Outdoor jobs appear more attractive when viewed from the sitting room window. The lessening sunshine sparkles invitingly, luring you on whilst failing to highlight the many spiders’ webs strung between any uprights, like so many titanium hawsers. The tenants are suited and booted at this time of year, looking for love. They’re not after you, so remove them from your person as gently as possible and leave them to pursue their eight legged amour, with all of their limbs intact.
Rubus fruticosus (blackberry) ‘Oregon Thornless’
When you’ve finished romping with the wildlife, give the weeds a thrashing. Clear the ground with a rake; use a hand held tool for knackering your knees, or employ long handled equipment for chronic, bitching backache. Over dinner tonight, you can swear that you have eradicated coltsfoot, dandelions and horsetail forever. You may even feel entitled to smugness and second helpings. The wildings are winding down, much like everything else in the garden. You may as well feel tidy from now until next spring, so get busy. Unwanted plants will start making a comeback around March, so maximise self satisfaction for the cold spell ahead. This will impress the neighbours with your dedicated zeal. Fend off enquiries over the wall with an assurance that you are doing this for fun, to gain added kudos. Be aware that your significant other will see through this ploy as soon as you trek through the kitchen with muddy shoes and soil smeared features, demanding tea with extra sugar.
Dahlia & Nicotiana (flowering tobacco)
Raise the cut on your mower and make your assaults less frequently, until you stop with a murmur of regret or grateful sighs, around November. This is a good time to trim all of the lawn edges, since they will stay crisp for a while and thus give the whole plot a smart look that lasts. The hardware shops have started to gear up for Xmas and a pox on them for that; if you can still find refills, use a strimmer. If the turf has overgrown the path, I find that an old steak knife makes short work of the affair. Put all of the off cuts on the compost heap, since most grass seeds have dispersed already. Be wary of other seedpods, since Sod’s Law states that these will persist; it’s going to be too chilly to get vegetation to rot with enough heat to kill them.
Pelargonium (scented leaf geranium) cuttings
Cut back spent perennials close to the ground. Use the right kit for the task and don’t send a boy on a man’s errand. Utilize loppers on thick, tough material, such as Acanthus (bear’s breeches) flower stems. I was too pooped by this stage, to walk back to the shed to get them. It was a stretch with secateurs but I managed the job. Now I’m suffering from wanker’s whiplash and can’t move my fingers to pick up a tea cup. Attila will have to spoon my supper into my face. I can’t even undo the zip on my dirt encrusted jeans, so he’ll have to help me with that, as well. I’m too tired for anything else, so I’ll manage the rest myself, thank you.