Autumn reflections.

Aster Little Carlow

Aster Little Carlow A star of the Autumn border.

Getting used to the shorter evenings, it is time to reflect on a trying growing season. A long cold spring, without any exceptional weather just dull with cold nights meant that many crops did not get going. Green crops like cabbage and salads took ages to move along though surprisingly a good start for the onion family, which had time to grow roots before the soil dried out. Bedding and summer flowering plants had a slow start but then kept flowering well into August.
The summer had very hot days but growth kept going and there has been a phenomenal amount of top growth. Some of my Wisteria needed clipping back every 3 weeks just to keep the tendrils from growing into the windows.
Now Autumn is here, hedges need clipping and lots of top growth will have to go off to the compost heap. Many people do not know how to handle perennial weeds, which do not die readily. Collected bindweed and other weed roots can be dried off and burnt which makes them safe but not everyone has the space and place to do this.
It is fortunate that the District councils have mostly introduced green waste collection services as this reduces the need for bonfires and large rubbish heaps in smaller gardens. The big heaps in green recycling centres are shredded and heaped and turned frequently, this composting brings the temperature up to around 70 degrees centigrade for 3-4 weeks, which kills roots and seeds and rendering the mix fairly sterile.
It is a pity though that random fly tipping of green waste still occurs so much in the countryside. Pernicious weeds such as Japanese Knotweed are often seen in odd patches near rural gateways, and this most likely is as a result of fly-tipping garden waste. Garden escapes like the Crocosmia in the Cornish hedges look lovely, but no one welcomes Knotweed and Bamboo turning up in the wild.