End of Month View: the Clock is Ticking

As I took photos for this End 0f Month View, hosted by Helen aka Patient Gardener, it confirmed in my mind just how much the seasonal clock was ticking and how shortly the garden would have a well deserved rest and not demand much in the way of attention for a few months. Indeed, having finished planting the bulbs yesterday apart from the ‘Angelique’ tulips which will go in the pots in the foreground of the picture below (where the ‘pink’ wallflowers have suddenly started putting on a growth spurt after sitting there sullenly for a year without doing anything) my garden tasks today involved only sweeping up some leaves and sorting out pots in the greenhouse. There will be more sweeping in the next few weeks and some pruning, but for a few months my rambles will have a very different focus. To see how all the following  pictures fit together, take a look at a map of the garden.

IMG_0351I have a good view of many of the trees in the garden from the kitchen windows (a better view since I trimmed some of the lower wisteria fronds yesterday) and from the above picture you can see that they are still fairly fully clothed and green but will gradually progress to their winter skeletons, maybe overnight if there is a sharp frost. I can, however, look forward to this season’s addition of viburnum, cornus and callicarpa, the red stems of Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ already visible in the smallest if the square lead effect pots. Below, looking towards the sheds  along the streamside edge where new crocus have just been planted reminds me every time I look at it that repairing the stream will still have to be tackled

IMG_0352This view through the woodland has been partially obscured for a week or so by the huge heap of plum tree prunings which was reduced by half yesterday when the Golfer had another blitz on shredding until the rain set in. It is such an undemanding area, requiring nothing but admiration and an occasional replenishing of the bark path; removing the odd dandelion or wild garlic head does not come amiss either:

IMG_0353The main borders, now largely devoid of colour other than green, have had some gentle pruning and some minor rearrangement recently, but will now be keeping a low profile until the spring and the first species tulips. Over winter I will be planning how to fill some of the seasonal gaps in these beds, although I hope to have a good range of aquilegia to add if my seedlings prove to be successful! Most of the leaves here have come not from our woodland but from a huge beech tree in the large garden to the left of ours – those still on the tree are showing a beautiful range of colours, seemingly changing from the middle of the tree outwards. The hostas in the pots have just collapsed in the last couple of weeks but overall they have proved to be such an attractive feature and will be added  to next year.

IMG_0354It is still early days for the clematis and the underplanted geraniums, but I do need to enrich the soil in the beds and will hand fork in some compost in the next week or two. Now all the plants have been in at least one full season they should begin to fill out and make more of a statement next year. At the end of the colonnade, behind the Buddha and in front of Spirit of the Garden, there is a strip of border left from the previous configuration of the garden which needs a bit of titivating, as it was originally left until a decision was made on its future; now that it is staying there is some brickwork that needs to be addressed, the sort of job to be done when there is a scrap of spare mortar.

IMG_0355The woodland edge border, another success story, firstly looking from the main herbaceous borders and secondly in the other direction with your back to the right hand hot border – not many months till the first of the hellebores….

EOMV.Oct13.1 The hot borders, described recently in It Ain’t Half Hot :

EOMV.Oct13.2The blue & white borders, transformed into a more intimate space by the addition of The Wall and moving the bench back to this location from its last position facing where it is now. These borders have filled up nicely and should be bulking up like a body builder next season but there will still be room for improvement:

IMG_0360The rose garden, also filling up nicely with the underplanted lavenders and rose ‘Blush Noisette’ on the surrounding fences but still awaiting the settling in of the ‘Guinea’ climbing roses to accompany the less demanding ‘Drouhin’. There is work to be done in the area out of the picture to the right, on either side of the ‘bus shelter’, but again the soil requires improvement for real progress to be made.

IMG_0361The areas in the last two pictures don’t always feature in EOMVs – the species snowdrop border looking from the back of the house and the revamped hedge border from the same point but looking in the other direction. The latter has settled in most satisfactorily since its creation in April and has perhaps benefited from a slightly less ad hoc planting experience, whereas the former has had some additions to give interest later in the season but will also enjoy increased light following the Plum Tree Lop.

EOMV.Oct13.3I do enjoy these End of Month Views, both visiting other people’s gardens through the links and the platform it gives me to view my own garden somewhat more objectively from month to month and indeed year to year. Do join in and reap the benefits for yourself by posting your own link at Helen’s blog at Patient Gardener.

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12 Responses to End of Month View: the Clock is Ticking

  1. Christina says:

    I do admire the colour of your bench, pergola and fencing. It really works well with the planting and must also be very attractive in the low winter light. Your images certainly show that winter is close at hand.

    • Cathy says:

      You are right about the colour – it looks good at any time of year – but winter? Not that close, I hope, although if it brings with it hellebores and snowdrops then bring it on!

  2. Annette says:

    Funny, how your garden is so very autumnal already but then we’re about to dip into November and that’s the way it should be, I suppose. I think your woodland is really a success, Cathy. I also need to improve the soil in lots of places this autumn as it only now shows how poor it is in places. Thankfully the mules provide plenty of manure… 😉

    • Cathy says:

      Our chickens do their best, but can’t compete with mules… With having a fair few trees the leaves obviously contribute hugely to the autumnal effect – and yet they have only just started dropping

  3. Helen says:

    You have finished your bulb planting!!! I still have much to do. And you have as specimen snowdrop border, I am so jealous! But you have lots of fallen leaves so I can see why you query my lack of leaves

    Thanks for joining in again this month

    • Cathy says:

      There was a certain advantage to receiving the bulbs late – I felt duty bound to plant them straight away! Mind you, I think the fact that they were in 10s and 20s instead of 25s this year probably meant there were fewer of each type. I began putting my species snowdrops in a special bed right from the the start when I only had two or three so that they didn’t get mixed up with the bog-standard one. I am hoping they all do better this year as they suffered quite a bit of disturbance last year

  4. Holleygarden says:

    So interesting to me that you are beginning to wind down on your garden chores, whereas here, the weather is finally cool enough for me to start doing some heavy gardening! I love your woodland garden. And I expect it will just get even more beautiful this winter as the hellebores begin to bloom!

    • Cathy says:

      I find it fascinating too to see how the weather and gardening seasons vary from place to place – hope you enjoy your heavy gardening! The fact that neither the woodland nor woodland edge border really need any maintenance makes them all the better!

  5. So much to look forward to come spring, I do ove the woodland edge borders – and as Christina says, the colour you chose for your woodwork, I recently recommended it to a friend, I must point her at your blog so that she knows what I mean. I am already regretting not forking out for more hellebores for the front garden.

    • Cathy says:

      I struggle to resist a pretty hellebore! Even though Cuprinol do a wider range of their Heritage Shades I think I would still have my Wild Thyme – and it’s good to hear others saying how good it looks. Thank you!

  6. Anna says:

    Enjoyed your EOMV Cathy and look forward to seeing your special snowdrops emerge in the spring. Those ribbons looks even more striking to my eyes than they did earlier in the year.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thanks Anna – yes, my special snowdrops were a non-event this year 😦 And I too am noticing the ribbons more now there is less in the way of other colour in the garden

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