It has been a strange month so far. Some sunny and even warm days, some cloudy days and Storm Callum was rather a pain bringing lashings of rain and gale force winds. Although the new conservatory roof was finished, the storm managed to find a gap to blow in some rain causing wet interior walls and ceiling. Bummer! I think I shall wait until the spring to get the painter and decorator in to finish off the room and I actually quite like the bare plaster. Meanwhile in the garden it is all looking a bit soggy, and I really need to give the lawn one last mow. Most of the flowers have finished with a few exceptions, so let’s have a look around and see what is happening.
- First things first. The new roof. Conservatory transformed into an Orangery. Just need some citrus trees to complete the look. Still needs painting inside and out, but for now I am happy to just have the space back so I can bring the tender plants indoors. And I am already thinking of visiting a local nursery to find a little lemon tree.
- Fatsia Japonica (Japanese aralia / False Castor oil plant) – as seen above. Fatsia japonica produces unusual white flowers in late autumn, normally October to November time. Strange, other-worldly looking, compound umbels of creamy-white flowers which seem, mysteriously, to attract hosts of lazy wasps in late autumn. A good source of late nectar though. Followed by sooty-purple seedheads.
- Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans) which is a perennial shrub native to Mexico and Guatemala. It has spent the entire summer outdoors next to the herb beds, but now I have brought it indoors and it is flowering beautifully with lovely post-box red flowers.
- Hosta. I have had this hosta for years, but boy does it suffer in this garden. By August it was in tatters, despite my using the horrid blue slug pellets, garlic spray and eggshells. It didn’t even throw up any flowers this year, surely a sign of distress? Now in its dying days. Decision to be made. Do I finally condemn it to the compost heap?
- Leycesteria formosa ‘Golden Lanterns’. (Himalayan honeysuckle.) This multi-value plant has bright green bamboo-like stems in winter, along with delicate, white pendent flowers amidst tasselled, ruby-coloured bracts in summer. Finally, in autumn, soft bunches of dark purplish-black caramel flavoured berries (loved by birds) appear. Currently in a pot. But depending on how well it fares through the winter, I might try to find a space for it in the garden next year.
- Yellow. Leaves are turning in the garden, these are from the yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus) and the forgotten creeper, but they do add some buttery colour to the garden at this time of year.
Today is a lovely day, bright blue sky, sunshine and NO wind! I have spent a couple of hours weeding the borders, dead-heading plants and pruning the winter honeysuckle (I know it is not the ideal time of year, but at least now I can see the branches) and the Goat Willow trees, accompanied by the sweet song of a friendly robin (header photo). I’d love to get rid of the Goat Willows and replace them with a couple of Crab Apples, but I suspect getting the roots out won’t be easy. And I am still deciding on what to plant in my raised beds next year.
The most colourful part of my garden at the moment is the Gravel Garden / Sunny Wall Border. I am a little worried about all those seedlings in the pebbles. Are they flowers? Are they weeds? Have a lovely week and if you fancy visiting a few more gardens then pop over to the Prop and you’ll find tons in the comments – including some lovely spring gardens from the Southern Hemisphere.
See here for the participant’s guide.