It is the weekend of the equinox. Autumn is undeniable now. Darker days will soon start to restrict early-morning and late-evening allotment visits.
Our bean poles have been taken down and tied up until next year. Allowing in more air and light. The smaller pea/sweet pea tipis are still standing for now. One is barely holding up a smothering, rampant heavy squash. The others we hope will be home to late-sown Grandpa Ott morning glory.
The late rows of autumn leaves (mostly chards, spinach mustards, assorted salads, etc) will start to be thinned through. Any oversown spares will be rehomed in the opened-up space.
The Ukrainian sunflowers are towering over the plot. Now more than twice the size of Howard, maybe 13ft tall. Rich yellow flowers branching out. Covered in contented bees. Another shorter, rust-coloured variety is spaced through the edges.
The old-school marigolds have started to come on stream, paler yellow and classic orange, echoes of ceremonial garlands. They grow bunched together with tagetes Ildkongen and cosmos sulphureus. We will soon start frantically saving their seed.
It has been an extravagant summer of flowers on the site as more plot holders have worked to attract pollinators. I have occasional deep dahlia envy at the splashes of purples and crimson. We may finally start to grow them next year.
Our river of nasturtiums is spilling over the edge at the bottom of the plot. The too-tall fennel is thick with seed. It has been a wondrous year here. I will start to make a mental note of what has grown well and where.
I happily found a frog nestled in the bank. Unbothered by my attention. The same with the evening kestrel on the tree above the plot. Happy autumn gardening all.
Allan Jenkins’s Plot 29 (4th Estate, £9.99) is out now. Order it for £8.49 from guardianbookshop.com