Tuesday, 2 October 2012


So, between the showers and rain
I have failed to get a tan.

However the garden has turned colour early.
The shrubs and trees we planted over the last few years, especially with autumn in mind are strutting their stuff. Even the fig leaves (not needed in such a cold wet summer) have gone a lovely pale yellow. (So have the raspberries but that is another story that has gone viral.)

Here are some of the shrubs etc.

The first is Acer palmatum 'Sango-kaku' which was given to me by my elder sister and is now about six years old. I have trimmed the wispy bits of dead twig they seem to get at the end of the branches to make things tidy. Tidiness is not one of my fortes but the wildlife in the garden will not mind.

In a row of three are, from left to right, Euonymus elatus. Liquidambar styraciflua and Rhus typhina 'Dissecta'.

The insect life has not yet left the garden and the last of the swallows, possibly going south from the far north, still fly about.
Last year I planted some Verbena bonariensis, (an 'in' flower), with not much success but this year they have been tremendous.

They are in amongst the roses and Japanese Anemones with an underplanting of a large catmint.

Now, there are always a few surprises at this time of year - I don't mean yet another heavy shower though I have just run around the bird feeders topping them up before the heavenly taps are turned on again (we have 8 feeders) - for instance, an oriental poppy has decided to open a bud and blaze away in the greenery.

I will also have a few bonfire dilemmas to come.
1. Will it be full of creatures - thinking of hedgehogs and so on?
2. Will it light?!! It is so sodden it might just have to be left to rot down to compost.
3. Can I even get to it as the surrounding cut turf is squelchy?
4. Do we buy fireworks? Well, the answer to that one is only if the grandchildren are here.

It is interesting how this time of year affects different people differently.
For some this is the best time of year, for others the looming threat of S.A.D. hovers in the increasing darkness.

For me spring seems a long way away at the moment and between now and then there is a lot of clearing up and manure shifting to be done.
I just hope next summer is worth waiting for. This one was literally a wash-out. I can count on my fingers the number of days when the temperature has been into the 70s.

Sad, isn't it?

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