A note to myself. The first frost of the year came on November 1st 2006, with temperatures down to -2degC. The heliotropes have now had it, which is a shame as they have been smelling fantastic for the past month or so. The Cosmos are stil surviving, surprisingly. The ricinus plants have survived two days of frosts but it can't be long until they disappear into black sludge.
We'll be having a busy weekend at the allotment, as we have only two or three new beds to dig to complete it, and I've had a couple of deliveries. One was of 'elephant garlic' which was bought on a whim as it was on special offer. Apparently it is a mild garlic flavour, more like leek. Also, I've got a delivery of bare-rooted strawberry plants, of three different varieties - to give a longer cropping season (again, a special offer!). I'll put these in a dedicated strawberry bed. The strawberries should crop for three years before needing to be replaced, and the bed rotated. I've only just started being able to eat strawberries - for many years they'd make me ill. However, after picking some at a PYO last summer (http://www.clivesfruitfarm.co.uk/), I now realise what I've been missing out on. Can't wait to harvest my own strawbs next summer.
In the mean time, it's an opportunity to enjoy some proper autumn weather, with spiders' webs sparking with dew, and the leaves starting to come down with a vengeance - an excellent resource which will be turned into leaf mould, to put on the Hellebores next autumn.