WE CUT the autumn-fruiting raspberry canes down to about a foot a few weeks ago, although we should have done this a bit earlier when they became dormant in the autumn. Soon they will be springing into new growth, so it’s now time to cut them down to the ground. However hit-and-miss we are with pruning, we always get a decent crop from this variety, Joan Jay. The canes need tying back when they’re in leaf and producing fruit but at this time of year you can appreciate what small footprint they take up in the raised bed – about 3 feet by 1 foot.
We’ve still got jars of jam that we made with them in late summer and early autumn.
This little Toad had a narrow escape; Paul the gardener and I were clearing the old fence panels behind the greenhouse and it was only when I was sweeping the path that I uncovered it, crouching in a hollow under a sheet of plastic – an old potting compost bag – that I’d put down some time ago to suppress weeds. I’d been working right next to it but luckily it had survived unscathed. I released it out of harm’s way behind the compost bins.
A Robin flits about us as we work. It’s evidently noticed that, as we cut back matted ivy and prickly cotoneaster to remove the tumbled and twisted old larch-lap fence panels, we are disturbing woodlice and spiders.