Autumn days

The misty morning convinced me that autumn had finally arrived. The rain too has started but more in a drizzlying sort of half-hearted, mean-spirited, grudging manner.

In anticipation of a better rainfall I decided to sort out my pots of bulbs.

In Autumn 2020 I tried planting a layered pot with bulbs to come through in succession in the spring of 2021. I was very pleased with the effect and left the bulbs in place to see if they would reappear this year. They did, but the Muscari was over successful and I preferred the more orderly first year appearance.

The crocus and tulips have more than doubled and the muscari were so numerous that they were transferred straight away to the bottom of the garden which is very inhospitable in the summer but hopefully the muscari will invade and thrive in the spring.

I have no sunny borders left to plant these bulbs so they have been deposited at random in a hole in the grass near our old plum tree. The theory is that they will flower in spring and then be cut down by the lawnmower once the leaves die back. Time will tell if this will work.

In the meantime, I have ordered a new set of bulbs for my now vacated tub and I look forward to planting those.

On a mission to sort things out, I decided to find a better place for my “Poire de Terre” (Smallanthus sonchifolius) that had been languishing for a couple of years.

Indeed, it did look quite like potato (pomme de terre, in French) except that the roots were more pear shaped rather than apple shaped. I saved a couple to cook before I planted the rest in a better position. Perhaps, I should have waited until I tasted them before replanting them as I cannot recommend them as a culinary plant. Has anyone else tried them?

I was on a roll here and my next victim was my liquorice that had been growing peacefully, untouched for a few years but was now throwing up new stems that I wanted to transplant and taste!

This was all I felt I could spare to put under my teeth. I think it has had a difficult life in my dry sandy soil. As I chewed the root hopefully, I could detect the same flavour that drifted up through the misty past from my childhood when we bought the roots from the chemist shop (pharmacy in the U.S.). The roots I had chewed as a child were thicker and more yellow inside, still with more water the plant may improve.

Overall I think I am better sticking to growing tomatoes and broad beans.