In the less than two weeks that we've been back there's been plenty of rain, the lawns are now lush and green but it's too wet to mow, fallen leaves are too wet to either rake up or collect with the mower, but due to reasonably mild temperatures the weeds in the veggie patch have gone crazy! At long last there is autumn colour in the leaves and there are still flowers and plenty of veggies to eat, not to mention far too many apples. We've given away bagsful to neighbours and stored as many as we have room for in the garage, and I've collected, dried and bagged up nearly 2,000 walnuts (yes, I counted!).
The weather makes me feel rather blase about what needs doing and I'm probably not alone in not feeling much like getting out there doing stuff. I did manage to dig up a few of the perennial plants from my Pollinators Meadow which I want to keep, but as I don't know where I'm going to put them yet I've just planted them up in pots and hope they survive through winter like that. I'll worry about it all next year! I have cleared a strip of weeds and readied it for planting out my garlic, and am halfway through cutting out the old blackberry canes and trying to tie in metres of new canes to the wires, which is a job and a half. Most of this dressed in waterproofs, as even if it wasn't raining, everything is dripping wet!
|Blighted tomatoes. They'll still be blighted next week/month, |
so where's the hurry to clear up?
|View of the veg patch, a bit of a messy weedy jungle but still productive, although I have |
still not got round to staking up my PSB which got blown about by the storm!
|Still?!! Bloody things just won't stop...... :-)|
No seriously, I do think this is the last one. I ought to pick it!
|Taken at the weekend when we had a bit of sun. |
Top are Borage flowers and below left, Rocket and right, Coriander flowers.
|The Year 2 Pollinator Meadow is still flowering!|
|One good reason not to tidy up too soon, and to stop deadheading the Cosmos.|
These Goldfinches love the seed.
Away from the veggie patch, the stream started flowing again and the lake is already full! I had to spend an afternoon in the stream bed on the other side of the fence removing loads of fallen dead wood that I didn't want washed up against my perimeter fence, and my OH found yet another hole to repair to try to keep out coypu and foxes.
|Ducks now with a little cover over their food, |
as their pellets were turning to porridge in the rain.
Out in the ornamental gardens there are still some flowers hanging on in there because we have yet to have a frost.
|Bidens, which usually happily stands upright, is now flopping over |
the lawn due to the winds and storm whilst we were away.
|My smaller Yucca, a baby that I transplanted years ago, |
has its first flower bud! A bit late and it may never come to anything.
Some plants that have finished flowering still look good as seed heads despite the weather throwing everything at them.
|Garlic Chive (Allium tuberosum) seed heads looking attractive.|
Onto autumn colours. A week ago not a lot was changing other than some of my shrubs and trees planted specifically for autumn foliage colour. Yet suddenly in the last few days the general colour in the garden has gone from green tinged with dirty brown to a far more pleasant overall rich golden colour. I took these pictures six days ago and a lot's changed already since then!
|My precious Cercis Canadensis 'Forest Pansy' changes colour |
very early so by now there are very few leaves left at all.
|Whilst the Smoke Bushes, such as this Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple', |
are in their element right now.
|And at last my wonderful Liquidambar has gone from |
sad looking pale yellow leaves dropping due to drought,
to the beginnings of its true 'fall' colours.
Finally, you know me by now, I can never resist a butterfly! Over the weekend there were some periods of sunshine, and sure enough, out came some hardy butterflies. I saw three different species and decided I needed to capture perhaps my last butterfly of the year, this lovely Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta). (Even though I already have hundreds of photos of them taken over the last few years!)
|Oh so tatty and desperate to feel the sun on its wings.|
|It did have a little feed on this Verbena bonariensis that had flopped over |
onto the gravel, but was more interested in just sitting sunning itself.
I really can't blame it!
Some dry but cooler weather is forecast from tomorrow onwards and even some sun, so I'm hoping to get more done outside. We have a 'tree man' coming to do some work clearing some dead trees and thinning some others out, plus pruning our huge Leylandii hedges, so dry weather is just what we need right now!