Friday, 4 November 2011
End of month view for October
Slightly late (and confessing that somehow I managed to miss last month entirely) here is the end of month view for October, hosted by Helen at patientgardener
I have lost it a bit with the garden as the winds blow. The winds here in our bit of North Wales have been from the South and East for more than a week. The good thing about that is that the temperatures are higher than usual for the beginning of November. The bad thing is that our house is perfectly protected from the westerly and north westerly winds which prevail around here. We are tucked down and barely feel a ripple as the winds go by. A south easterly though comes roaring across the valley and shakes the yew trees and drives me inside. Today the wind had gone and it was a still, blue and gold day. I planted some of the ludicrous numbers of tulip bulbs bought from Peter Nyssen out into the cutting garden - two of the big squares, both in triangles of Abu Hassan and Ballerina.
I love them both. I have been growing Ballerina for so long now that there is a part of me that feels it is becoming a cliche but its lovely form and singing colour still works so brilliantly that I shall not change for the sake of novelty. There is plenty of other room in the garden for varieties I have not grown before.
The side garden is now almost entirely foliage. The hellebores and sweet box (sarcococca humilis) in the foreground will become more and more important as we go into winter. It's not very exciting but it's not dreadful either as the contrasting colours and forms of the foliage take over from colour.
Out in the field it is the changing leaf colour which is most striking. All the wildflowers have gone and the grass has been cut. The damson and cherry are losing their golden leaves while the wild cherry at the back is a fine red/gold.
The cutting garden has finished really. Everything is battered and much is flattened and gone to seed. Yet there is still beauty in the cosmos, flowering as ever right to the wire. I had totally given up hope of the acidanthera in the centre here when it suddenly burst into beautiful and delicate flower more reminiscent to my eye of spring. The annual rudbeckia has also gone on and on pumping out yellow and mahogany flowers above its rather coarse and uninspiring foliage.
Down along the field boundary the new bed which I have filled with hellebores and hardy geraniums is also focussed on leaf colour.
The sunny bank looks a bit bare where we have lost some of the conifer and, as it fell into the old quince tree and snapped it, some of the quince too. But get closer and there are still salvias and valerian flowering away and it is full of bees and hoverflies when the moment is right. Not this moment obviously. They saw me coming.
This is a picture which should come with some sort of disclaimer. The kitchen garden is a total mess of weeds and dying plants at the moment but somehow this picture makes it look ok. Do not be fooled. The camera does, after all, lie.
At the far end of the garden where the chickens are supposedly enclosed when they feel like it, the two new houses which hold the Scots Dumpies and the new Welsummers have created a feeling of chicken city. Any minute now I expect them to be hanging out their washing on lines strung between the runs and setting up stalls selling street food.
There are some unexpected pleasures too. The wall at the end of the drive, although of old stone, is normally just a wall. At this time of year the cotoneaster which covers it is a red, geometric beauty. I know cotoneaster can be invasive but here it is not and the shapes it creates are beautiful. By Christmas if we get cold weather all these berries will have been taken by birds.
And these are not really garden pictures at all I suppose but I love the way the rosehips swell and the trees begin to reveal their shapes as the leaves fall.