End of Month – October 2014
The gardening year is well and truly at its end here as almost all plants and blooms are gone; helped along by the dregs of ex hurricane gonzalo. Sadly it took with it most of the pretty leaves, so everything is suddenly very bare in only the space of a week. Plants I hadn’t even noticed were turning colour probably had their leaves ripped off before I had the chance to see them – Fuji Cherry Kojo-no-mai and Acer ‘Garnet’ are two that spring to mind and usually have lovely autumn colours. I think the drop in temperatures with the ex-hurricane also sped along the decaying, because after looking back at last year I think we are well ahead this year. I’d love to be able to cut the grass too, but with regular rain it’s too wet and I need at least a few days to a week of dry weather before my clay soil is dry enough to cut the grass… Much jealous of my dad who was able to cut the grass this weekend thanks to their wonderfully perfect soil.
It’s time to empty the hanging baskets and renew some pots for the winter with something a little more interesting than dying petunias… A job for this weekend I think. I’ve been busy at my parents’ planting the last of the bulbs for them and I’m looking forward to seeing the spring/summer show. This year I’ve planted 400 Crocus, 200 Alliums and 100 Snowdrops; add this to those I planted last year (assuming they’ve survived my dad digging them up.)
I think in general the garden would benefit from a quick tidy. I’m struggling to just leave the plants to die back… It’s at that point where many plants look messy but if I can persevere I know eventually they will dry out and look beautiful in a dead kind of way. And of course they’re handy for pretty frost and snow photos.
I’m surprised to see Acer Katsura shows no signs of changing yet, although I am also grateful that it’s holding on! Also soon we’ll have some more colour in the garden with the winter Jasmine developing buds.
The difficulty with having a tiered garden is ensuring borders are interesting from all sides… This year the top side of the right border has been disappointing with some plants becoming too leggy and flopping, strangling other plants around them and it just ended up being messy and unimpressive.
And here’s the bottom side of the border, which is usually very nice in spring but then in summer and autumn lacks interest and… well… looks terrible as the plants die back. That wouldn’t usually be a problem but this is the main border one sees as they look out of the back of the house and so I become quite frustrated with it. Some years the Cosmos last well into December, so I can turn a blind eye, but this year the Cosmos has died early and I’m struggling to overlook the other faults – many caused by the high winds as things have been blown around and damaged.
Fuji Cherry is one I missed before the majority of its leaves were blown away so could only photograph the last few which looked nice with grass in the background. I also missed most of the leaves turning on Acer Garnet, so only managed a few photos of the last few holding on.
Looking back on last year’s photos has also made me realise how much I’ve missed the small Asters this year. All seem to have disappeared – not sure why as it was such a mild winter?
However, thankfully Aster Lady in Black is doing extra well this year and I believe has more blooms on it than ever before.