A close call....

The days are getting noticeably shorter, there is a nip in the air and there is morning dew on the grass. The season is drawing to an end and autumn is just around the corner.

The robin is making a regular appearance in the garden at the moment, but it could easily have been his last had I not noticed his dilemma recently. It was my own doing of course, he had spotted a gap in the netting covering the blueberries, I am usually so careful in pegging it down but in my haste had missed a corner and he had tried unsuccessfully to hop through and got caught.  All this happened within seconds of watching him fly down from the top of the pea frame in the kitchen garden. I quickly dashed outside, rubbed dry soil into the palms of my hands and very carefully held him in one hand whilst removing the netting from around his head. He was so still whilst I was doing this, it was as though he knew I was trying to help. On freeing him I placed my other hand over his face before slowly lowering him onto some open ground. As I let go he flew straight up onto the pergola, before flying off unscathed. I saw him a short while later sat on top of the bird table where we had put some left over crumbs from a blueberry loaf.
The flowers in the garden have been deadheaded on a regular basis to try and extend the season as long as possible, so there is a constant supply of material being put onto the compost heap. To try and get this to break down into a useable material it needs to be turned on a regular basis and this was one of the tasks that I needed to get done this weekend. Despite the amount of rain that had fallen the day before, I found myself caught out by the weather, when whilst turning the heap we had an unexpected downpour. I wasn’t the only one caught out, a blackbird took cover on the bird table and some of the bees that had been buzzing around were seen to be clinging to the sides of the echinop flowers.

Meanwhile in the kitchen garden we are still picking courgettes and beetroot, whilst the leeks are hopefully fattening up. Given the late start to the season they are looking a little on the lean side. The sweet peas are still hanging in there with the occasionally flurry of flowers, but they are ready for the compost heap really. I am glad that I wasn’t too hasty on that front as the other morning a number of sparrows took a great interest in them, or rather the aphids, and it was entertaining watching them flitting in and out of the plant.
I now need to be thinking of ordering my onion sets and garlic for planting out in the next few weeks. I haven’t made any plans for growing other crops over the winter period, but before I know it, it will be soon time to reflect on this year and start planning for the next.