Ever since I was a young man, back home in Jamaica, I was always fascinated by nature and how things grew. I grew up in the country and liked to plant different things. Never did I ever have the intention of becoming a gardener and I still would not call myself one…although that’s where I like to spend most of my free time. But it’s my happy place.
Moving to England, I did not know what to expect. Yes, the basic elements of nature are the same, in all regions of the world but here, the climate was so different, and so was the produce. The trees I used to pick various fruits from in St Catherine, Jamaica, were so ‘exotic’ in comparison to what is here.
I thank the sunshine.
It was my biggest learning curve, figuring out how English plants grow, change, die and repeat that cycle. Want to know what I did? Left them. Yes, that’s right.
Rather than play with them in my back garden, I would leave them but all the while, I am watching, studying how they behaved. What season do they flourish in? What characteristics do they have, that tell me how they react to sunlight and water? Do they flower? Also, how long do they last…when is their time up?
This took time. I mean, I am no expert now but I know more from experience. Nature has been my greatest teacher, with regards to how looking after something natural and showing it love, can be so fulfilling and rewarding.
I’m not a gardener but I do love my garden…
And I guess it shows because my family admire it and I have the odd spectator or two, when they walk past my home on a day-to-day basis. Everyone sees the flower beds, all neat and tidy (I’m a bit of a perfectionist), and not forgetting the giant egg-shaped plant in the front yard. That I’ll introduce to you at some point.
As a change of season is taking place right now, I guess I can share some tips with you for this Autumn time, as we leave the Summer (at least what England could best offer us this year) and head towards the Winter.
These are in no real order, just what I and other fellow garden lovers may be doing this September.
Here are 7 tips that come to mind:
- Prepare your plant pots for those that cannot tolerate Winter. I have Angel Trumpets in mine that I need to take inside now. Bring indoors those that need to be in a frost-free environment
- Clear the lawn of dead leaves but leave a small area for insects to hibernate, such as ladybirds/ladybugs. These will be needed for the Spring and Summer months to eat aphids (plant lice). I have learned a lot about the ecosystem over the years, so I look forward to sharing more on this later on.
- Create a place for frogs and tadpoles. These will come in handy soon enough, as they can protect your plants from insects.
- Tidy up your flowerbeds from dead leaves too.
- You can plant wallflower, daffodils and tulips around this time, to give them time to germinate before the Spring.
- Pansies can be potted (or tubbed) if you are looking for a bit of colour.
- Take out your potatoes and pumpkins. On Saturdays, I make soup for my family, so pumpkin is definitely a yes-yes ingredient.
You really just learn as you go along. That’s basically what has happened to me and I’m still nature’s student.
Sharing is caring, so…Welcome to my Garden!