And so to bed.

Before I was called to lunch by Rosie I had intended to mull over the business of putting the garden to bed. But an hour or so later, after idly picking up today’s Times Magazine to read as I ate, those four innocent words have quite a different meaning. Apparently a pair of New York comedians - female both - are the hosts of Guys We F***ed, a weekly podcast that’s been downloaded 35 million times on which they chat, no holds barred, about their sexual encounters. Threesomes, dick pics (which spell check has helpfully tried to correct to duckpins…sexting penis pictures apparently), orgasms, pussies, dildos, rape, blow jobs…you name it, they’ll talk about it. I must admit I spluttered over my porn sandwich…sorry prawn (they’ve got me at it now). If you can bear to listen to their NY accents you can hear their escapades at .

But perhaps it would be better to revert to the much more innocent topic of the garden’s bedtime. At this time of the year there’s so much to be done, and quite a lot that’s depressing knowing that it’ll be another five months before the garden begins to perk up again. Collecting up all the garden furniture and trying to stow it away in the shed, knowing the inevitability of needing something in the far corner no sooner than you’ve done so, protecting tender terracotta statues in bubble wrap, bringing plants into the conservatory, de-figging the fig tree of the second crop, deadheading the dahlias to squeeze another fortnight out of them, picking the last of the tomatoes, finally accepting the courgettes and autumn raspberries have finished, raking up the autumn leaves, knowing that the current rain and warmth will keep the grass growing and the mowing necessary till, probably, early December…it’s all part of the fun and routine of gardening. 

As, of course, is preparing for next year. The murkiness of the pond is an ongoing project: we’ve tried Aquaplancton, barley bundles and oak logs to clear it but none have solved the problem so now we’re going for a filtration unit. Which means digging trenches for electric cables and all the expense of the unit, the pumps and the installation. Still, the fish will be pleased if the pond becomes gin-clear (as Aquaplancton boldly claimed their product would do), but so, I’m afraid, will the local herons (“all the better to see you through, my dear”).

And then there’s planting 2000 bulbs in the paddock, chain-sawing the pile of logs nicked from the forest for the wood-burner, deflowering the pots on the terrace and replanting with spring bulbs, planting the broad bean seeds and garlic bulbs…and on and on till bedtime. And thence to dream. But of what?