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The weather has been quite miserable and there is a real feel that autumn is here. I have that awful feeling that the descent into winter brings; the long dark nights, days that don’t feel much lighter and being couped up inside. Winter is not a good time for someone who thrives on being outdoors. It feels too soon, I should feel like this in October not at the beginning of September. I’m still hoping for an ‘Indian Summer’ like last year.

When I feel melancholic like this the best thing to do is to get up to the allotment and do something productive. So today I spent the morning bagging up some green waste to go off to council recycling. I have got several compost piles but they don’t heat up enough, so anything diseased or perennial weeds is left for the council to deal with. I’m producing so much waste to go on the compost piles I don’t know where to put it all. I suppose if you mainly grow produce to eat, this doesn’t happen but half of my plot has been devoted to cutflowers and they’re generating quite a lot of waste now they are going over. I also mulched with some ready to use compost around my biennial flowers – sweet williams, stocks, honesty and sweet rocket. I think these biennials are brilliant: you sow them in July when its quite a quiet time for the gardener, plant them up in September as space is becoming free and then they sit there over overwinter, giving you hope for the spring to come and then from the end of April you are rewarded with some beautiful, sweet smelling flowers. The mulching task was made harder by the flat tyre on my wheelbarrow which became like the toddler who refuses to move, a good deal of pushing and dragging meant I got the compost to its destination but I think Wellyman will have to sort out said tyre at the weekend. The weather hadn’t improved when I had finished but allotment-therapy meant I felt much better.

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