last pick of the year

The first hard frosts have arrived, blackening our dahlias and bringing an end to our flower deliveries for the year - the last delivery, of asters, chrysanthemums, snapdragons and scented leaf pelargoniums, was made today.  The garden feels peaceful and still, and begins to look more organised and tidy now that we have more time to get on with the garden tasks.  All the bulbs except for the tulips are now in the ground, most of the autumn seeds are sown - in fact, the polytunnel is bursting already so perhaps we won't be able to sow any more - and we have begun to plant the new perennials into their beds.  In the darkness of the workshop, shoots are appearing in assorted jars and plant pots.  These are the hyacinths and narcissi that will brighten our home at Christmastime and fill it with their sweet rich scent.  In the garden now, the only scents are coming from the aromatic leaves: eucalyptus, lavender and pelargonium.  We are picking the last few things to dry, and then we'll forget about harvesting until the spring, and concentrate on the winter work.