The Time of the Grass is over. The bank is cut, and the last load is waiting to be burned. Newly shaved, and missing the top layer of moss, the bank looks as bleached as a savannah in the dry season, but it will be green again within a few days. I’ve cracked half a bottle of champagne to ease the ache acquired by inching crabwise across the slope, swinging the Stihl in 18 inch arcs. I suppose it’s all good exercise, and certainly cheaper than going to a gym and doing something futile with weights, but, frankly I don’t want to see a hay rake again for several months.In compensation, the whole house is faintly scented with grass smoke, and I step outside at midnight for a last sniff of the aroma on the night air. Tonight the volcano has obviously hit a thermocline. There’s rain on the way.
The colchicums show up well against the mown slope. They are early this year…usually I manage to get this section cut before they are through the ground, but I had to clear round them by hand, as they were already in flower. I ought to split them up and spread them – but I’m never sure when is the best time to do this, which is a good excuse for doing nothing.
September is a swing month – not summer, and not yet Autumn. But already there are signs of colour: Berberis darwinii is starting to redden. I planted this bush at the back of the pond about five years ago, having seen it in its full Autumn glory somewhere, but it has never really performed. Maybe this year it will?
Things are shaping up for a promising Autumn. There are more fungi around than usual, and I found a basket of field mushrooms for the first time in years. The cotoneasters are covered in berries. What we shall need to bring out the best colour are some early frosts and no gales to rip the trees bare before they turn.