Yippee! It’s Autumn!

My son went back to school last week – my daughter goes back to preschool tomorrow.  It’s sunny but still chilly enough for me to be wearing a cardigan.  It’s Autumn!  My favourite month.  I love September.

My favourite month

My garden has been bumbling along, same as usual.  My husband has bought a chainsaw and has done a deliciously brutal hack of a load of shrubs in the bed outside the library.  I hope that this means that the hydrangeas end up being a bit happier – I think the spot has been too shady for the oak-leaved hydrangeas (the American ones, with flowers shaded a bit like the buddleia).

The flowers were finished much earlier than usual – I think this is because we had such a hot, dry April.  We gave the wildflower patch a brutal hack well before the end of August.

Wildflower patch

The plants left are the foxgloves that I grew from seed.  It should do the jasmine some good to have nothing in its way before the sun disappears.

Over the summer, we also got a couple of conifers taken out at the front.  They had terrible wind burn (that spot gets a lot of wind and sea spray).  In their place, we have put an arch and planted a couple of roses.  I can’t find a picture so will put one up a bit later.  The roses we planted are Malvern Hills by David Austin.  There were only a few climbers / ramblers that were okay for a coastal spot and the yellow roses should look pretty in that spot.

Apple harvest

Hello again.  I know it’s been a while.  We’re now four weeks into the school holidays and have our third set of visitors staying.

Our apple tree has done really well this year and we have loads of apples.  Some have fallen to the ground and are bruised / rotten / full of worms.  However, there are lots that are okay.  I put them in a basket in the pantry.

The bad apples have gone in the compost bin.  They’re weighing down the contents and I hope will make good compost.

These are the unbrusied / non worm infested apples
The bad apples
Compost bin

Jobs for the Autumn

Another job for the autumn (or earlier) will be to hack out this laburnum branch, which has cracked and is now dangling right over the wildflower patch.

Laburnum needs pruning

I’ve been pulling out a load of grass and bindweed which has come up on the bank at the back of the garden.  The foxglove seedlings are still there (and are quite a bit bigger) but look as though slugs have eaten quite a lot.  They are meant to be really poisonous so perhaps that’s why they haven’t disappeared altogether.

The fennel will also need cutting right back – it’s taken over the rose garden a bit.

Think we’ll have to think of something to cook with fennel bulbs

The heucheras will need pruning too, once they’ve stopped flowering.  Most of the ones I put on the bank have died but this one is still going well.

Bees love this

There are some orange bulb flowers that have come up and are very pretty but I have no idea what they are.  If you know, please could you tell me?

Mystery plant. Pretty though – rather Autumnal

However, the berries have started

I am absolutely loving some of the berries that have started appearing.  These guelder rose berries look even better in person.

Guelder rose

The honeysuckle has now stopped flowering and has berries.

Honeysuckle berries

The brambles (evil, mutant plants that are determined to make my garden into the one out of Sleeping Beauty during the hundred years’ curse) have also started producing blackberries.  I did try one and it was a little too tart – but in a week they should be amazing.

These have come into our garden from next door. It’s probably okay to pick a few, right?

One plant that hasn’t produced many berries is this is the blackcurrent.  I think it is too overshadowed by the guelder rose – I’ll chop that back once we get into Autumn.

Compost bin at the end of November

The pumpkins have rotted down nicely and I ended up putting a load of leaves that I picked out the herb patch into the compost bin.  They’ll need a few green things on top but that should be okay.

Compost bin.
Compost bin

It’s unlikely that much will happen to the compost over the next few days / weeks.  I am told (by my Mum) that it is going to be cold this week.  I’ve had a look at the BBC weather app and today it is meant to be 0C (32F) at 9am in London and tomorrow it is meant to be -3C (27F) at 9am.  Woohoo!  The new down parka was not a total waste of money!

It is also going to be cold in the IoW but it isn’t going to get below freezing (because it almost never does here).

It’s going to be colder – but only for a couple of days

I wore my new parka for the first time yesterday.  The day before it had been far milder but yesterday the day started off at about 4C (39F).  I felt cold in my wool coat so therefore judged that my parka could now be reasonably worn.

I think the Landsend wardrobe said that the parka had been tested down to -32C (-26F), when worn with a typical winter wardrobe.  I had worried that I would sweat in it but I was comfortable enough.  Realistically, I am never going to find out whether Landsend’s claims hold up (unless I visit northern Canada in the depths of winter).  Possibly, although it has been tested down to -32C, the website doesn’t say whether the wearer was still snuggly warm at that temperature.  It is possible that they were utterly frozen.  Humans aren’t really meant to live at -32C.

London’s trees have nearly lost all their leaves.  I keep meaning to take my camera out and then forgetting so these photos were taken with my iPhone.

Most of the leaves are on the ground
Most of the leaves are on the ground
Some are on the cars
Some are on the cars
Don't you just love Autumn?
Don’t you just love Autumn?

The author of this blog has said that we are in for a cold winter.  I think I would enjoy a cold winter, although it wouldn’t suit everybody.

It’s been a funny year

I’m not going to write much about Donald Trump; there’s lots about him on the news and on Twitter / Facebook already.  No matter what, he won’t be in power for more than eight years.  Unlike Brexit, which is bloody permanent.

It’s finally got a bit colder in the UK.  Today we even had rain!  Blessed, delicious rain!  Here are some pictures I took earlier.

The Barbican in Autumn
The Barbican in Autumn