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Please let there be a sniff of Autumn. A touch of dew, the thermometer not to glow red, and my poor feet not to crack any further. For anyone who has managed to spend any hours in the garden over August, then a round of applause to you. I managed a few 6am shifts just to keep the garden hydrated but that’s about all. I know the media likes to talk about records and world-beaters, but surely this summer has won at least a bronze medal! If you and I thought the heat was relentless, spare a thought for the tireless volunteers who make up the beleaguered fire brigades around Iberia. Clad in thick, heat-protection clothing, heavy boots and breathing apparatus, hauling around cumbersome water hoses and clambering over hills, rocks and through undergrowth, to save our lives, homes and countryside from forest fires. They are undoubtedly the heroes of the season and do a fantastic job through the summer to keep our pastures green. Just as we went to print we witnessed a huge fire in our area, where eucalyptus, cork, medronho and pine perished in their thousands. All supposedly started by an arsonist. What can we say about a person who not only deliberately destroys fauna, wildlife, the environment, but also people’s homes and their income? The beauty of living in our Mediterranean climate is the warmth and blue skies. Let’s hope by the end of September the temperatures fall back into a level that allows us to tip toe out once again and tend to our exhausted plants. September, and the onset of Autumn, is a great time to prepare and start any landscaping, revamps or tree planting, prior to the coming cooler winter, so it’s a busy time again. Personally, (even though my garden often gets classed in the ‘cobblers children’ scenario by my wife) I have decided to plant anything and everything that stimulates the senses. Whole swathes are going to be dedicated to growing food, oils, herbs, bark to grind into poultices and all kind of other things to set up my mad apothecary. I expect in years to come, that my potions and ointments picked from the garden will be the key to cure all ills! I’ve even got the white jacket and the specs to hang off my nose in readiness. Over the pages we have another eclectic mixture of topics for this month’s issue, including a warning for any lawn owners. One of our readers contacted us with a horror story of how she lost her entire lawn of approx. 400 sqm in a matter of days due to cutworm. Turn to page 19 to learn about the warning signs to look out for. In the meantime, keep cool and calm ‘Autumn (and Winter) is coming’.
I'm a keen gardener and am very proud of my garden, so your magazine is wonderful for people like me. There is so much information and it is written in a really nice way - it makes me feel like you are talking just to me!!