So what’s our obsession with Halloween? To state the obvious, it features witches, pumpkins, fangs, lanterns, sweets, pranks and great excitement amongst small people. Basically, it’s a good excuse for a jolly. Dress up on a dark evening, have fun with a bunch of mates and overdose on sugary treats. Hopefully, all supervised by a responsible adult or two. Get into the spooky spirit with some scary plants...Read more
Harvest happiness happens in autumn, which can be an amazing time of year. Trees transform throughout October and the colours everywhere, including within the vegetable garden, turn golden. You can reap what you have sown and those with the time and inclination are researching recipes for preserving. So how can you preserve all that food to make it last as long as possible?
In autumn, many things in the garden can be tidied away, cut back and neatened. Or can they - does thismean it's all over for the year? Do we need to see bare soil and pruned back stems?
A few decades ago, this was the aspiration but now it's just not the thing to do. Garden minibeasts and birds love to scratch around and feast upon the stems and seeds that autumn brings. There's so much happening outdoors in October and beyond. It would be a shame to miss it. There is sometimes even an Indian summer which can be one of the best times of year. We Brits are often prepared to let the glory of autumn slip away without even a glance.
Anyone with a kitchen garden or allotment should be enjoying a harvest glut in September. Apples are ripe for plucking, courgettes are still coming, onions are ready for drying, tomatoes are ripening on the vine and potatoes are inviting you to dig for their delicious treasure. There are still runner beans hiding amongst the climbing green foliage, autumn-fruiting raspberries and tayberries are luscious, blackberries taste beautiful and beetroot is bursting from the soil. But how do you cope with a glut of wonderful produce?