Smudging seasons

Chris pointed out this week that the best sunsets happen at this time of year, something I’d never appreciated – I thought beautiful sunsets were weather dependent. Since he said it I’ve noticed how right he is. The angle of the sun bouncing off the underside of clouds. It’s enough to drag your eyes up to the heavens. 

As I stood on my allotment tonight I caught myself looking into the western corner for the third time this week. My time outside is up, signalled by orange sun extinguishing behind trees.

The colours like softest paint. Bright embers of summer heat gently covered by the cosy clouded blanket of autumn. Smudging seasons creating another fleeting moment lost like a page ripped from a book.


It’s a comforting glow. A sense of an unknown chapter from the best story we’ll never read closing but with something new to come. I tear myself away from the bruised amber horizon and flowers. The most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. This is a time of abundance and I’ve got vegetables to collect.

Rallying my own motivation to face the weed strewn carrot bed, wriggle and pull. Out comes the first satisfactorily three-pronged misshapen gem. Smelling sweet like no carrot eaten before. Like little fragments of comet from the orange glow in the sky.

Snap, the second breaks as I pull. The third doesn’t bother budging as I stand holding only a bunch of leaves. Harvesting vegetables is not a task for the half-hearted. Half-heartedly I pulled the next, wriggle, two carrots entwined in a game of Twister.


A few minutes later I’ve sussed the loose carrots from wedged ones – no magic method, the wedged ones are still there minus their leaves. A glorious bunch of the most absurd looking carrots no supermarket would ever take.

It’s Chris’ birthday tomorrow and I’m looking forward to seeing him tonight. The question, does he want carrot soup or carrot cake?

Thank you for the days

Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me

I’m thinking of the days

I won’t forget a single day, believe me

– The Kinks

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Jack Wallington

I'm an RHS qualified garden designer living in Clapham, London who loves growing plants and designing with them. Follow me on Twitter.

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