The Changing Seasons: September’s Reasons To Be Cheerful


Words have been eluding me this month – words that are publishable that is.

Here in the totalitarian state of blighty our lives continue quietly, if bizarrely. Tomatoes have been featuring heavily in our lives, which just goes to show what happens when panic causes the human mind to overreact and envisage a global shortage of some deemed precious item.

The good side: I’ve given loads away. Even so, the last few weeks have involved repeat bouts of soup and sauce making, most of the crop now rendered into frozen bricks stacked up in the freezer. In fact there has been much vegetable processing all round, the kitchen looking like an exploded harvest festival; not necessarily in a good way.

But out in the autumn garden, there is much still to please, the helianthus yellow retreating before the Michaelmas daisy purples and mauves, the deepening russet reds of the crab apples and Coxes pippins. Last week we even had several days of sunshine weather just when we thought summer was done.

So, this month’s  thought for sanity survival: striving to be thankful for life’s small but blessedly lovely things is the only way to go.

From the September garden:

And from the other end of the spectrum:


The Changing Seasons: September 2020

A big thanks to Su for continuing to host this monthly photo posting.

76 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons: September’s Reasons To Be Cheerful

  1. I am sure impressed. The flowers of late Summer are beautiful and the goodness of your food plot is making me wish I could come by for a visit and tea. I do have transplants to plant, lettuce and kale, and more pine straw to place for winter protection. I’ll get to it …hopefully today.
    We aren’t in lock down any more but still being careful and praying round two never makes it.

    1. I’ve been planting out veg seedlings in my polytunnel. Not sure how they’ll far. If we have a second wave then someone will have invented it from a test that was never intended for screening purposes. That’s what’s going on here.

  2. Absolutely gorgeous. I’m coming home next month after 14 weeks. Friends have kept my garden in Leicester looking lovely. Here in South Luangwa, everything is dry and desiccated. It looks desolate but so much easier to see animals when there is no cover. 43 °C today and the thermometry hasn’t fallen much since the sun set. Phew.

    1. I could really do with a good whiff of African soil. I feel sure it would put me in a better humour. But good to hear that your chums have been caring for your garden, though I have to say we do seem to have gone suddenly into ‘deep autumn’. Lots of vegetation chopping imminent.

  3. Lovely early Autumn garden, Tish.

    I have given up eating vegetables out of season and most fruit, except citrus for juice. I think it the most pleasurable thing in the world to make the sauces and the frozen bricks and icecubes for the months of cold.

    All things pass, of course, and the blighty will pass, also.

    For reasons not completely clear to me, I have entered into a zone of near contentment. I imagine that this has to do with my advancing age and also the realization that that the events of our politics tend to be cyclical and that the pendulum has started to shift: women speaking up about the hidden stuff; minorities and children on the street and the fate of the earth more and more at the forefront of the agendas of our politicians.

    This is good, if slow. Best of all, the gardens (vegetable and pleasure), parks and wild areas which still do exist! Sarah

    1. You are such a good cheer-er upper, Sarah. I must not be so angry. There are, as you say, many good people speaking up in all sorts of quarters. I get so frustrated having stupid exchanges with my MP – a wholehearted Boris supporter. Ah well. Deep breath, and go and cook supper. Thank you, as ever, for your wise words.

  4. As always, glimpses of your garden and allotment improve my mood. I was smiling before I’d even scrolled beyond that first, beautiful sunflower shot.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on the joys of small things, and am incredibly grateful for my patch of (improving) dirt. If only it would warm up a little and I can get planting!

    1. You could get things warmed up a bit with cloches. I’m now thinking of the old gardener’s test for spring planting – if you can sit on the soil with a bare bum, then it’s warm enough to sow/plant. Not advised without warning the neighbours 🙂

      1. Cloches are an excellent idea.

        Not quite so sure about the bare bum thing — though more for comfort than concern for my neighbours. The bloke next door regularly wanders naked from house to spa pool, and no matter how quick I am to avert my gaze, I’ve still seen more of him over the years than I really wanted to.

  5. These are lovely images of so many reasons to be cheerful – important to keep hold of all of these in the face of the so many reasons to be uncheerful. It is so often the so-called small yet lovely things that inspire us and enable us to be strong and keep our courage up. I agree that developing an eye for and appreciation of loveliness in the ‘ordinary’ helps keep one’s sanity. Take care.

  6. These do wonders for my heart, Tish. I’m mostly eschewing news these days. It’s all Covid/”protesting”(AKA rioting, burning, looting and sometimes killing)/celebrity garbage. I focus on our new place, helping my parents, blogging, reading, etc. Small joys and blessings are, I think, the realities of our lives. Big, exciting things come and go, but the small things weave themselves into our actual lives and outlooks.


    1. You are a wise woman concentrating on all those life-enhancing pursuits, Janet. I certainly agree about avoiding the news. I read on a blog comment somewhere that the best cure for covid was chucking out the TV. I think there might be some truth in that too 🙂

  7. Reasons to be cheerful indeed and I had a smile remembering the wonderful Ian Drury and his somewhat outrageous songs! Lovely colour in your garden still and I have tomato envy not having grown any this year!

    1. He was in my head too. We could do with some more of his outrage. The garden’s looking a bit shot at today. V. deep autumn and draughty out there, though the sun flower’s still going. Good on it.

    1. Now that’s a lovely exchange, Alison – my garden pics for your vase of dahlias. Am picturing them now. There have been some fabulous ones up at the allotment – grown by others. Fireworks on stalks!

  8. Your photos, and the colours in them are the epitome of early Autumn.
    And how lucky we are to be blessed with gluts of tomatoes, to enjoy and to share!
    Thank you for sharing your garden with us, too.
    Emma 🙂

  9. As long as we have our gardens Tish, as you have so delightfully shown us, there is always something, big and small, to cheer us up. I feel so sorry for people living in apartments. I envy your tomatoe crop, I tried hiding one cherry tomatoe among the flower beds. The creatures have found it…🙄

  10. Indeed, Tish ~ to strive for thankfulness for life’s small but blessedly lovely things.
    You have so many stunning photographs – I particularly love the insects you so keenly captured. They are so delightful!

  11. October 1, 2020

    Many happy returns, Tish, to us both.

    Our weather today is wonderful with sunshine and leaves beginning to tilt on their boughs from one side to the other in every slight breeze like the Great Pendulum which is going to knock our misgovernors off their hubristic pedestal and deliver us to something healthier…………Best, Sarah

  12. Busy planting a variety of seeds/ seedlings as Spring advances.
    If I can get half as many toms as you have grown I’ll be very happy.
    What’s your secret to a bumoper crop, MIss T?
    A pictorial tutorial would be nice.

    1. The polytunnel is probably key to a good crop – at least in our UK climate, though we’ve had a bit of success on an outside south-facing wall, especially with cherry varieties. Lots of good compost, regular feeding, pinching out side-shoots, and trying not to over-water. Good air circulation is important, certainly in our rain-prone country. Perhaps not so important in yours if it’s hot and dry. Otherwise, keeping fingers crossed, not walking under ladders or looking at the new moon through glass while making suitable offerings to the gardening gods should probably do the trick. May the microbes of fertility nourish your seedlings!

  13. Oh Tish- thanks for the reminder to appreciate and fill up with the small things
    And I smiled with the tomato bounty mention and to imagine the freezer goodies

    We have a nice tomato soup my spouse made with Uber cheap organic tomatoes he brought home last week
    And tomatoes stewing in a huge pot is truly a delicacy that many folks are missing out on if they buy jars and canned goods all the time.
    Love both spectrums of photo selections 🌸🌸🌸🌸

    1. Thanks, Yvette. It was really a note to myself not to be so grumpy. But I’m happy the small things reminder hits the spot with you too. And you’re so right about home-cooked tomatoes – such a delicate consistency. I think they must add thickening agents in the commercial jars of passata.

      1. Yes and they add corn syrup sometimes – and preservatives ??
        Quick story – my sister married and Italian man who had parents that had a huge garden – they even sold extra stuff at a market some years (how fun) anyhow – In when we would visit them – the huge pot of tomatoes stewing would sit simmering and just smelling it seemed to make my body feel better – and then sipping a cupful was amazing

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