Although the garden is still overwhelmingly green (and thankfully without frost-blackened dahlias on my return from a few days at my Mum’s), there are flashes of gold in places, particularly in the second picture of the streamside grass and shrub border, courtesy of several witch hazels and crab apple ‘Golden Hornet’. Today I noted that my weather records state that the first frost last year was in fact November 12th, so hopefully I can enjoy my dahlias for a little longer.
From the other end of the above view, the different shades of green and on-the-point-of-turning leaves certainly imply that autumn is making inroads in the garden…
…although it is barely apparent in the woodland yet, apart from a crunchy underfoot covering of empty beechnuts, courtesy of our neighbour’s overlarge beech tree and the local squirrel population:
From the bothy at the end of the woodland and then the same view from ground level, the main borders appear green, blowsy and relaxed, chilling out now there is no pressure on them to look tidy and presentable. The wind sculpture whizzes round gently when the wind blows and looks at home on its purpose-built pedestal.
Turning slightly, we see the clematis colonnade which still sports a few blooms, as do the rosed beds at its feet. The Acer griseum to the right is gradually becoming shapelier, whilst the heucheras in the bronze bed around it have had a great year and are still looking presentable:
The new extension to the woodland edge border (right foreground) is planted up but now the rest of the border is getting a makeover too with selective culling, especially of overexuberant epimedium and take-over-the-world-if given-half-a-chance ivy. A flash of inspiration this morning, however, has triggered more than just selective culling as you will see in due course, as a further mini-project takes shape. The lower picture, taken from the other end, shows an area in front of Persicaria Red Dragon which has been partially cleared of the aforementioned epimedium, which began as a single plant in a 9cm pot in 2002.
The three bold borders are now anything but bold, perhaps apologising for their half-heartedness at the end of a busy season. They may not need a cull, but I look forward to cutting them back.
Through the gate to the cutting beds, partially cleared apart from the last of the cosmos and the hanging-on-in-there dahlias, and the new beds next to the fruit cage where the zinnias now look unlikely to produce any more blooms:
The blue-and-white borders and rose garden are quick to apologise too, promising to do better next year…
…and heading back towards the house we can see that the special snowdrop border has been cleared of the white summer bedding, preparing itself for regular inspection as the snowdrop season approaches and green shoots are eagerly awaited. Hellebore leaves will be trimmed in due course to facilitate this.
A quick peek in the Coop shows an influx of pots, with pots of spring bulbs jostling for space amongst the autumn flowering nerines and summer bulbs that are preparing for a winter rest. The greenhouse chrysanthemum in the right of the picture is smothered in buds and we may soon find out if it has justified the space it takes up and the long season of bare foliage we have had to tolerate.
Behind the Coop, the shady border still looks as good as it has done all season but needs adjustment to bring some overshadowed plants to the front. The Clematis armandii has been a real success, clothing the fence with its lanky and leathery leaves, promising greatness when its flowering season comes in the early months of next year.
Finally, to complete this end-of-October summary for another year, my rambles now must take in an additional location as the ‘Old Fig Bed’ at the other side of the house, one of the newest projects, has just been completed and planted up with shade-tolerant plants, many of which will provide interest in late winter or early spring. As someone has already pointed out, I urgently need to update the map of the garden (under The Garden tab above)!