End of Month View: Swings and Roundabouts

I love photographing the garden for our Monthly End of Views, the meme hosted by Helen the Patient Gardener. It enables me to compare progress from month to month and from year to year, reminding me how variable the temperate climate of the UK is and how ephemeral our gardens are. I have found myself remembering that barely 10 years ago gardeners were talking about planting more drought resistant plants because of our drier summers and yet since then there have been a number of relatively wet ones – and this year summers across the UK have varied greatly according to the location. I have just sent a number of digital photographs of the garden retrieved from our almost defunct desk top computer to be printed; dating from my first digital photos in 2003 up to the return of my last laptop when I finished work in 2011 and therefore predating the blog I was surprised by many of the images, having all but forgotten previous incarnations of the garden or at least the finer details of them. Ephemeral indeed, so let’s enjoy every moment of them, whatever the season and whatever the weather.

The end of the month has brought with it plenty of leaves as you will see as we ramble around, with every hint of a breeze bringing more tumbling or sailing to the ground. In our part of the UK we have experienced very little in the way of wind this year, and I have enjoyed seeing the gentle swaying of trees and the hearing the rustling of the remaining leaves in recent autumn days. Leaf sweeping will now become a regular task as the trees become increasingly bare. In the photograph below, of the paved area immediately behind the house, the magnolia (mid top, now yellow leaved) presents us with a new carpet of leaves every morning:

IMG_6098The streamside and shrub border are full of interest with several grasses, the crab apple, yellow roses in bloom and Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ covered in increasingly pink buds:

IMG_6099I especially enjoy walking through this part of the garden in the other direction:

IMG_6112The woodland is definitely autumnal!

IMG_6101Some colour still in the herbaceous beds (and lots of leaves), first shown from Bill’s chimney…

IMG_6111…and then from ground level:

IMG_6102The clematis colonnade, with the Acer griseum in front of it just beginning to turn, something I had not noticed until this photograph was uploaded to the post!

IMG_6104The woodland edge border, from both directions (isn’t The Dragon wonderful?):

IMG_6103 IMG_6105The bold borders – new, right, left, the latter still very bright and bold:

IMG_6106 IMG_6107 IMG_6108 See yesterday’s post for the cutting beds, and turn towards the blue and white borders which are cluttered with transitional debris from the archway which stood in front of the gate in the wall, leading to the greenhouses and adjacent areas:

IMG_6109The rose garden, still with a rose or two:

IMG_6110Walking through the rose garden, the clematis colonnade beyond and the herbaceous borders and back towards the house, we get to the special snowdrop border where I have taken out tatty foliage of annuals to tidy it up ready for the main occupants. I have peeked amongst the geraniums and hellebores for promising shoots but it is a little early to expect anything – however, most of the pots of snowdrops with the dry bulbs I bought in early autumn do have promising roots pushing through the bottom:

IMG_6113I wonder if the garden will be fully leafless by the end of next month, and how many frosts we will have seen by then… In the meantime, do pop over to Helen’s blog to see her garden at the end of October and follow links to see others across the globe.




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27 Responses to End of Month View: Swings and Roundabouts

  1. Love the design of your garden and it is such fun to see it as the seasons pass.

    My climate is very similar to yours and we to have had wet years and dry years, but what I’ve noticed, and our larger trees are noticing, is that the trend in my location over the past 15 years is that it is getting drier over time. I live between the ocean and two mountain ranges with vast forested areas; the forested areas are really struggling.

  2. Brian Skeys says:

    As you say Cathy, leaf sweeping is going to be one of the main jobs for a while. What is going into the empty pots?

  3. Our weather seems to be much drier. The weather people see it happening too. This year is exceptional. This is normally one of our wettest months and we haven’t had even half as much as normal. What is the new normal? Makes one wonder. Maybe ElNino will give us a good shot of rain this winter. Leaves are the big thing here. I mulch up a storm. Trees are beginning to look a bit bare yet there are still more to drop.

  4. Cathy says:

    Lovely to have a look around your garden at this time of year. I am absolutely convinced I want a Red Dragon now!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy – the Dragon is really sprawling by this time of year, lounging about as if he hasn’t a care in the world…

  5. Sam says:

    There’ still a lot of interest going on in your garden. It’s lovely to see the structure and bones of a garden at this time of year. Your dahlias and nasturtiums are ignoring the fact that it’s November tomorrow!

  6. homeslip says:

    I do love a ramble round your garden Cathy. There is just so much to see and the fallen leaves lend such a romantic air. My garden hasn’t started shedding leaves yet and the neighbours only have high hedges except for one lovely amelanchier whose leaves turned and fell within a matter of weeks this year. It was good to catch up with your cutting garden the other day (I picked one anemone yesterday) and I’ve been thinking about your late April wedding. I would certainly try for an anemone coronaria flowering (Crocus and de Jaeger have bulbs now) but maybe have a backup of Paperwhite narcissi, red tulips and blue muscari? What an honour to be asked to do the flowers for your daughter’s wedding.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sarah – and there are so many things to love about autumn when you stop and think about it. Thanks for support for the wedding flowers – I think I will go ahead with options A, B AND C… 🙂

  7. Pauline says:

    I enjoyed my wander round your garden Cathy, like you, we have a garden covered in leaves, mainly from the horse chestnuts and the ash, I must get out soon and start raking them up. Do you save yours for leaf mould? You still have lots of spots of colour, I’m assuming thanks to the mild weather we have been enjoying, some plants just don’t know when to stop!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Pauline. I quite enjoy raking and sweeping leaves – despite the quantity! Some years I will collect for leaf mould, others not. It just seems to take ages to breakdown but the eventual results are great, aren’t they?

  8. Anna says:

    Many, many falling leaves here too Cathy. They were falling and floating this morning in the fog. Great to hear that your recent snowdrop purchases are showing roots 🙂

  9. Helen Johnstone says:

    Looking good, your garden structures really start coming into their own at this time of year

  10. Rick Nelson says:

    A truly autumnal look, this year the leaves are dropping very quickly here without a frost which usually acts a catalyst, maybe it is something to do with the dry weather.

  11. Seeing your garden with all the leaves is lovely. It also shows off the structure of the areas you have create. That’s got me thinking as I have no structures at all!

  12. Chloris says:

    Lovely to walk round your autumnal garden. Leaf sweeping makes me feel like Sisyphus, so I don’ t do a lot of it. The ones on the lawn get mown up. I do like to fill a few bin bags though. If they are damp they make lovely leaf mould reasonably quickly.

    • Cathy says:

      But surely your youth was less misspent than his…surely..? You have encouraged me to fill some bags this year though as the leaves are nice and damp from the last few misty moisty days

      • Chloris says:

        I’ m not quite sure what Sisyphus did to anger the gods, but no, I have no mispent youth at all. I’ m determined to make up for it now and grow old disgracefully. Such fun to embarrass the children.

  13. Christina says:

    Sorry I’m taking some time to catch up with posts and more so comments. The internet has been almost impossible to upload anything although I have down-loaded some things. Your garden does indeed look very autumnal, but in a very nice way! Those pots look very inviting – all ready for tulips!!!

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