Gardening

There isn’t a whole lot to do in the garden this time of year but I wanted to try out my new secateurs.

Here they are! Japanese and very sharp

I ended up chopping a load of lavender that I hadn’t wanted to cut back at the end of August as it was still flowering quite well, some grasses that had got out of control and some nepeta.

I still have a globe thistle that is in flower and the winter flowering heliotrope is doing awfully well.  Everything else is pretty dormant – perhaps unsurprising as it got down to 2C the other night.

Winter flowering heliotrope

Garden at the end of November

This weekend I did a bit more of the Autumn clearing work.  I’m pretty much finished, except that my hydrangeas still have their brown flowerhead on.  I think Kim once said that the flowerhead help to protect the plant so I might leave them there until February.

Herb garden

The herb garden is looking a bit sparse but I hope that it will perk up once we get back into Spring.  I need to put a load of wood chip down, which I’ll do next time.

The slugs have eaten this pelargonium
This is still pretty (and there are still some bees around to enjoy it)
Rose garden

I spent ages clearing out the weeds from the rose garden.  It’s the sort of job that I always think is going to take about twenty minutes and then I ended up filling a builder’s sack (which is yet to go to the dump).

The foxgloves are doing quite well
Lawn is covered in mushrooms
The Japanese garden is looking quite bare but I like it
Sweet violets. I tried to grow these from seed but it didn’t work. My gardener brought me a tray of them (he’d had more success in his garden). I’d assumed they wouldn’t survive but they are doing really well

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.