Tuesday, 24 November 2020


Because it is so waterlogged.

Cut back phlox, Michaelmasdaisies and rue - being careful not to get rue sap on my skin, to avoid blistering.

Then - I thought let me dig up the Sweet Cicely and move it freeing the bed by the back wall - HA! The thing is a thug, its roots penetrating the subsoil and beyond. I removed what I could but the only solution may be a weed killer. I suppose it is a wild plant and therefore tough but . . 

And then we move on through wet November -


Birds and animals do not seem to mind  the bad weather. All go at the pond - 

But occasionally, very occasionally at the moment, the sun creaks through revealing flowers still out and missed apples still on the tree.

And, even though the garden is relatively bare, if you look there is interest - backlit grasses, contrasts in green and texture in shrubs,

the bark of a cherry tree or the strange healed wound on an ash.

The water pouring from the back field has not only filled the stream but emerges at every possibility as a spring, here the stream is nearest, the spring beyond.

I have emailed Sarah Raven to complain about the non-germination of my sweet pea seeds but heard nothing yet. I have potted on R's euonium.
And still the white camassia bulbs wait for me to decide where they go.
R has cut back the shrubby clematis and I have dug up the disastrous parsnips, lightly forked there bed and top dressed with horse manure.

Now I love strimming (!) but when you have a good gardener like S - well - 

Tuesday and more rain - cup of tea.

Monday, 16 November 2020


The last leaves are falling, gathering in drifts by the door and on the paths.

I have cleared under the magnolia and must top dress with manure and compost. Three requests have been potted up - well one request of three plants - erigeron, white Japanese anemone and a tall white Michaelmas daisy - for L and G and their new garden.
On the banking the three hen pheasants traipse by, the two cock pheasants facing off and scrapping, full of male hormones no doubt. One cock parading back and forth in front of the pond. These birds are so exotic, not at all British - well they are now after being introduced - just so they can be shot, not here.

To the story of the Sarah Raven sweet peas, duly sown and not germinated - well two have. I took a pot and searched for the seeds and found nothing so - ?mice, ?duds. R says I should email them with a pic of the flop. Perhaps I will. 
Just when I thought we had escaped a mole invasion this appeared on the top banking. Just one - the soil is a bit thin up there. I will wait and see how this develops before calling in the catcher. I feel guilty about catching them but when there are several long lines of molehills across the grass . . . 
We are well strimmed now - and the upper woodland edge looks much better -

as does the stream. The gardener wondered about doing the Royal fern but I like its autumn colours so it stays for now.

One consequence of all this activity is that the primrose leaves have been revealed and when the daffodils and snowdrops come they will not be swamped by undergrowth.
It is November and dark and wet and pretty miserable. In the spring when we had "lockup" the weather was glorious - not so now - days not to get out of bed for. Anyway my little Sony camera has gone on the blink so may need to go away for service and repairs.

This year one of the last things to lose its leaves in the garden is the hazel - booth in the bottom hedge and where they have self sown on the bankings.

We still have fruit, well one - a lonely pear.

And if one looks carefully there are yet a few delights - the white honesty seedheads backlit.


A wimp day - walk Bouth Woods then home. After lunch - "I will go out in the garden" - open door, starts raining, shut door.
And I still have a box of white camassias to put in somewhere.

So I spend all of two minutes checking the houseplants for water etc - except the dried heads of the hydrangea of course.

Monday, 9 November 2020


If only we had more sunshine. I have to nip out into the garden when we have a short burst of sunlight to capture autumn colours.

There is still plenty of water in the garden flooding down from the back field and springs all over the place. If you look hard enough there are small things of delight - a colourful raspberry leaf or even the first daffodil shoots appearing under the leaf litter - I know, it is just the beginning of November.

Other hidden gems include the black hypericum fruit and  backlit honesty seedheads. R has cut back the helianthus stems and I have pruned the hydrangea Annabelle taking ten cuttings and putting them in the cutting bed.
I had hoped the garden camera might have caught something interesting but only one pheasant and many grey squirrels (or one squirrel over and over again.)

So I have moved the camera down by the pond hoping to capture video of the moorhen and anything else that might want to drink or swim. There are flowers in the garden - roses, fuchsia (planted by the gate to remind me of hedges near Glencolumbkille) and pink hydrangea.

The greys are also doing well especially when backlit - euphorbia and pittosporum.

I have collected the last of the Bramley apples but the central branch is just too high - perhaps it will need to be removed? Late winter perhaps best when the tree is dormant. Other success are out giant cauliflower - that is the whole thing next to the parsnip creature from the deep. (Educake pen for scale.)

It is Saturday evening, a sunset, Joe Biden is President-elect over the pond (or thereabouts), room on the news to mention Brexit and coronavirus again. So exciting 💤💤.
Wonderful sunny Saturday but now it is Sunday and grey and mizzling and damp.

In the end it comes back to the end of the best autumn colour with the Great White Willow.

Must go and wind up all the clocks.