Autumn has arrived in Aberdeenshire, and on the allotment it seems like September really was one big and beautiful hurrah before the flowers started winding down for the year. Most things continued to flower throughout the month but the Calendula were first to set seed, and the collecting began for next years flowers. The Cosmos are still going strong, and still amazing me with their utter resilience!! There’s been insane winds and buckets of rain but they seem to just bounce back and grow more buds ready for bursting in to bloom!! A flower that has definitely passed the trial and will be remaining for the foreseeable. The Sunflowers are doing much the same as the Cosmos, towering over everything and still giving new flowers every day. I’ve gained a new found love for them and have ordered a whole heap of exciting variates to grow from seed in Spring! The ornamental grasses were at their very best and were the most gorgeous additions to a bouquet, where as towards the end of the month as the cooler nights creep in the phlox and the cornflowers got spindlier and smaller and are reaching their last few flowers now. The Dahlias are better than ever and I am well and truly obsessed with them, but I know their days are numbered so I’m picking new flowers every day to make the most of every last petal! September seen some wonderful food harvests too with Onions picked and dried too see us through winter, enough Nasturtium leaves for endless pesto and big beautiful beetroots!
The planning for Spring is in full swing now with some big seed orders arriving, some of which I’ve started sowing for overwintering in a cold frame in order to get earlier flowers next year. Calendula, Snapdragon, Stock and Delphinium are amongst them and will soon be sprouting ready to be tucked away as seedlings until Spring. My Spring bulb orders have just arrived which was the biggest and most exciting delivery!! I have Tulips, Ranunculus, Anemones and Muscari all for organising and planting throughout October and November, so September has been all about planning and preparing the beds for those! By the time it comes to planting them the Dahlias and Cosmos will be done for the year so I’ll be replacing them with bulbs a plenty.
Mr Stin worked away for almost the whole month which wasn’t much help for the plot. It’s fair to say the allotment jobs have been stacking up as more time on my own means more time to conjure up ideas of what he can make me next like ‘oooh I have a planter idea’ and ‘I could do with a wooden potting tray!’. It’s safe to say he’ll be just as busy as me at the allotment next month!! I also finally managed to score a FREE glass greenhouse from good old Facebook Marketplace which I am delighted with!! It took me five hours to painstakingly dismantle the thing on my own and squeeze it into my tiny car, but it’s going to be well worth it by the time I have it up on the plot and full of goodness!! Another exciting task for October! As the nights get darker early on now, heading to the allotment for a few evening hours is a distant memory from the Summer meaning time is a bit more precious at the plot and the days are jam packed with jobs! September really is like a second Spring with the sowing and planning in full swing all over again which is busy and very exciting. I’m really liking having to wear a few extra layers now and heating up with stove top tea feels just a little bit more lovely!! October is going to be a super busy month on the plot with full on bulb planting and planning for Spring. I also hope to get the greenhouse built, scrubbed and filled with overwintering seedlings and there’s some more woodwork projects too! I’ve got some ideas for some wooden planters earmarked for Spring Ranunculus and I’m thinking about some frames and plant supports for next year too.
Although the first main growing Season at the allotment is coming to an end, seeing newly sown seedlings popping up and the delight of Spring bulbs feels like a new and exciting start all over again. As the winter looks to be particularly bleak this year, growing and nurturing flowers is such a wonderful focus and is a way of looking forward to something. It brings a sense of hope, that the world will be in a better place by the time those first little shoots start sprouting. No matter what’s going on around it, nature keeps going! It’s become a huge source of motivation for me this year which I know is going to get me through those long winter days ahead. They say planting a garden is believing in tomorrow and that couldn’t really feel more apt!