Tales from a small; garden; As I come to the end of our first season in our new garden, I look back with some satisfaction to what has been achieved, starting with a “blank canvas”, it is now very pleasant to sit in the dining room and look out on the garden, during meals. This month I will move the gooseberries & blackcurrants where they were temporary placed when we first arrived, their new home will be on the opposite side of the garden, joining the other soft fruits & fruit trees I planted this year, giving us fruit the full length of the garden. The tayberries planted early after we arrived have really fruited well in their first season, but now is the time to cut out all the old wood and tie in this years growth for this is where next years fruit will form. The lawn which was laid to turf has looked well all Summer, it will get an Autumn feed. Due to the presence of a few fungi on the lawn tells me that the drainage could be improved so it will be spiked all over and sand brushed into the holes. The cuttings of pinks I took last month have rooted well, and need to be potted up. During the Autumn I have collected up many seed heads, the seed is now dry & ready to store for sowing next year, on the subject of seed, the gardener should always be looking out for this, while on holiday earlier this year in Devon I picked up a shrivelled passion fruit, this has yielded many seeds which I will sow this month. Again I bought a couple of tomato plants at our plant sale, these were an American heritage variety with the unlikely name of “bloody butcher”,, they fruited & ripened outside earlier than those under glass, while they came in assorted shapes they tasted delicious!. Wishing to grow these again I selected an overripe fruit, removed the pulp & separated the seeds, these were placed on toilet tissue,& when dry will be stored, come the Spring all I need to do is place the tissue on some seed compost, cover, water & with luck I should have some tomato plants, some for me & some for the plant sale, full circle! In the vegetable garden, the beetroots, the largest I have ever grown, have been lifted & pickled. Now that the runner beans have finished fruiting, having saved some seed, will be cut down leaving in the roots, haulms composted. The bean sticks to be washed off & the ends that had been in the ground, stood in creosote for a week, this will keep them in good condition for use next year. On the subject of maintenance, now that most plants have died back, it is time to treat the fences, giving a good opportunity to carry out a check that they are sound, carrying out repairs as necessary, this pay back all the effort, when strong Winter winds try their best to blow them down. My new herbaceous border is now nearly complete with plenty of structure & Winter colour, thanks to the plants I bought from Rosy Hardy at our August meeting. Like all gardens it is an experiment, trying new ideas, changing layouts putting in new plants & moving round containers. I have really enjoyed our first season in this garden & look forward to many years working in it, & I hope you have enjoyed this journey with me.