched ground and hoping to see green.

Luckily I do have my sedums and grasses to keep me smiling this autumn. They are the last to fade in my garden.

I have these sedums sharing room in the dining table with a huge pile of drying lemon verbena and my ‘gleaned’ apples.

Which is a polite word for ‘nicked’ from a neighbour’s garden.

Crisp and juicy – just golden delicious – but oh so tasty on a cool autumn day when you need something sweet after the exertions of raking.