End of Month – October 2012

There isn’t much to say really… there’s been quite a speedy decline in the state of the garden over the last few days. There are very noticeable bare patches now, in particular the upper tier, where I once couldn’t see up to thanks to the ‘screen’ I have created using various tall perennials is now very much open and actually looks quite strange. Perhaps what’s most strange is that I hadn’t anticipated it!

The glorious golden and reds have made way to bare browns and rotten, mushy leaves.

However, the front garden is still keeping me waiting to plant my Alliums. I have been waiting for the annuals to die so I can collect the seeds but also to make room for me to get the Alliums in… at the moment I’m being assaulted by the stems instead! For obvious reasons I don’t want to pull them out because they are still blooming and providing much needed colour/interest!
(Sorry for the state of the grass; it hasn’t been mown for a long time because it was too wet to get that last cut in!)

The Chrysanthemums are keeping me waiting for their blooms… This one is a little lop-sided because I had an accident with the strimmer earlier in the year and cut of one side! Oops.

I recently dressed a few of the borders, and the window border is now looking much better. However, it’s rather sparse… I think we’ve lost quite a few purple primulas from here. I can only see the one patch in this photo, when normally the bare area is pretty much all primula. I believe they’ve self-seeded here because I never added any and my neighbour also has some in her garden. If they are gone, I’ll pick up some vulgaris instead.

Oddly, the back garden seems worse off than the front… The back is almost full south so I’d expect the plants to survive longer than the almost north front??
There’s an ugly and very noticeable gap when viewing the border from the kitchen… I had planned to move things around and place grasses and short Asters here, but with all the wet weather I never got round to it. The wall is also in desperate need of repainting but also had to be put off due to poor weather.

Anyway, there is still some colour, but realistically from now on, colour will come only from the Erysimum.

The buddleja border is dying back, and the Aster needs moving because it’s leaning so much to get some sun. I’m not sure where I could possibly put it, so may have to give it to my parents.
No plans for this space next year… well apart from removing the Aster.

I’m amazed how quickly the Flat-topped Aster has died… I’m sure one moment it was still beautiful shades of red and gold now it’s black!

I need to move miscanthus ‘flamingo’ to the back of this border and bring forward the smaller Stipa, that is being blocked by Iris, Pulmonaria and then the Miscanthus.

A closer look; it isn’t a pretty sight. Although the Veronica are already producing their new growth for next year.

Acer Katsura seems to have sped through the ‘gem’ stage that it had last year with reds, greens, yellows and even blacks and gone to gold. I imagine if there’s any winds, the leaves will soon be down.

The birds have already descended on the garden; with a severe lack of wild berries and other fruits they have flocked into the garden earlier than normal and are leaving behind lots of ugly faeces for me…. I really hate seeing this all over the plants. I’m not sure where else I could site my bird feeders though so for now I’ll have to put up with it.

No plans real for this space next year, other than moving a geranium to the slope from the upper tier and to watch the many Herb Robert seedlings that have popped up. As much as I like the wild Geranium, it really did take over this year and I don’t want a repeat.

Copyright 2012 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.


8 thoughts on “End of Month – October 2012

  1. Your ferns are still doing well. Mine were some of the first plants to go, except for the Dryopteris.

    I like the deeply cut leaves of your Acer. It’s odd how the fall leaf colour can vary from year to year.

    If the birds are going to make a mess, then the speckled Pulmonaria is a good choice, as they will camouflage it well.

    • Hi NS,

      I’m unsure of the Fern hardiness here, but last year they didn’t die away at all and we had a very mild winter, but in previous years when we’ve had very heavy snow they have died back. The Japanese Painted Ferns do die away though.

      With the Acer, I think it’s the effect of a few days of solid fog that we had last week; it seemed to have a massive impact on most plants, and until then the garden had still been looking good but that just seemed to push everything over the edge.

      I’d rather not have bird mess everywhere tbh, but I guess it’s an unavoidable outcome of feeding the birds.

  2. Please could you post some longer shots so we can see what the whole garden looks like in different seasons. I live overseas and had to leave my lovely garden behind – I get a lot of vicarious pleasure from blogs like yours! Thank you for sharing it.

    • Hi,

      Thanks; I’ve some other purple Aster – not the same as this with the golden centres, but they’re in shady spots so it’s not so easy to get good photos… Need to move them for next year!

  3. Still looking great Liz. I must make a note to get grasses and rudbekia for next year, there are too many flat and empty patches in the garden now. Your blue Asters are making me think I may change the pink border at the bottom of the garden and put some blue ones in. NB note to self!

    • Hi Ronnie,

      The photos were a bit dull – taken after work before the sun went down… Well, it was already well on its way to being down. Grasses will definitely help fill some patches for you… Especially the Stipa which is nice and light and airy without being overpowering or dominating a border. And because they flow in the breeze they can fill those empty spaces well.

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