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.

Garden at the end of May

French lavender
Bottom of the garden
Geranium Phaeum
Blue geranium – this didn’t flower last year but it is looking super this year
Blue geranium from the back
Californian lilac
Honeysuckle and clematis – this covers a really ugly wooden fence
Wildflower patch

Wildflower patch

The wildflower patch is starting to look rather nice.  I had been getting a bit nervy, partly because this is the first year that I haven’t sown any wildflower seed or planted foxgloves in this patch.  However, there appear to be quite a few things there.  Plus when I took these photos, I saw a male orange tip.

Forget me not
Red helleborine?

Although the plant above looks like red helleborine (from the picture in my book), it is described as “rare, protected by law” so it might not be.  The book does say that it grows in woods and shady places which sort of covers my wildflower patch so it is possible I suppose.

The meadow once cleared

So here is a picture of my meadow, now that all the plants have been cleared and taken to the dump (I ended up filling two big builders’ sacks).

Meadow
Meadow

It will look like this all Autumn and Winter (basically, terrible) and then will perk up once we get to Spring.  I still have a few foxgloves, which I hope will flower next year.

I’ve also weeded the lower garden (the one with the Acers) and the herb garden and have put the shredded bush clippings on top to try to suppress the weeds somewhat.

Lower garden
Lower garden
Herb garden
Herb garden

I have made one awesome discovery – the violets I’d put in the lower garden have (on the whole) survived!   They were just hiding behind a bunch of weeds.  This is good news, I’d assumed the slugs had got them.

My husband is pleased with the oregano growing in the herb garden (it probably needs a prune soon).  The thyme is also doing well.  For some reason lemon thyme doesn’t do very well in my garden, despite being in a dry, sunny spot.  Do any of you know why this is?

Our lovely friends left this morning and another set of lovely friends are turning up at noon.  I’d better go and check the washing.

Foxgloves and laburnum

So my foxgloves are looking pretty good.  Although, they were rather too leggy, they have still flowered and are quite nice.

Foxgloves
Foxgloves
Wildflower meadow
Wildflower meadow

The thing about wildflower meadows is that they look AWESOME from a distance and a bit of a mess up close.  Rather like a Monet.

The laburnum has flowered above the wild flowers and is looking very pretty too.  There’s something I really like about bright yellow flowers.

Laburnum
Laburnum

Wildflower meadow in May

My wildflower meadow has started to really perk up.  The ox-eye daisies haven’t flowered yet but there is a lot that is.

Here it is
Here it is

One of my foxgloves have just started to flower – it’s bent over in rather a witchy fashion but I like it.  My other foxgloves are looking a bit strange – very tall and leggy with a much shorter flower than you usually see.  I wonder whether this is because I grew them for seed; perhaps I should have planted them out much earlier.  The smaller ones that I planted out in the shaded garden aren’t yet flowering but are a more orthodox shape.

Foxglove
Foxglove

We’ve got lots of some sort of pink and white flowers in patches at the edge of the garden.   Some are, rather prettily, on top of our wall.  It’s probably not doing the wall any good but never mind.

Our wall
Our wall

Plant haul

On Tuesday, my husband and I dropped the kids at the nursery in the IoW and drove to a garden centre called Thompson’s, which is near Amazon World.  I had a few things I wanted to get – some of my plants hadn’t survived from last year (perhaps I am overzealous with the pruning) and I wanted replacements.

Replacing plants tends to make me feel guilty.  I think it’s the act of digging up the rootball and bunging it on the compost heap.  I was a bit irritated that my pink lavender had died (except for a few green bits at the side) as all the others were looking super and it had been quite hard to find a Loddon Pink.

Plant haul!
Plant haul!

I found a white lupin, some sea holly, a globe thistle, some Miss Katherine lavender (pink flowers – replacement for the Loddon Pink), rosemary and a plant I can’t remember the name of (but is meant to be okay with some shade).

I do like garden centres.  Perhaps I am getting old.  A well stocked garden centre is a beautiful thing.  This one even had all the types of mint I’ve been eyeing up – chocolate, Apple, ginger.  Unfortunately, I haven’t convinced my husband that planting mint won’t colonise the lawn.

We had lunch there and I saw this handsome beast.

I gave him some of my tuna.  He was grateful
I gave him some of my tuna. He was grateful

My husband bought a dalek compost bin (he is unsatisfied with my compost bin’s slow progress), some compost accelerater, a hedge trimmer, some plant food and some extra parts for the garden hose.

My daughter helped me plant my plants and she was actually helpful.  I dug the hole, she put compost in, I put the plant in and we both filled the hole in with soil and compost.  It took about seven years but that is okay.

While I was about it, I watered a load of my plants, including the wildflower patch.  One of the foxgloves has a spire that is bending over sideways, making me thing it may lack water.  Of course, it may just not be that great a plant.