We’ve had our first proper frost now, so the cosmos, zinnias and nasturtiums are done. The marigolds are done too, but I’m leaving them to dry out more so that I can gather more seed than is currently available.

I’ve pulled up all the carrots now. It wasn’t a great year for them, but there are a few good ones, plus a load of snack-sized ones – and a bunch that went straight onto the compost heap.

We’ve picked all the apples and although the crows had sampled most of them, there were still some in perfect shape. There’s just one little apple left on the tree, as it didn’t want to come off. I’ve also picked the last two little pears, though I doubt they’ll be up to much.

I cut a few branches off the tree in order to gain access and stop it going any further through the fence. Come spring, it’s going to be a big job to prune the tree. I can see branches heading into the tree, pointing downwards, criss-crossing each other …

I started weeding the trellis bed in the morning and finished it in the afternoon. I was done by 16.40, which was also when it was getting dark enough that it was more difficult to see. I went right up under the apple tree and pulled up bindweed and nettles from the bark chippings and fence.

I’ve dug up all the toadflax that was in the way of a different tall plant, or along the front of the bed. More smaller plants need to be found to take their place. I’ve left the clump of toadflax plants by the gate though. I’ll be surprised if there are no marigolds cropping up next year, as the field vole has spread the seed all over the place. It’s clearly had some of the fallen apples too.

I spotted another bit of wildlife today, finally seeing the suspected rat. The fact that a couple of apples had moved over lunch gave it away and then I saw it moving between the heap and the shed.