While storm Ciarán ploughed its way along the south coast wrecking homes and gardens, Genus HQ remained relatively unscathed, just catching the tail end of the spiralling pressure system. We may have escaped the fury, but the effects were still to be seen in the garden with trees stripped of dead twigs and branches. We collected the leaves from the driveway and paths, transferring them to our three-bin leafmould system - a row of three chest-high wire enclosures located under our two horse chestnut trees. Three bins give us one to fill, one to ‘mature’ for another year, and one to use - its friable contents mixed with our homemade compost and spread on the borders as a mulch.
Rain was a major feature of last week's weather and torrential downpours saw us fleeing to the greenhouses where there’s always work to be done. After the previous week’s work clearing all the tomatoes we still had the pots, their compost, and the stems to remove. The pots were washed and stored and the compost and accompanying plant remains added to the top of the ever increasing compost heaps.
With time to spare before darkness we lifted a row of slabs from the inside of the second greenhouse, creating an open ground bed that would offer an alternative to growing tomatoes in pots. Plants grown directly in the soil are always easier to look after - a week's holiday less of a worry without pots requiring watering on a daily basis and many if not all of the nutrient requirements already in the soil, especially if mulched every year.
That’s what we love about gardening - the rain may be running down our necks and our fingers may be frozen but we’re already optimistically looking forward to next year and what it will bring.