Why Do I Love the Autumn Clear-up?

I love clearing up in Autumn and preparing the garden for winter. There’s something refreshingly final about clearing the ground, digging it over and starting again. My resident robin loves it when I get in clear up mode. He sits and watches me until I’m done and then swoops in for the kill. He normally goes home with a morsel or two in his beak.

However, the thing I love best is sweeping up leaves.  There are so many colours in my garden but I’m not sure why. I only have one tree (an Acer that I have had for about 7 years and it’s only ever grown an inch). All the other leaves are blown in from neighbouring gardens. I don’t mind because they’re all such gorgeous Autumny tones.

I cut down the last of the Runner Beans too and stored the poles until next year (making sure to scrape off all the dirt and bits of vine). I harvested the last of the Runner Bean seeds and stored them in an old tin box in the potting shed ready to plant next year.

I even had time to oil my garden furniture to protect it from the winter frosts, which, says the woman in the florist, are coming this weekend! Bring it on, I say. I shall be inside sat in front of my cosy woodburner reading seed catalogues.

9 Comments on “Why Do I Love the Autumn Clear-up?

  1. What beautiful leaves! We’re well past that stage now. We actually woke up to 3 inches of snow covering everything this morning.

  2. Those are beautiful leaves, and very nice pictures. Are you taking the action shots with one hand while sweeping/shelling beans with the other? Well done.

    Things are winding down here, as well. While the strain on my muscles is decreasing, my mind is starting to grow dizzy as I peruse the seed catalogs. It’s great!



  3. Unfortunately my enjoyment of raking up the beautifully coloured autumn leaves has been marred by the cats….I’m sure you can imagine! However, luckily I have a beautiful public park closeby hat I can walk through and enjoy too. Soon I shall be going pinecone collecting for Christmas too.

    Also started on ordering seeds. It’s way too early but given that we had a rotten summer, I feel the need to look forward….

  4. So pretty! Don’t you just love the sound autumn leaves make? On the subject of runner beans, I have way more seeds than I need to plant next year. I presume they can be dried, stored and used the same as haricots, flagelots, etc but can find no recipe or record of using them in cooking in any of my books or even on the net. Do you use them dried for cooking, or does anyone else out there? I would expect to soak them overnight, drain, then boil fast for at least 10 minutes in fresh water, but would appreciate confirmation and / or suggestions.

    PS – Your Scary Mary cupcakes at Hallowe’en were fab!

  5. Hi Alison,

    I haven’t used my beans for drying and eating but I found a document online that says the following:

    “To dry beans for storage it’s preferable to let the pods dry out in place on the plant. The skins go brown and brittle in autumn and when the pods begin to split then it’s time to pick and shell them: keep a close eye on the crop at this stage as the beans may spill onto the ground.

    If the pods are not dry by the end of October and the weather stays wet it is possible to pull up the whole plant and hang them up in a shed to complete drying, or pick the pods in bunches and spread them on cardboard fruit boxes in a dry place which is reasonably warm.

    If drying beans indoors in boxes there is always a risk of mould and rot, so inspect them frequently and discard any that become soft and wet. A through flow of air assists drying, whichever drying method is used.”

    Hope that helps.

  6. Thanks, mtp, bean-seeds are drying nicely! Will keep searching for those elusive recipes, they must be out there somewhere …

  7. I’m with you on the fall clean-up gardening. I like this and the late winter gardening best of all. I hate summer gardening because — after spending all of June inside with hay fever — I come out to a jungle that will never, ever cooperate with me until the fall.

    I also appreciate seeing the plants without leaves because I can spend all December and January thinking about how different trees and bushes might need to be pruned or not.

    Also… I’m starting to learn a little about tree health by watching for bark changes during winter. The reduced stimulation — the stripped-down garden — helps this novice gardener begin to understand the plants in essential ways.