Six on Saturday

The garden is slowly but surely going to sleep, casting off its bright summer clothes and getting ready for winter. The autumn colours in my little shrubbery are a reminder that all good things must come to an end but I will enjoy the last vestiges of what has been a glorious year in the garden.

Amelanchier, Viburnum and Liquidamber in autumnal colours

The little forest of self sown Verbena bonariensis which jostles for space among the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ and the remnants of aquilegias and foxgloves, are still going strong and provide a focal point at one end of the front garden.

Over the back garden gate, the ever reliable and evergreen Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ is just beginning to flower and will clothe the arch for many weeks with its pink freckled flowers. In summer it fights for position with an everlasting white sweet pea, Lathyrus latifolius ‘Alba’, which has just been cut back to make way for the show.

Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’

The young Chinese Rowan in the front garden, Sorbus hupehensis, is so laden with berries I fear some of the stems might snap under the weight, particularly when the fat, but acrobatic, wood pigeons descend for their annual feast. They will cling on for grim death until every berry is consumed. The Blackbirds and an occasional Waxwing or Fieldfare will take a few but it’s mainly Woody Wood Pigeon and his mates.

One or two stalwarts are hanging on including this fuchsia which refuses to die. It is not supposed to be hardy, was turfed out of a hanging basket five years ago and left to take its chances in the border. It soldiers on, oblivious to rain, drought and my neglect. Every garden needs a few of those!

The Chrysanthemums are just beginning to flower and the first as usual is ‘Romantika’ , a delicate pom-pom chrysanth with pink flowers which fade to white and goes on and on for weeks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t much like the rain and the flowers become a soggy mess after a heavy shower. Still, there are always so many buds that a quick snip gets it back to it’s former glory.

Chrysanthemum ‘Romantika’

So that is my six for this Saturday.

Have a great weekend and stay safe

David

What Sort of Winter Do You Call This?!

086                                                                                                                                          Well, here we are on 21 December, the first day of Winter and the shortest day of the year. Cathy is wrapping up the last few prezzies and I have been outside washing down the paths and tidying up. The weather has been unseasonably mild and I have actually been looking for jobs to do outside rather than sitting indoors. The weather pundits are predicting a long hard winter which will delay Spring and confuse the heck out of the garden again. But, already the bulbs think it is February! The weather guys might be right though because I have never seen the trees and shrubs so laden with fruit and berries, a sure sign of a hard winter to come…..or so the old wives tale goes.Sorbus hupehensis

The little Rowan tree, Sorbus hupehensis, is bent double under the weight of it’s luscious pinky white berries and the Blackbirds are perching precariously on the spindly young branches to get at them.

Sloes

The Blackthorn tree, Prunus spinosa, is covered in ribbons of juicy sloes, so heavy that the branches are likely to snap. Already, the road beneath is stained blue with the remains of squashed fruit and I am amazed the foragers and gin-makers have not discovered it.

Wormery

The wormery, which is normally asleep by now is still active and busily taking all our tea bags and veggie peelings to turn into next years ‘special’ addition to potting compost for the very best plants. It can’t last….something has to change soon to send the worms burying for cover deep in the lower trays.036

Even the fish still think it’s summer and expect to be fed twice a day! Get down and go to sleep I say! The pump is off and the food is packed away until next year!003

In fact everything is cleaned up, tidied up and packed away. The cold frame is empty and ready for a bit of essential maintenance to the lid, the cheap plastic ‘overflow’ greenhouse is full of pots and trays..all washed and cleaned. Where is the snow? I’m ready!Leaf composter

The compost bins are full to bursting with leaves and herbaceous shreddings and, apart from a few last minute weeding jobs, the autumn clean-up seem to be finished for a change.006

All the tulips are planted and the only thing remaining to go in the ground is a tray of Cyclamen hederifolium purchased, believe it or not, from our enterprising milkman who buys them in from Pershore College. Two pints of semi-skimmed and a tray of Cyclamen please!

I hope you all have a jolly good Christmas and a wonderful and productive New Year.