The time finally came for having to tidy the vast majority of old plants out of my greenhouse. Ever since the first seeds were poked into the flower pots and propagators back in March, that wonderful little glass room became progressively less spacious. By June it was a vision of green, near bursting at the seams. For the several months that followed you couldn’t sidle in there without getting nudged by a leaf or stalk, or even pricked by the stroppier plants. (On one occasion I was even stung! Though by what I never did know for sure.)
Ornamental eggplant and passion flower.
Yes, that is the cycle, that is the way of things. Yet as I carried the pots outside to cut the plants out and tip out the compost, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad at the passing of an era. In its own way, the growing seasons are like other milestones in the year – birthdays, Christmas and New Year’s, for example. It’s not unheard of on any one of those occasions to find ourselves looking back at what happened in the year since the last one, or wondering what might happen in life, in the world, before the next one. And so it is with the farming and gardening years, not least when harvest is over – growing up as a farmer’s daughter taught me this.
Salad and carrots to be harvested, and this year’s strawberry plants.
Let us not get too downhearted about all this, though. For what is the end of an era if not an opportunity for a new beginning? Having taken the shading down in the greenhouse and swept the floor, I am ready to clean it and start planting again when the time is right, should I be lucky enough to do so. As with all endings and beginnings, there are usually some common denominators easing us from one to another. In the little glass room, the common denominators would be the new seedlings I planted a few weeks ago (as mentioned in a previous post), a few herbs and this year’s strawberry plants, and some carrots, parsnips and a little left over salad waiting to be harvested. Then there is the ornamental eggplant which is yielding its decorations, and my passion flower winding up to the ceiling, which I’m hoping to have for a while yet. Oh, and then of course there are the pots and troughs outside that still have a few flowers and herbs on flower. Not to mention the new big trough which I have recently filled with compost and crocus bulbs.
Herbs, parsnips and carrots.
When you put it like that, though some plants sleep, the growing season is never really over, is it?! 🙂