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: Winter Colour

My hellebores are not open yet, so I have nothing but a dried allium flower to share this week. I picked it in the summer before the petals had completely dropped, and the hint of pink is still vaguely there…. if you squint a bit and use your imagination! But as you can see from my other ‘vase’ full of yarn scraps, and from the homemade crocheted doily, I am making the most of the winter months to be creative indoors instead of out. 😃 Crocheting is where I get my colour ‘fix’ when the garden and sky are grey. 😉

 

I am linking in to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme. I am a bit behind on looking at blogs this week, having been distracted by a delicate pink scarf, a shrill woolly hat, a soft wavy blanket and other colourful crocheting projects that are in the pipeline. 🧶😊🧶 But I will be catching up soon!

Hope you have some colour in your world this 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!

 

Join me for another ‘Week of Flowers’!

At this time of year the sun only makes it through the fog occasionally, which can make life pretty dreary. However, usually there are nice distractions to look forward to in December and the traditional Advent time; drinking mulled wine with friends at the Christmas markets, sitting around a table with friends and neighbours enjoying some homemade cookies and spiced tea, or braving the exciting hustle and bustle of the town centre to get some Christmas shopping done.

Well, once again all that will not be possible and a grim Christmas season faces us here in Germany. So, as an alternative distraction I am asking you, my blogging friends, to join me in sharing some extra colour and cheer next week.

Parrot tulips and Muscari, April 2021

Parrot tulips and Muscari, April 2021

Last year my Week of Flowers 2020 was such a success, with so many people from around the world joining me and posting wonderful colourful photos from their gardens. It really did me good, and the feedback was amazing. Let’s do it again! All you have to do to join in is post one flowery photo a day, for a week, starting from Wednesday 1st December, 2021. Put a link to your post in the comments section on my daily post, and turn on the sunshine!

If you are too busy to share a photo on each of the seven days, just join in when you want. Every single contribution will be appreciated by us all!

Tithonia, July 2021

Tithonia, July 2021

So, from Wednesday the 1st December through to Tuesday the 7th December 2021 let’s share a flower (or two) a day.

Are you with me? 😃😘😃

Ten Years of Words and Herbs!

I just got a notification from wordpress that it is my blog’s anniversary today, and realised it was ten years ago that I took the first tentative steps into the blogging world.

And I have enjoyed every minute!

Thank you for reading, commenting, liking and following. I appreciate all the positive vibes I get from you all!

😃🌻😃

 

 

The Oval Bed

Finally I can show you what has been keeping me busy during lockdown, and keeping me sane… 😜  I think!

In the middle of winter I started planning my next garden bed. The long-term plan is to have several beds like islands on the south side of the house, with grasses being the linking feature. This latest bed is intended to bring the garden – and the birds – closer to the house. The centre will have a stone birdbath. I hope I will find something suitable from a local stonemason once things return to normal.

This was the view in winter, photographed from the warm living room, when only the edges had been marked out…

And then before planting began…

Don‘t worry, the obelsiks have been straightened out…and fixed with steel rods deep in the ground. Let‘s hope they withstand our strong winds on this exposed hill! They will look lopsided at certain angles anyway as the whole garden slopes slightly.

This is what it looked like after the first planting session on Good Friday:

Waiting for plant orders to arrive meant constant weeding was necessary in between. But finally, last week, the newly sown grass leading to the centre was up, and most of my planting was complete (for now!). So I spent several hours spreading wood chippings as mulch to suppress the weeds and retain moisture…

There are about 80 plants in there, some of them divisions from other flower beds, but don‘t they just disappear! To give you an idea of size, the tallest obelisk is about 2 metres, the smallest 1.2 metres.

I put the sprinkler on it afterwards and am very impressed with the moisture retention so far. I also like the appearance – softer than gravel, but distinctively different to the other beds.

I have chosen Dianthus and Phlox for ground cover, Stipa tenuissima and Miscanthus as grasses, and several Clematis on the obelisks. Two are flowering already…

Nubia (which should flower all summer)

And the Duchesse of Edinburgh, just unfurlinge her petals…

I also planted Centranthus ruber, Verbena bonariensis and Gaura for height, Echinacea, Salvia and Scabiosa for the pollinators, and added my favourite Viburnum – V. carlesii ‘Aurora’.

Scabiosa Butterfly Blue

All these plants should be eventually be happy with our dry well-drained soil and south-west-facing position. The wind may be a problem. But I will cross that bridge when I come to it! 😉 After all, my word of the year is HOPE, and I hope to gradually find plants that are tough enough for our hot summers, cold winters and strong winds!

Helianthemum ‘Ben Hope’ (chosen for the name!)

Now I need to plant out my annuals grown from seed into all the beds – sunflowers and tithonia for the sunshine bed, calendula for the herb bed and gaura, cosmos and cleome in the Oval Bed. So glad I have had this project (and such good weather for it) to keep me physically and mentally occupied over the past two months. 😃

Have you had any particular projects or done anything different in your garden this spring?

 

 

In a Vase on Monday: Winky Pinky Whatever

I am pleased to be joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her regular Monday meme, as we start another weird week…

This rather pretty Aquilegia has a strange name, ‘Winky Double Rose and White’ but I am not going to discriminate it for that. 😉 I believe in freedom of the individual! And it has an upright and honest constitution.

It has set a few seedlings since last year but none of them are in flower yet.  The deep purply pink leaves of Heuchera ‘Forever Purple’ and the maroon Geranium phaeum are a little dark and sombre but compliment the pink hues nicely. There is a deep velvety red Viola tucked in tight somewhere too. I also added a Pulmonaria ‘Wuppertal’ (Lungwort) which is actually past its best but the freckled leaves are almost as pretty as the flowers. And it is a reminder…

To lighten things up a bit I added a wild strawberry flower and a white Allium cowanii as well as an Alchemilla leaf. The leaves had to be rinsed as they were still covered in pollen despite a fair bit of rain recently. It seems we are having another mast year and the conifers are pumping out pollen like there is no tomorrow. I wonder if they know something we don‘t….

The doiley in the photos was crocheted by me several summers ago as a kind of therapeutic exercise… maybe I need something like that now too.

 

Excuse my odd mood this week. No, I am not on drugs and have not started drinking. Perhaps I am going potty or losing my marbles. I think you can all sympathise though.

Have a good week, and stay safe sane.

😷🤪🤪🤪😷