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…

🍄🍁☀️

In a Vase on Monday: Pink Serenade

Anemone ‘Serenade’ is flowering, so before it gets spoilt by the rain (Ha Ha! Note the sarcasm!) I picked a couple of them for today’s vase.

I decided to stay with the pink theme. Pink vase, pink Scabiosa, pink Cosmos and pink Knapweed.

Along with the Knapweed, the only thing growing in the open ‘grass’ is the Queen Anne’s Lace, so I added some of that and some Calamagrostis, Deschampsia and Stipa.

 

The upturned log I have placed the vase on is cracking and will probably fall apart soon, but it has made the yard look rustic over the past two years. 😃

I am linking in to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Cathy invites us to join her in sharing a vase of flowers from in or around our gardens each Monday. So pop over for an idea of what is flowering around the globe. 😃

Have a good week, and if you are waiting for rain I do hope you see some.

☔️😃☔️

In a Vase on Monday: Water off a Duck’s Back

The Dog Days are here and the garden is now taking on its shabby look for high summer. But a few stars have been shining on regardless of the hot winds and strong sun, taking it all like the proverbial ‘water off a duck’s back’! So I decided to highlight these in my vase this week. If you are new to this blog, I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden every Monday for this lovely meme, where we all find something from our gardens to share in a vase.

My little duck was given to me some years ago by a sales lady in a gift card shop, from her window display… such a kind gesture. 😃

First off, the Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’ which has appeared a couple of times recently on my blog. It is so blue, such a tough little plant and the bees love it. 😃

Perovskia. It doesn’t matter what the weather, this shrub comes back stronger by the year. The only thing you can do to hurt it here is to cut it back too hard before it has started showing new shoots in spring. (Or give it too much water and shade perhaps!) I used the stalwart P. ‘Blue Spire’.

Euphorbias. The tall Euphorbia seguieriana tends to flop, but I forgive it for the citrusy zing it adds to the garden. It refreshes and energizes just by looking at it. 😃 One stem I used here is Euphorbia cornigera ‘Goldener Turm’ which is still standing tall.

Gaura. The sun may singe flowers, but since they open new flowers on their long flower stalks daily this isn’t a problem. And they look lovely waving in a breeze/strong wind!

Echinacea. The only thing that might stop these flowering is the slugs in spring. But some of mine seem resistant to them too. The white one is ‘Fragrant Angel’ and is my tallest, at about a meter high. I also added a small pink E. ‘Pica Bella’.

Scabiosa. I cut them back after the initial flowering and they carry on flowering intermittently through the summer. Another bee magnet.

The grasses. I added a few stems of Calamagrostis, one of my favourite grasses at this time of year. With its defiant upright stance it faces the wind and sun like a real warrior. This one is C. Waldenbuch which has slightly paler seedheads than others.

Finally, I added some Daucus carota/Queen Anne’s Lace, which is growing wild absolutely everywhere this year, clearly enjoying the sunny weather.

Which plants take the summer heat or drought like water off a duck’s back in your garden? Do share!

And have a great week!

In a Vase on Monday: From the Edge of the Meadow

There are areas in the garden that don’t get mown, including up against the fence….

Or this lovely slope next to the garage…

But the idea of flattening this ‘meadow’ if I walk through has put me off picking any flowers…. until now, as there are some Queen Ann’s Lace flowers and some moon daisies open near the edges! So on a perfect summer’s day (Sunday) I selected a mix of what I could reach, and a few other things from the edges of the garden. 😃

Some of the flowers are: Moon daisies, Fleabane, Harebells, Red and Yellow Clovers, St John’s Wort, Knapweed, Yarrow, Bedstraw and Bugle.

 

I love finding a bit of pink yarrow, which occasionally turns up amongst the white…

The St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is actually from my Herb Bed, but we do have some flowering around the garden too. I hope to find enough to pick and dry for tea in winter. 😃

Is anything growing wild in your gardens this week? 😉

I am participating in ‘In a Vase on Monday’, hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Why not visit her blog to see other vases from far and wide… 😃

Happy gardening!

Himalaya Park, June 2022

Well, just a couple of weeks ago I posted some pictures of my white Foxtail Lilies (Eremurus himalaicus) with words to the effect that I would not try and grow more of them as just these two make such an impact in the garden….

 

And then last weekend I went to the nearby Himalaya Park (which I posted about last summer, here) and saw these…

And these….

And this lovely dainty yellow one…

And these! 😃😃😃

Hmmm. They would be a lovely addition to the Sunshine Bed….

The Himalaya Park is not like typical gardens open to the public… plants are allowed to run riot if they feel happy there. One example that stood out on this visit was the foxgloves. Only a few days ago I planted a single ‘wild’ foxglove I found at my local garden centre into my Butterfly Bed, and felt rather pleased with it. And then at the Himalaya Park I saw several hundred of them in every possible shade, and felt somewhat humbled!

I imagine they had partly been planted and had then spread by seed. What a beautiful sight!

 

I really enjoyed the trip to the park again as we had chosen the right day; thunderstorms had been forecast which meant the usual crowds had stayed at home. At times we were able to take photos without any people in them.

And the thunderstorm did come (we sheltered under the roof of one of the wooden bridges and breathed in the lovely scent of elderflowers until it stopped raining.) Then we continued our tour – the storm had cleared the air a bit and everything was sparkling. The foxgloves were everywhere. 😃

The black clouds dispersed and the sun came out again.

 

Finally a few other highlights.

(The blue Himalayan poppies were cordoned off… I suspect people try and take seed. Now who would do a thing like that…… 😊)

 

Plenty of inspiration and impressions to keep me going until my next visit. 😃

In a Vase on Monday: The Dauntless Dandelion

After some showers over the last day or two my garden is suddenly green. And yellow!

The fields around us are planted with oilseed rape this year, and the first flowers are opening there too, so soon we will be enveloped in sunny yellow… unfortunately the windowsills and any other surface outside will also be coated in yellow, but never mind!

I was walking around the garden with Anouk this grey and chilly afternoon, wondering what to pick for a vase so I can contribute to this Monday meme. Why not bring all this bright yellow indoors? 💕

So that is what I have done.

I paused on the doorstep as I came in, picking a red Bellis flower from a little pot outside. And the feathery fennel foliage from last week’s vase is being recycled.

The song of the Dandelion Fairy in Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies book calls them ‘dauntless’ flowers. They certainly are. But terribly cheerful, don’t you think? Give them their botanical name and you could kid yourself they are wild flowers, and not weeds. 😉🤪

Taraxacum officinale

And even robbed of their colour they are quite exquisite flowers…

Thanks go to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her lovely meme. Do visit her to see what she is sharing today. And have a great week!