By Matt Noyce
Seasonal weather shifts are now becoming apparent as we turn the corner into autumn and embrace the winds and the cooler weather that it brings.
Seasonal weather shifts are now becoming apparent as we turn the corner into autumn and embrace the winds and the cooler weather that it brings. The changing colour of the leaves is a sure sign that we are entering a new season, and one that will soon temporarily change the landscape of Quarr.
There is still produce being harvested from the vegetable plot as we press on with making the plot more productive by growing in the poly tunnels throughout the colder months. There are varieties of crops that will tolerate the winter weather, both under plastic and out in the elements. We are finding it hugely useful to keep a gardener’s notebook of what’s grown well (and not so well) in the vegetable plot and with the pot-grown plants.
In and around the beds and borders we have been pruning back any finished herbaceous perennials, pruning our bush roses and whipping round with the mower when it’s dry, to keep the grass in check.
In the orchards, we are continuing to collect our apple and pear crops. The fruit is divided between the Abbey kitchen and the apple store room, and once these are full we will take the remainder for pressing into apple juice and cider to be sold in our farm shop. It has been a good year for top fruit, so there should be enough to keep everyone merry.
There are some wonderful leaf colours around at this time of year, with the glorious hues of Parrotia, Cotinus and Euonymus to name but a few. All of these shrubs offer beautiful displays. Then of course comes the clear-up operation to collect the leaves and make them useful once again, as mulch.
Elsewhere in the hedgerows we have been berry picking. Father Gregory and the interns have been out gathering a sterling amount of fruit. This year has been a fantastic one for soft fruits. Some of our most popular Quarr Abbey jams will be made with these hedgerow fruits. These, coupled with our Bramley apples will make for plenty of delicious, warming autumnal puddings…
Pictures by Matt Noyce.