Walktober 2022

Every year Robin at Breezes At Dawn invites us to share a walk in October – Walktober. I am pleased to participate this year as I think I have only done so once before in 2018. As soon as she does her post collecting all contributions, I will add the link.

17th October – And here it is: 😃

https://breezesatdawn.wordpress.com/2022/10/13/you-are-here-2/

I realize that many of my readers do not get such intense autumn colour as we do. So I thought I would share some with you. In the mornings, old Anouk and I take a gentle stroll around the perimeters of the garden. Thankfully it is fenced in, or we would have deer directly in the garden. We often disturb some, sleeping just outside the fence in the tall grass between us and the neighbouring field. Especially here, where the Virginia Creeper has started covering a lot of the fence. It looks gorgeous right now.

As the name suggests, this colourful creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia ) is not native, but nowadays can often be found growing in the wild here. It is not considered invasive, and offers nectar and berries for the wildlife.

The hedgerows are full of berries; sloes on the Blackthorn, traditionally used for making sloe gin.

Spindle berries (Euonymus europeus), which (correct me if I am wrong) are of little use to humans but look incredibly pretty.

Viburnum opulus berries, again of more appeal to the birds.

And rosehips, which we must pick now if we want to make anything with them.

And the golden yellow patches of Jerusalem Artichoke flowers stand out well against the blue sky.

Close up, you can still see the morning dew on the petals…

Hopefully these will thrive next year too, as we are not harvesting the tubers.

Hornbeam trees line our driveway and are changing a lovely golden colour. They are renowned for retaining some of their leaves until spring, but each tree is different and some will no doubt be completely bare soon.

The pine trees beyond the fence also look wonderful when the sky behind them is that deep blue. It is nice to have evergreens nearby in the winter.

The grass has recovered from the summer heat and drought, but it is mostly weeds that grow here anyway…

Moon daisies, various types of dandelion, plaintain, clover and Prunella (self heal) are typical all year round.

Various funghi have appeared recently. I suspect many are edible, but since we are not familiar with them we will leave the mushroom gathering to the experienced!

A detour through the apple trees shows these are ready for picking… the only one of our trees to have produced any decent fruits this year, due to the combination of late frosts, strong winds and then the dry and hot summer.

I am looking forward to Apple strudel!…..

And one of the wild pear trees has produced lots of fruit. These have already been dried for winter snacks, as they are otherwise inedible – hard and sour!

I hope you enjoyed sharing our morning walk, and that you also have some pretty countryside near you to enjoy this October. To finish off this post I am quoting from a poem by Mary Oliver called ‘Lines written in the days of growing darkness’, which may sound dismal from the title, but is anything but!

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day…

🍄🍁☀️

World Bee Day, 2022

I just saw Eliza’s post about World Bee Day, so felt compelled to post something before this day goes by unnoticed. Like Eliza, I ask all gardeners please not to use chemicals to get rid of weeds or pests. There is almost always a kinder alternative that will not harm pollinators.

This is my Peony ‘Claire de lune’ which opened yesterday, with a bee in her ruffles. 😃

 

22:22, 22/2/22

I just could not resist posting something at this time on this date, for posterity’s sake. 😉

A frozen hellebore bud…

It is still very windy here after all the storms that have gone over, but no damage done and milder days ahead. Hopefully that will mean more garden time and more blogging subject matter soon! 😃

In a Vase on Monday: In the Bleak Midwinter

In the bleak mid winter, frosty wind made moan

Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone

Another earworm for you this week, as I work my way through favourite Christmas carols! Although today is anything but bleak, with the sun finally appearing to reassure me that it hasn’t abandoned us after all. 😃 And with this clearer weather our temperatures are set to drop well below zero for several days, so the earth certainly will be hard as iron.

 

After a brief walk out into the woods this morning, I came back with a bucketful of greenery to distribute around the house.

It was lovely in the woods.

I wished I could reach that big ball of mistletoe at the top of this fir tree… can you see it? 😉

So this is my ‘vase’ for today, as I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme.

I was so pleased I could find a few berries to decorate it with: Pyracantha from the garden and Euonymus from the hedges.

And the silvery seedhead is perhaps the last of the Queen Ann’s Lace.

Have a lovely week and stay nice and warm if you are in a cold climate like me! ❄️☀️