A greenhouse gives you the opportunity to sow seeds and grow plants much earlier in the year than you can outside. However, this is all work and when you have as much glass as we do, the early start makes for a long season. During the warm weather we have had to continue watering carefully and thoroughly, a task which soaks up a lot of time. I therefore sigh with relief when there is a sniff of autumnal air: the days are shorter; the air is stiller; the grass is moist with dew in the morning; and the plants are palpably heading for autumn. As the plants prepare to shut down, so do I to some extent, though any thought of winter hibernation is not allowed.
There is a buzz of excitement on the nursery at the moment as we talk about our plans for next year. The most sudden autumnal change is for the Cosmos to be pulled out. We planted the variety Sensation in front of the wall this year. I have loved its single pink and white flowers, but I am less enamoured with the way it has flopped over the path. If we grow Cosmos again, I shall go for one of the less tall varieties;I have no time for staking annuals. In their space goes Lily flowered Tulip Snaeda Orange and Wallflower Primrose bedder. The pansies may flower better through the winter, but I get enjoyment from watching the wallflowers grow and I can anticipate the emergence of green buds bursting in the spring to reveal their scented flowers, topped off by the taller tulips. By then, the autumnal peace will be well behind us and we shall going hell for leather with spring plant production.