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

Mushrooms

One thing I did notice on Hallow’een was how many mushrooms we have growing out our lawn.  I told the children that they were witches’ toadstools and that they were Not To Touch.

My photos are a bit crappy – my book on mushrooms says to take photos of them, you need to lie down on your front.  However, our lawn is sodden and I couldn’t face the extra washing.

My son wanted these to be Destroying Angel mushrooms (deadly poisonous) but I think they are Shaggy Ink Caps
My son wanted these to be Destroying Angel mushrooms (deadly poisonous) but I think they are Shaggy Ink Caps
Here they are
Here they are
Brown birch bolete (think this has been trodden on / hit by the robot lawnmower)
Brown birch bolete (think this has been trodden on / hit by the robot lawnmower)
Field mushroom
Field mushroom
It looks a bit boxy but I think this is also a field mushroom
It looks a bit boxy but I think this is also a field mushroom
Not sure what this is - perhaps Psathyrella multipedata?
Not sure what this is – perhaps Psathyrella multipedata?
God knows what this is
God knows what this is
Or this - probably another field mushroom
Or this – probably another field mushroom

Small pleasures

Recently my ears have kept getting blocked.  Not all the time – but whenever I have had a bath, it has felt as though I’ve been underwater for a good couple of days afterwards.  I’d put this down to having a cold but a couple of days ago, I got my husband to put some drops of Otex in my right ear.  O! The bliss!  I lay on one side for an hour, listening to my ear fizz and pop.  Yesterday was the third day I’d put drops in my right ear and it still fizzes so clearly that was the problem all along.  The only downside is that now I’ve softened up my earwax, dark brown stuff keep coming out my right earhole (but perhaps that is the point).

I’ll start on my left ear soon (I don’t want to do both ears at the same time as I am a bit deaf – but not very – immediately after I’ve done the drops and being deaf in both ears is a bit miserable).

I have been told that warmed olive oil will do the job just as well – and I’m sure it would – BUT then I wouldn’t get that delicious crackling.  You’ve got to love that urea hydrogen peroxide.

The other day, the children and I stopped to admire this mushroom growing out of a wall.

It looks like a brain!
It looks like a brain!

It’s rather sod’s law that I now can’t find the book about mushrooms I bought a while ago.

More mushrooms

One advantage of the rain we’ve had lately is that it has produced some fantastic mushrooms.  We have a giant pile of thatch and moss that got produced the last time we scarified the lawn which appears to provide some good conditions for mushrooms.  I wish I’d remembered to bring down that little book on mushrooms just so I could have the pleasure of ticking them off.

These are enormous - excuse my crappy nail varnish
These are enormous – excuse my crappy nail varnish

Books for wishful thinking

Every now and then I buy a book that, really, is just wishful thinking.  For instance this guide to mushroom spotting.  In theory, the kids and I are going to wander round our garden and the woods nearby with it, ticking off the mushrooms we see and having a jolly, wholesome time.

Mushroom guide!
Mushroom guide!

In practice, they will look mildly interested in the first mushroom then get cross that I won’t let them poke it.  Then they will lose all interest.

The other day, my 2016 National Trust guide arrived.  I think this is the ultimate in wishful thinking – I like to imagine that we will go on day trips out to National Trust places, wearing our wellies and enjoying lots of fresh air.  In practice, the National Trust sticker is really useful for parking for free in some of the carparks in the IoW.

National Trust
National Trust

Stuff my children are not allowed to poke

Until my laptop has been fixed, I’m not going to post as often as usual.  I do have my really ancient laptop but it’s so damn clunky, writing posts isn’t such a pleasure (am writing this on my phone).

However, I did see some cool stuff yesterday.  Walking back from soft play with my son, we saw a load of mushrooms, a dead rodent and a man fixing a spaghetti junction of telephone wires.  None of which he was allowed to prod.

I've never seen mushrooms growing on the pavement before
I’ve never seen mushrooms growing on the pavement before
Mouse or rat?
Mouse or rat?
Bunch of wires
Bunch of wires