P and A Gardening diary


SEPTEMBER in France is particularly well known as the month of “La Rentrée”, when children return to school after the holidays, employees are back to work and local clubs and sports associations re-commence their activities after the long Summer break.  
For gardeners, September is also a good time to take stock and plan for the months ahead. This is the ideal time to harvest the remaining vegetables and fruit from the garden, to tidy the raised beds and to take cuttings for next year’s Spring plants. The excessively wet last few weeks of August has now been replaced with hopefully a more settled outlook, but with the sunnier, more temperate weather you do need to be on your guard as the weeds will continue to thrive during the month…..   as always, regular weeding is the best solution to keep your garden looking tip-top.
Talking of the weather, September is typically warm and sunny so there is plenty of opportunity to spend time amongst the flower borders and in yourpotager.  By now, many annuals and perennials are well past their peak flowering, depriving the gardens of the rich, alluring colours that make June, July and early August so attractive. Fortunately this has been a great year for roses, which remain vibrant in many gardens with a plentiful supply of new buds, helped perhaps by the recent rainfall; the Zinnias too have been amazing, slow to start but now flowering with great majesty – hopefully well into October. And if you’re lucky your greenhouse or polytunnel will have an abundance of red tomatoes, peppers of various colours as well as a profusion of other vegetable and flower plants.
Early September is similarly the perfect time for spending an hour or so foraging amongst the bushes and hedgerows for blackberries, and fortunately the birds have still left plenty for us humans to eat…. Throughout the countryside you should be able to find a bountiful supply guaranteeing copious amounts of fresh produce for jam making and desserts.
Keeping a record of what has worked particularly well in your garden – and which plants have struggled – is a final, further useful tip whilst it is clearly in your mind. This will help plan the layout and location of specific plants next year. This is especially useful for planning next year’s vegetable garden, enabling the rotation of individual crops.
Enjoy the start of Autumn….  And we hope that you have a great month.
Happy Gardening!