Slow, Slow, quick quick SLOE

Sloes

“Fall is an old love affair.” Well, if your love, like mine, is for sloe gin then get out there and pick them now – yes, a little earlier than usual. Wisdom given to me when I first made sloe gin was ‘make enough for THREE years’! Next year you make enough for TWO years. By year three you can start to enjoy three-year-old sloe gin, which, believe me, tastes far better! I can never understand the recipes that say ‘use
good-quality gin’. Heavens above, you will never tell the difference once you have added sloes and sugar. I even used vodka one year – it was cheaper! But the end result was just the same.

Timing is everything!

I have often tried to plant a ‘second crop’ of various vegetables. Invariably they have caught up with the main crop and I have a surplus. Hurrah! This year I finally got it right with the runner beans! These pictures were taken on the last day of September.

Wonderful flowers, delicious young tender beans. OK so the freaky and changing weather of this ‘summer’ past must have helped! I hope to be picking them
through to November at least.

Bees

I wanted to include a poem by Emily Dickinson – “Bee! I’m expecting you!” it starts – but my esteemed Editor tells me it is still in copyright. However, imagine my surprise and delight when I found bees nesting in the loose earth in a front garden bed. I had to check online that this really could happen! I have clearly succeeded in creating the right environment for wildlife alongside bedding plants and vegetables. This has made me very pleased and content!


In October I am off mountain walking in North Wales, then hill walking in Shropshire. I wonder what that will yield for next month’s column?


The Fairfield Constant Gardener