Late summer – that is, from about now – has a scent all its own. I’ve no idea why, but it always makes me think of Scotland. The heatwave is over; everything has its energy and is no longer thirsty. There’s petrichor – the smell of rain on dry earth – but even that isn’t the whole of it. There’s pine, grass; a spot of night. Where we live, the first day of August brings the first proper night that isn’t just Astronomical Twilight.
And the Plot, bless it, begins to Produce.
Last year I bought beans in a Hungarian market. Like an idiot I put them in the fridge rather than do the correct thing and hang them up to dry. They went manky but I couldn’t bear to sling them so I planted them anyway (this is what’s known, in our house, as the Sporting Chance School of Gardening). And some came good! Here they are, in all their puce-speckled glory. They’ve been joined by some half-a-dozen more now, which are all being kept to sow for a proper crop next year.
And now, meet our first potato:
Yes that’s a life-size hand, and quite a large one (mine).
Here’s the first celeriac we’ve ever sucessfully grown:
And finally, here’s one of the 20 or so Kale plants which, when in their tiny pots, I thought had all been eaten by slugs, but planted the little sticks out anyway:
Our plot is surrounded by brambles. They’re a nuisance to keep in check but this year they’ve given us nearly three kilos of blackberries. Just the right quantity for a batch of dark red wine…