End of Month View: Times They are a-Changin’

Yes, changes a-plenty in the garden, and not just seasonal ones. October has been a mild month despite yesterday’s frost, and tasks have proceeded unhindered. You can see the replaced pergola on this and the next photo, the main section now empty of climbing roses and clematis (yes, “Goodbye Freckles, goodbye Frances Rivis”); three new viticella clematis are arriving tomorrow, and two new bush roses re on order from David Austin for November delivery. The roses (tall and deep red ‘Falstaff’) will sit either side of the bench – you can see a rectangular space for one of them in the rejigged paving. The advantage of the viticella clematis, cut down to the ground every year, is the absence of both old and woody stems and an increasing tangle of new ones.

From the other side, you can see how the stream has been revealed again now the ferns have been removed and a selection of nominally marginal plants are being introduced instead. This looks SO different, really changing the view from this aspect. In addition, the pergola stretches seamlessly (although not strictly so) from front to back replacing both the original and the later extension down the side of the sitooterie; to create additional structural support it also continues forwards and is attached to the back of the house, so in due course one of the clematis will be flowering overhead when anyone walks this way.

Looking from the other end of the streamside and shrub border, you can see how leaf fall is becoming increasingly evident – although I did manage a major sweeping up once these photos were taken…sweeping up, but not bagging up, so let’s hope there are no stiff breezes in the offing!

The woodland continues to do its own thing:

The main borders, seen from the bothy and then ground level, are nearly ready for a good tidy-up; meanwhile, the Queen Mother roses that were in the cubic lead effect pots have finally gone to a good home:

Do you remember the ‘Spirit of the Garden’ installation at the end of the clematis colonnade? Well, a flash of inspiration on Sunday morning and it was gone – leaving a temporarily naked fence and an idea up my sleeve. In the meantime, it transpires that the neighbours who actually won this fence are finally about to replace it. I cleared the ivy off the panels two years ago in preparation for their replacement, but only two were replaced at the time. For the remainder to be replaced,  a considerable amount of clearing will be required on their side so this and a new fence will transform this boundary of our garden but with no effort  on our part (nearly as exciting as when they removed their leylandii around 20 years ago) – hurrah!

The woodland edge border, seen from both ends, is entering a winter lull before snowdrops and hellebores appear next year, whilst the mid-hedge is undergoing its annual haircut:

The bold borders still show some colour from salvia, rudbeckia, sedum and persicaria and have all just had yards of nasturtium pulled from them before they drop unmanageable quantities of seed. I look forward to a time when these borders have matured and the permanent plants have settled in and bulked up – for so long they seem to have been in a state of transition:

There is still colour in the cutting beds, now almost exclusively from dahlias. At the far end you can see that the 3 water butts served by the greenhouses have all now been set up as a series, fed from the now extended greenhouse and feeding into each other when the first is full. I have lost 2 or 3 feet of the cutting beds because of this but it was a case of ‘needs must’ and the arrangement should work well:

Would you like a quick peek in the greenhouse? I am still in the process of tidying it after our improvements, but even with the tomatoes gone, the extended greenhouse is satisfactorily full of seedlings and cuttings:

The blue and white border is now full of fallen leaves rather than displaced water butts:

Apart from Blush Noisette around the outside, the rose garden is currently devoid of roses and the uprights have gone, making the area look astonishingly larger and lighter. The pile of foliage is trimmings from the mid-hedge, and the beds are awaiting reconstruction following rose removal but will be filled with my anticipated November delivery of roses, which includes bush roses James Austin (pink) and Darcey Bussell (red). Bush roses instead of a framework of climbing roses will make access through this area easier and the chosen varieties will bring continual colour and fragrance throughout the summer, unlike the limited offerings of their predecessors.

Heading back towards the house, the back of the special snowdrop border has been tidied up, ferns trimmed and ivy pulled out to leave the bed clearer for the little white beauties when their time arrives once again. Here, not only does the structure of the replaced pergola stand out, but the framework of the wisteria once again begins to become evident as the leaves are gradually lost. You can see that crab apple ‘Evereste’ is still standing and still covered in its apples, despite its recent little accident!

Keeping a monthly record of the garden has proved really useful in tracking changes over the years, and proves to be particularly so during periods of rapid changes as is the case at the moment. I wonder what will have changed by the end of November? In the meantime, head over to Steve’s blog at Glebe House where other bloggers will be posting links to their gardens at the end of the month – thanks to Steve for hosting this.

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29 Responses to End of Month View: Times They are a-Changin’

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Everyone else is showing off their autumn color. Your garden is not too far ahead of mine. Your hostas still have leaves!

  2. What a lot of hard work you’ve put in! I do like your woodland area, ‘doing it’s own thing’!

  3. linnylouise says:

    What a beautiful garden space. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Pauline says:

    The new pergola is magnificent, making a real statement in the garden. I’m concerned about the weight of your water butts on their wooden stand when they are full of water, especially the middle one, will it be too heavy for the wooden support? You have both been so busy, I feel exhausted just reading your post!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Pauline, and there is no need to be concerned about the water butts as I made the same point to the Golfer but, with his engineering background, he had already planned an appropriate brace underneath and is confident it will be strong enough. Unlike me, he doesn’t think all 3 will ever be flled though – but at least another support could be added at a later date if his structural knowledge lets him down!!

  5. Chloris says:

    Great to have a good nose round your garden. Well done on your beautiful new pergola. It is a great idea to grow viticella clemmies but won’t you miss your lovely Freckles? By the way is that Salvia Water Melon blooming away?

    • Cathy says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, Chloris, and yes, I will miss my Freckles although I have to say her freckly flowers were often lost amidst all her leaves. I would like to think I will find a spot for a replacement at some stage… Oh, and the pink salvia is Neon, which has flowered her socks off for about 5 months or so

  6. With all these improvements it appears that your garden is larger. Well done. The new pergola is magnificent. It draws the eye along the way. Can’t wait to see the new plantings.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Lisa – making the garden seem bigger is a great illusion!! Hopefully the streamside planting will work – as it is an artificial stream the bank is no different from any of the other beds in the garden

  7. Robbie says:

    love the tour of your garden. We are changing seasons so the garden has not transitioned yet. Beautiful garden! Even in the midst of dying back:-)

  8. karen says:

    Wow, I’m in awe of your energy and get-up-and-go! I really love the new pergola. What colour is the paint please? It works so well. I can’t wait to see all the new plants. Well, I too need to make some major changes here to make the garden more manageable. I am terrible at changing things. I tend to mooch about instead of getting stuck in. Now you have spurred me on to get going. No more messing about here, when I need to march forward like you. x

    • Cathy says:

      The paint is Cuprinol Shades ‘Wild Thyme’ – it took me ages and lots of trials to find a colour that I liked but I knew as soon as I found it that it would be perfect. These days though, there is lots of choice – which wouldn’t necessarily make it any easier!! Good luck with your marching!

  9. Heyjude says:

    Nice to have a look at your new garden layout, you have done a lot of work here! I have inherited a border that has several elderly shrubs and clematis in it, none of which do very much for most of the year and I have considered whether to bite the bullet and rip it all out and replant. Your reorganisation and bravery in removing plants is giving me food for thought.

    • Cathy says:

      Not so much a new layout though, Jude, but just a refinement in certain areas. Even though none of the ousted plants were inherited, I am learning that it is preferable to live without underperforming plants although I do try to pass the plants on to another home if possible. For an inherited border like yours if you have the time and resources then in my opinion that would be the best way to go too. If you like a garden, then making it yours and filling it with plants you have chosen yourself will make you like it and value it even more

  10. Cathy says:

    That new pergola is just wonderful Cathy. I hope you don’t mind – but so amazing that I actually pinned it to my Pinterest Gardens category – ie very inspiring and another lovely addition to a garden whose structure is already pretty perfect! But I am mourning poor ‘Freckles’ and ‘Frances Rives’ a little … what’s the story there?

  11. Brian Skeys says:

    Thanks for the grand tour Cathy. The extended greenhouse looks full to bursting with young plants ready for next year. Where would they have all gone without the extension? The new pergola looks very substantial, all credit to the golfer I presume. I like the design of the side timbers, with new roses and clematis it has had a total revamp.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Brian – the design is almost the same as the one it replaced, with minor tweaks, and yes, constructed by the Golfer with design advice and painting from me. I am looking forward to next year whn the new roses and clematis are in and in flower! I can’t believe how full the greenhouse is already, and that’s before things start coming in for the winter!

  12. Anna says:

    Oh you have both been most busy and creative. The new pergola looks most impressive and what exciting developments. Looking forward to meeting your new clematis and roses. Where do you obtain your clematis from Cathy?

    • Cathy says:

      Ah, clematis suppliers…. 😐 I used to buy (lots!) from Taylors until an unsatisfactory customer service experience a couple of years ago; having heard similar stories from 3 other people I gave switched to Thorncroft – so far so good ☺

  13. Christina says:

    I think I must have missed a post somewhere along the line; what was the reasoning behind removing the roses; I thought you loved them and they seemed to grow well in your garden! I am removing most of mine but they really don’t do well here. It all looks very tidy and organised and I love the way the new greenhouse is functioning.

    • Cathy says:

      I decided to replace the climbing roses on the pergola when it was being revamped as although they flowered well thir structure was quite ugly as they were my first ever roses and not pruned properly for much f their life. Also, they had no fragrance. There are very few red climbing roses that are fragrant and flower continuously, and after my sudden decision (for a similar reason) to replace the climbing roses in the rose garden with bush roses, I decided to do the same here, It pays to think out of the box sometimes 🙂

  14. Cathy magnificent new pergola. I love the color it has and the design totally changed. Your Clematis Viticella will be beautiful in the pergola. The Greenhouse is great, like the new water tanks. Either it’s me or the garden has changed a lot. It is beautiful and the forest is fairy tale. It must have been a lot of work and what remains to be done. But it will be a magnificent garden. Have a very good week. Greetings from Margarita.

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