September: New month, new term and new beginnings in the home & garden September 03, 2017 20:12
For me, September in the garden offers the best of both worlds. It is such a transitionary month - often coming hand in hand with lovely warm days (gawd, that's jinxed it!) and crispier, chillier evenings. Add a woolly jumper, swap the flip-flops for wellies and an altogether cosier feeling begins to descend.
A new school term means a return to some sense of structure. I'm all for a little spontaneity, but for the sake of sanity and maintaining friendly relations, this house needs to get back into a routine.
It is a similar feeling in the garden. The beds and borders are looking weary, a little shell shocked by the prolific partying & growth they've experienced in recent weeks. "Put us to bed, we've overindulged!" they scream. Haven't we all?! Cornettos by day, wine by night. That's been my summer holiday survival kit and as a result, there's a lot more of me swinging about the place too.
So, when it comes to both myself and the garden, there is a distinct sense of 'cutting back' this month. Let's all just ease down a little and show a bit of restraint.
It is a gentle readjustment rather than full on austerity measures. There is still plenty of colour in the garden. Hydrangeas are still in flower (just); the roses continue to put on a show and quite a few other perennials are back for yet another encore. But the pace has relaxed, the pressure is off, and it's time to look to the winter months ahead.
Age old autumnal rituals are slowly getting underway. This weekend, I've been painting some of the woodwork outside, trying to give it a little extra life and protection for the upcoming weather months. Meanwhile, Papa Bear has been some of the chopping wood that has been drying out all summer. And, for both our business and our home, our love of colour and my love of plants is slowly migrating from the garden to the house. At home, the houseplants are increasingly becoming the centre of attention. The larger of these have been quite happy outside on the patio over the summer months, but they soon have to make their way back into the house. I'm wondering how I approach the inevitable negotiations about their space allocation versus ours...
Meanwhile, our garden chairs & growing homewares collection are now transitioning into the home - the balcony chair is perfect for looking out into the garden; soft, luxuriously thick plant hangers keep the houseplants in order and our scatter cushions & floor cushions, perfect for lounging, add a shot of colour indoors. Keep an eye out for our latest tableware, which will also be heading to the website soon.
For anyone reading this, dreading the winter months, take heart in forget-me-knots. Mine have already created new colonies in and around the garden, ready to put on a big, blue haze of a show next Spring. I'm planning on sowing kale this week and cabbage, which will also produce the goods next year. But for now, the first few leaves of trees overhead are starting to gently unhinge themselves, one or two breaking loose already. Rose hips are forming in gorgeous red & plummy tones. Flower and seed heads are drying out around the garden. The inevitability of it all, working as clockwork, is nothing if not reassuring. Whatever obstacles and struggles are happening, known or otherwise, taking place now or that lie ahead, the garden keeps moving forward. And there is something rather lovely about the month of September that reminds you of all that.