What a change – over the past days the temperature has dropped rapidly with light frost warnings given by the weather forecasters and this morning it has started to rain with lots more to come. I can hardly believe that exactly two weeks ago we were invited to Sunday lunch with friends and were able to enjoy a feast in the garden. We started off with iced Bucks’ Fizz sheltering from the hot sun under the shade offered by huge umbrellas. A memory of summer to be cherished whilst we have to accept that the evenings are drawing in and the mornings are noticeably darker.
There are plenty of jobs to put on our ‘things to do in the garden’ lists. One important task to complete before the first frost is to lift tender perennials. Both pelargoniums and fuchsias can be overwintered successfully. Move the whole plant into a pot just large enough to easily take the root ball and put in a frost-free place. This is where the lucky owners of heated greenhouses have the advantage but a cool, light place indoors will do just as well. If you grow zonal pelargoniums why not keep them on display – they can make stunning winter houseplants. All they ask is a light and warm situation and regular watering. Given these they will reward you by flowering right through the winter.
I am still picking tomatoes, just a few every day. They might not have cropped as well as in previous years but they have been an enjoyable and tasty addition to our salads. I am hoping that the remaining fruits will ripen on the plants but any green ones I will bring into the kitchen and leave on the windowsill until they are ready to eat.