June view 2009

June view 2009
View of rose and herb garden, June 2009

Small Garden Story

Over some 15 + years, I have been photographing the evolution of my small (85 x 15 foot) garden and it seems a waste not to put these records into some sort of context. Beginning here in April 2010 this Blog is intended to both act as a diary and to share past and present successes (and some failures), pleasures and disappointments with fellow garden-lovers. In due course, I intend to fill in some of the background and early days but that will have to wait until the winter months!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A mild autumn's colours and a grasshopper under my pillow

Fucshias seem to keep flowering in harmony with pink dahlias
What is happening this year?   First a May bug then, this morning, I found a live - lively - green grasshopper under my pillow!   I didn't bring that in from the garden.   I wonder if it was blown in down the chimney....
We have had torrential rain accompanied by thunder and lightning over the past few days but at least it's been mild so a lot of my dahlias have managed to flower.
Having just put in a sizable tulip bulb order to J Parkers www.jparkers.co.uk my next concern will be getting them planted before the ground goes hard without having to remove the dahlias.
There is a surprising amount of colour left in the garden - I am such a sucker for photographing the delicate leaves of my little acer tree which fall about so elegantly. 
Acer leaf caught on dwarf lilac with self-set fern
The apples have all fallen from next door's trees but I am still picking autumn raspberries - straight into the saucepan to bring to a gentle simmer with a drop of cassis and eat with yogurt - yum.
There are also the odd little surprises like these colchicums peeking out from under some perennials, albeit a little worse the wear from something which obviously thinks they are rather tasty.

Monday, 7 October 2013

A grape surprise

We still seem to be about 3 weeks behind in terms of what is happening in the garden and on return from a short holiday I had to do a massive pruning session with my amazing new gadget - a telescopic pruning stick which extends up to 12 feet!   The grass is growing better than it has most of the year and the squirrel is still digging it up and planting goodness-knows what - cob nuts I suspect as it has virtually stripped the tree bare.

I have a rather inquisitive robin who seems to have taken up residence - or rather assumed my garden as his territory - for the winter and is singing cheerfully at all times of the day and night and there are still plenty of blue tits enjoying nuts and seeds in spite of the many red kites soaring overhead with their funny mewing sort of cries.   It was amusing to see the swifts that had deserted the garden months ago still doing their swooping and peeping in southern France and good to watch them in the sunshine with a beer in hand!

In spite of the sun we have had this year the dahlias are only just about coming in to flower so I doubt I will get to see what they all are this year.  They have never been so late.   This may be partly because they have been so over-shadowed as they have put on a spurt since my major pruning activities.  

But I had one lovely surprise yesterday.   When I went to pick a handful of blackberries and some late raspberries I noticed a few little bunches of grapes on the vine which grows against the outside of the greenhouse.   They are usually pretty sour but I thought I may as well tasted one and they are delicious.   I went on to pick about a pound of tiny, sweet grapes - my first vendange!   It was a bit dark by then - as reflected in the picture!