I don’t think I have ever planted bulbs in autumn and got too hot doing it. But I did this week. It was 23 degrees C in my area of Brussels on 28 October, breaking meteorological records. As I popped tulips, alliums and iris into the ground and pots, I wondered what the future hold for them. Bulbs benefit from cold winters, so what happens if we don’t get cold winters anymore? Hard to imagine spring without drifts of tulips and daffodils.
The asters are making an incredible display this year. Most are divisions from a single plant I bought at a garden fair a few years back, and I gave some clumps to participants of my workshops. Here is one in the garden of Miriam, just behind her cat.
Nice to know these pollinator-friendly plants are providing nectar for bees and pleasure to gardeners around Brussels and beyond!
Another plant that deserves a mention is this Penstemon which is growing just outside my gate, by the pavement. It was flagging in the drought this summer but has perked up now and the autumn light seems to enhance it .
Apart from the flowers, I’ve been enjoying autumn harvest from the allotment. This fresh broccoli really perked up a lazy pasta and sauce out of a jar supper.
And I am watching the Brussel sprouts appear with much anticipation. They look adorable, like doll’s house cabbages.
Winter salads have also been good this season. A batch of Asiatic leaves sown in situ in early September is thriving, and the Escarole is looking healthy too.
So I have been able to make lovely fresh salads from my own produce for the first time into autumn. Each one is a victory against a supermarket-bought lorry-transported soggy plastic bag mixed salad that is already starting to decay before you open it!
My two Thai dragon chilli plants in the greenhouse are still producing. Am going to try overwintering them this year. I like the level of heat and the look of these, perfect for Thai curry.
The allotment is a peaceful haven of green, here’s the view as I walk through.
By the way, Six on Saturday has a new host, Jim at Garden Ruminations has been handed the baton by The Propagator. Many thanks to both for bringing gardeners together in this format.