Today is the last day of summer. Just so you can bring it to mind when you read this, I am writing on 5 September and the weather forecasters have told us with dour satisfaction that that’s it, today concludes our blast of heat and tomorrow and forever after, we will be feeling a lot colder.
So this morning I packed my children back off to a new term at school and set off to enjoy a walk to the Misbourne Valley whilst it was still cool. And it struck me that it was a pure, quintessentially English morning, such as we only get on the cusp of autumn. The fields were grey and obscured by a low mist and the elder trees heavy with purple berries. I lost count of the number of spider webs clinging delicately to a conifer hedge, their silk rimmed with dew. And there was that cool in the air that sharpens you, and doesn’t make you shiver. It was the most beautiful walk I have had this year.
Autumn is also coming to my garden which begins to look somewhat ragged, but the fruits of this season’s work are there – a greenhouse of slowly reddening tomatoes, huge round courgettes, yellowing butternuts, onions raising themselves out of the soil and apples weighing down the boughs of my small trees. There are more blackberries around than is polite in a cultivated garden, but they’ll be nice in pies, and I am sure to get around to taking out the brambles....soon.
I’m rather a slapdash gardener, and any success is more down to luck than any skill, but nevertheless it’s lovely to see the changing of the seasons in my garden and reflected in the wider world. We’ve had a great summer, and autumn will be truly lovely too.