Expect the Unexpected

Yesterday morning brought the unexpected sight of thick flakes of snow swirling around outside and settling where they fell. Despite continuing for at least an hour this was the full extend of the covering  and although temperatures barely rose above 4°C all day even this was soon gone. It was this same time last year that brought several days of bitterly cold weather and although temperatures have been low for several days they are set to go even lower nextweekend. It’s far too early to guess what kind of winter it will be, and along with the garden we will just have to take it as it comes.

This week we also took several hours of 40+ mph winds and I came back from a couple of days with Elder Daughter and the Poppet to find that most of the trees had largely been stripped of their leaves which up to now had been a slow and long drawn out process:

The conical tree on the right is the evergreen variegated holly and the dense green below the largest tree (our neighbour’s beech) is ivy, growing on an old and deceased plum tree. The consequences of leaves leaving the tress is, of course, leaves appearing elsewhere:

A few hours work sweeping and bagging by myself and the Golfer and a trial re-use of the leaf blower/vacuum that has been in the loft for a number of years has seen most of the leaves (but  not those in the woodland or woodland edge border, which are left to break down in situ) bagged up to be used as leaf mould in due course.

I was intending to write a nominal foliage post to link with Christina’s Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day, and I suppose this it, as the foliage that currently makes the greatest impact in the garden is that of fallen leaves. Once fallen leaves are removed from the borders and frosted leaves and stems – another foliage feature – are trimmed, then compost can be spread, overwintering plants mulched and most of the borders tucked up in bed for the winter. Just as it was with the cutting beds last week, there is a substantial element of satisfaction in completing these seasonal jobs

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This entry was posted in Autumn, Garden Bloggers Foliage day, Gardening, Gardens, Winter. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Expect the Unexpected

  1. tonytomeo says:

    That holly is humongous! Is that trellised vine wisteria?

  2. Brian Skeys says:

    Leaf Mould is such a useful soil improver it makes the effort of gathering them so worthwhile. Dealing with them at home I do miss my a Stihl vac that our recent ‘Visitors ‘ removed!

  3. Anna says:

    Shiver me timbers Cathy! We woke up yesterday to a light dusting of snow on the greenhouse and the day was peppered with various burst of wintry precipitation but none settled. A lot of sweeping and bagging going on here too but it pays dividends 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      No more here after the initial snow shower. Definitely a good job done for both us with all that sweeping and bagging! Thanks for your lovely long and chatty email which I will reply to in due course

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I always enjoy that first dusting of snow. Aren’t you glad to have those leaves down now?. You can shortly wrap up all the boring chores outside and invest your time in the fun things such as dreaming up new projects…

  5. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Autumn foliage is beautiful but is also a lot of work to clean up. Snow? What a surprise. I’m already dreaming of spring.

  6. Good work, I better get cracking!

  7. I just love those photos of those gorgeous leaves lying on the ground – they look like gold.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I know what you mean – that’s the downside of sweeping them up. When they are freshly fallen they are so appealing but less so when wet and soggy

  8. Annette says:

    Late catching up, Cathy, we’re due to get snow as well and as for leaves – I spent 3 hours gathering and blowing them, Monsieur took 30 wheelbarrow loads to the mules shed and it’s far from over. Your sitooterie adds a welcome splash of colour. Such a nice place to sit and look out on your pretty autumnal garden. Keep warm 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Although we have really cold weather forecast I don’t think we have snow forecast in th Midlands – although we are away for the w/e so will need to take our thermals with us! Yes, I would imagine your leaf regime will involve a lot more effort than ours does – will you just store them in the mule shed, or do they use it for bedding? Our garden looked so different once most of the leaves were collected – and I agree with you about the sitooterie, and noticed myself how much it stood out amongst the snowy surroundings. Make sure you both wrap up warm too

      • Annette says:

        We use it for bedding like they used to in the old days. Spent a while in the veg garden this morning to clear the beds and spread manure as long as it’s still dry. Snow on its way so this afternoon it’ll be baking session…you see I’m trying to give myself more room to breath 😉 Have a good w-e and stay warm!

  9. Chloris says:

    Forcasters tell us we are in for a very cold La Nìna winter this year and I mean the met office, not the tabloids. But snow already?
    As usual you are so ahead with your seasonal jobs. My time keeps getting highjacked by removing greenhouses and fallen trees and other forestry. And having huge bonfires.

  10. Cathy has already reached the snow and over strong winds and very low temperatures. Bad for plants that stay outside. The leaves on the ground are a pretty picture: if you do not know that you have to pick them up. Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Hopefully I have remembered where all my less hardy plants are and have brought them – but I am surprised to see Salvia Amistad still in flower as the plant has not got through a winter before

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