Normally I delay starting my autumn tidy up until far too late.  I tell myself that I don’t want to start while there is still plenty of green in the garden – why admit that the summer is over before you have to?  Then I end up with a situation where many of the herbaceous perennials have turned into a horrible soggy mush which is most unpleasant to remove. 

This year, things are different.  Next weekend we are planning a walk and BBQ for our canine family and their humans.  It will be great to offer them home grown tomatoes, probably straight off the plant.  A number of the people have said that they want the opportunity to see the garden, so I looked around and decided that there were quite a few jobs to do. 

The irises and hemerocallis leaves had flopped to the ground and, as I found out, had become home to a selection of fat slugs and at least one frog.  

Normally, I love my narrow paths with foliage growing to loose the edges, but I thought it would be wise to allow people to realise that there actually was a way through, so the plants that had decided to expand to make use of the available space have been tidied.  I couldn’t bear to take back all of their growth just yet though, so there will be more work to do on them later.

Whilst I was tidying, I realised that this is the perfect time of year for a canine party.  My garden may be dog friendly, but there is little doubt that bringing ten or so dogs into such a small space will cause quite a bit of damage.  The fact that the garden is about to be cleared (of the herbaceous plants at least) means that there will be no regrets about any casulties.   If any shrubs should suffer, well they have all winter to get damaged by weather anyway. 

At least I can leave my main tidy until after next weekend and by then it will be October.  Time to put the garden to bed for another year.  Then I will be able to see the spaces for planting the spring bulbs that I am waiting for to arrive.  The key joy of gardening is that there is always something to look forward to – next season.