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: There’s No Smoke Without Fire

I was busy today, and left it rather late in the day to find something for my Monday vase so that I could join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. But I was determined to cut some flowers! even though it is hot. And windy. And dry. There have been warnings for forest fires in our region for a couple of weeks now so as I rounded the corner of the house and saw smoke I was somehow not surprised, but also rather afraid. It was only about a kilometre away from us, with a lot of dry woodland between us…

No sooner had I called my Man of Many Talents than we heard sirens in all directions. Nonetheless he got his emergency watering vehicle ready just in case; a trailer with 600 liters of water, a pump and a fireman’s hose, hooked up to his ATV. Thankfully the excitement was soon over, and the smoke subsided. Phew! I don’t need that sort of excitement too often! Only ten days ago a freshly harvested wheat field went up in smoke, a little farther away from us. Local farmers assisted with putting the fire out… they all have their tanks filled with water at the ready.

I still wanted to cut some flowers, but my thoughts had turned from sunshine and shade to fire and smoke! I cut lots of Heliopsis ‘Sommersonne’ as originally intended, but it is accompanied by the remains of the single flower on my young Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria) and some Euphorbias, which are the only plants that seem entirely happy in the extremely dry Sunshine Bed right now.

The sunflower vase is a summer favourite. 😃

 The wind has died down for now, but it has scorched and frazzled a lot of plants. Still, we had cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini and garlic from our own garden yesterday, so I mustn’t grumble! 😉

Have a great week and stay cool!

😎🍉🍹

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!

In a Vase on Monday: Snowballs

The Viburnum opulus in our hedgerows is flowering beautifully this year, prompting me to pick some for a vase this week. In German this shrub is called ‘Schneeball’, as the white flowers shine out from the hedgerows like balls of white snow. 😃

And here is the vase.

 

On a whim the cow parsley just the other side of the fence was picked too. And a few grasses from the hedge and the garden were also added. 😃

 

 

 

Close up you can see the ring of outer petals on the Viburnum, attracting the insects to the tiny inner fertile flowers. The berries in autumn are beautiful too – a bright shiny red.

 

I have never looked at cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) so closely before – they remind me of lots of tiny stars.

Some parts of Germany have had terrible storms over the past few days, but we have been lucky so far…. fingers crossed. Tonight another round of thunderstorms is forecast, but let’s hope for the best!

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme. And thanks to you for visiting. 😃

 

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!

 

 

Into the New Year

As I write it is still the last day of the year and we had some lovely warm sunshine today: 13°C!

So to ring out the old year here are a few pictures of my leisurely wander around the garden with Anouk this morning.

The blue sky and sunshine was a real treat…

This is the corner Anouk likes to inspect first every morning, as the hares come through the fence there…

Still a few rose hips left in the hedge…

And some morning mist across the meadow beyond our fence…

Anouk, checking for mice…

The buzzards often sit on the perches first thing to warm their wings in the sun… we put up several of these to encourage the birds of prey to help keep the mice population down.

The hellebores are in bud!

 

Can she smell Spring? (No, probably deer or hares!)

Wishing you all the very best for the new gardening year. Health, happiness and lots of flowers!

Happy New Year!