Aideen made the mistake today of saying, “what are we doing today?”, which gave me the opportunity to say “well you could help me?”. She asked me to show her what she could do, so I took her out to the vegetable garden which is not looking its best at the moment. Nasturtiums that have been zapped by the frost are not very attractive and they were lying limply over the potato beds. She cast a critical eye about her and said, “You’ve got a lot to do mum!”. She’s not wrong, but as usual it is a matter of priorities. I will have to turn a blind eye to messy beds whilst I work through the essential jobs. I am asking Aideen to clear the bed that I need for planting onions and garlic, which will speed things up with my list of jobs. On the way to the vegetables, I notice one of my new mimosas has fallen over again and will need staking with a taller stake, which I pop back to do. Also, the frost has hit two of the bananas, so these will need cutting back and wrapping up for winter.
Before Aideen starts on the bed, she clears up the Halloween pumpkins and I return to the front drive to finish planting daffodils and narcissi. I plant another seven bags (175 bulbs) to finish that section and come back inside the garden to collect more bulbs for the edge of the forest garden bed.
Whilst moving pumpkins, I notice a large, fat butternut squash that had developed a split when it was growing outside, has started to rot. I extricate it from the others and bring it into the kitchen. It looks horrible, but I know it is worth cutting off the top and using the bottom, which I will do when cooking tonight.
I go back to plant another seven bags of bulbs (175 bulbs) along the forest garden bed before I am driven in by rain and failing light.
Whilst clearing the potato bed, Aideen had dug up a bucket of stray red potatoes. I make these into a tray of Lyonnaise potatoes, with red onion and garlic, and create a pie out of the butternut squash, mushrooms, peppers, bacon, chorizo, red onion, garlic and chilli with rough puff pastry. There are not many things that cannot be made into a very satisfactory pie!