Forlorn looking garden

Despite the last few days stalwart attempt at an Indian summer my garden looks like it wants to be tucked up for winter. Rusty looking sweet peas, sad and bare tomato plants…
 
Those cherry tomato plants have provided a good handful of delicious bright red or yellow tomatoes every couple of days for the last six weeks or so. It may seem like a short fruiting period, but that's only because I didn't get my act together and plant them out in good time. They are definitely on their last legs and starting to show some early signs of blight, which considering it's almost mid-October isn't bad going.
 
The strawberries have been a bit of a disappointment. They've produced runners aplenty, but not much in the way of fruit. It may be because way back in July Barbary Boy discovered there were plenty of green berries to be had. He didn't wait for them to ripen and despite my warnings stripped the plants bare. It's a lesson learned I suppose, after two days of rather urgent trips to the facilities he's given them a wide berth ever since. However, a bit of reading around on the subject of strawberries informs me that we may not have enough bees and butterflies coming into the garden to help the strawberries pollinate. I must say this is very welcome news as far as I'm concerned as it gives me carte blanche to make the garden a lot more flowery and girly next year.
 
So with flowers in mind I will be raising the dahlia bulbs as soon as they finish flowering; planting a range of sweet peas now and then some more in the spring, planting a lot of allium bulbs and trying to start a small lavender collection. Veg next year will also take more consideration, I won't be bothering with pumpkins and squash again as I don't have enough space. The couple of acorn squash produced this year have had a very derisory reception from the family. Next year there'll be carrots, cauli, broccoli and sugarsnap peas instead; at least I know they'll have a good chance of being eaten. Salad days have also been mixed, I overcrowded the spinach and the rocket bolted almost as soon as seed hit soil. A beginner's mistake, I planted seeds far too densely. Next time I'll know to spread them out. If anyone would like to comment I'd love to know what you've grown that's been well-received by your families.
 
It's been my first year of really trying to learn how to take care of a garden. I'm tutored by my kind and very patient Dad who has always kept a beautiful garden. I don't think I valued it so much as a child, but now I have enormous respect for the amount of effort that must've gone into the garden throughout my childhood. I see the monkeys so excited at watching the plants grow and realising which ones they can eat and which ones they could but DEFINITELY SHOULDN'T WITHOUT MY PERMISSION pick and put in vases, (Barbary Boy and Miss Marmoset respectively). I am very lucky, a fairly small patch of garden, a few flowers and an old apple tree have effectively doubled the size of our home for three months this year, I'd struggle to be without a garden again.
 
Thanks for reading, Helenx

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