Thursday, 30 October 2014

The sun has (still ) got his hat on...

Most Octobers end rather gloomily, as they merge seamlessly into Novembers, bringing dark and grey and cold. Not this one though! It is like a parade full of cheerleaders who just won't go home. The sun is still shining with a pleasing amount of warmth, and the flowers are being fooled into the longest blooming period EVER! I found a new delphinium flower today, the geraniums are beginning to flower again and the roses think it is still June.



Although there are inevitably gaps in the borders where I have had to cut back, the general feeling is still one of fullness. The Hypericum is flowering again albeit sporadically, and the dahlias have never stopped.


The Hostas that are in the chimney pots have been cut right back, as have all the others in the garden - except one, which is just coming into flower and is as perky as the others were in April !

The Molinea has come into its own this year, as the light has been perfect, and shown its delicate seed heads off to perfection, as they have almost glowed in the mellow October sun. The phormium 'Red Sunset' is more tender than it's green cousins, so will be wintering in the greenhouse when it gets cold.


I bought this Pampas grass about twenty years ago at a really good specialist nursery , and it is by far the best I have seen. The plumes do not stand regimentally upright, but are fulsome, luxuriant and a soft shade of pink.


Now, a little conundrum for you ... how do you get a 5' x 5' banana into a big enough, warm enough billet to get it through the winter ? How do you even get it into the house ? Monty Don makes it look so easy ! However, I am determined it WILL get through this winter with every leaf intact, and have been heard to say that, if necessary, it can come under the duvet with me, if that is what it takes !!


These chaps are enjoying the wonderful sunshine until it is time to form an orderly queue at the greenhouse door. If we keep them dry and protect with fleece/ greenhouse heater during severe cold, then they should get through the winter unscathed.


Before you think it, yes, I know that this Gunnera is in totally the wrong place, but it would be impossible to move/ threaten/ kill now. There used to be a rather nice pond there at one time, until we got Gus, the Aquatic dog, who flung himself in for a quick swim at every opportunity, several times a day. Quickly tiring of dripping dog and muddy paw prints, we filled in the pond and made a bog garden, putting in a tiny little Gunnera ...

(BTW that IS a man standing next to our chimney, as he works on the adjacent one!)



We got this new Lutyens bench a few weeks ago, and it is already beginning to soften in colour and, as it  weathers it will become silvery grey. It is my favourite place for sitting and contemplating. 



Dahlias and Asters are still flowering, as are random sweet peas !


I have only really just discovered the joys of Erysimums, and the one in the photo is 'Bowles Mauve'. They are my kind of plant, as they stay the same, without staking, pruning, coaxing or cutting back. I love the long flowering period and the compact shape. I have planted out half a dozen young Erysimums of different colours/ varieties and am interested to see how they progress. I bought them on offer from 'Hayloft Nursery', online, a couple of months ago.


Cotinus Coggygria 'Royal Purple' never disappoints, whatever the season, and can make even my flower arrangements look good!


Come on 'Sexy Rexy', it's October, not June ! This ridiculously named rose was planted about six weeks ago, and is determined to flower before the end of the season.


The vegetation in 'Top Pond' (as it is imaginatively called) is beginning to die back as the water temperature drops.


The first time I saw the sun streaming through the bark of this Prunus Serrula, I thought that the then -children had tied some sort of dayglo streamers onto it !  It is a beautiful sight, as there are always ribbons of bark hanging off it, and when they are backlit like this, the effect is stunning.


The sub tropical garden is untouched by the advancing season, and dahlias and cosmos are still flowering strongly. The Ligularias have died back, but other than that it remains unchanged. Fatsia Japonica (in the foreground) is totally hardy, and will remain unchanged through out the winter, apart from a few flowers it is beginning to put out. The ferns will disappear, unless they are evergreen, although I have to resist the urge to cut them back anyway, as they look very sad.


The Tetrapanax in the foreground has grown well this season, as it has relished the conditions. It is tender, but has come through two winters with just a thick mulch over it. It is in quite a protected position here, so the micro climate must be beneficial.


Tree ferns and cordylines, mostly newly planted this season.


Nothing says 'smug' like trimmed hedges and a cleared veg patch !


Promise not to snigger... above is the beginning of my beech arch, which has been long in the planning. I have never cut the hedging nearest to the gate and have encouraged it to grow unchecked , in the hope that, when tall enough, it could be formed into an arch above the gate. I had only the haziest idea of how to accomplish this, so when it came to it I had to consult my gardening guru, Google. Google said lots about metal frames and wire and supports which I totally ignored, and I am relying on good old garden twine to bind the whippy branches together to form the shape I want. My assumption is that as the branches age and harden, they will form the arch I want, if I continue to tie in and shape and prune a little. At the moment it is a little lopsided but I am hoping that next season's growth will allow me to even it up.


The grass really is this ridiculous emerald green when the sun is on it and I promise I haven't been photoshopping! It is probably the moss and not the grass giving this effect!



Although it isn't visible, the pond is entirely covered by a huge net to stop the leaves from falling in. We had to cut down all the vegetation in and around the pond before we put it over. 
We are trying to open this area up by cutting down some ivy covered elders, to let more light in. 

So, there it is, a garden in deepest Lincolnshire, UK, at the end of October, looking more like a summer garden that an autumn one, photographed on a day when it was warm enough to sit outside . What a gift this weather has been, and hopefully it will make the winter, when it comes, seem a little shorter.

This post is part of the 'End of the month view' meme, hosted by Helen, at  'The Patient Gardener'. Many thanks for that, and if you visit, you will find a huge variety of blogs and gardens to visit from around the world.






















43 comments:

  1. Wow, yes, I would say your garden looks like a tropical haven! Our gardens here in the U.S. Midwest are definitely going to sleep now--on a "normal" timeline as we approach November. I think your arch looks fabulous! And the light with the shadows on your grass is hauntingly beautiful!

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    1. Hi PlantPostings, I would expect ours to be drifting off to sleep at this point in the season. Today we are experiencing the warmest Hallowe'en on record - with an expected 21 degrees!

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  2. What a beautiful October garden! And I love the arch; I've always been rather intimidated about trying anything like that. Maybe I had better get my courage and invention to work - it makes such a lovely effect!

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    1. Hi Amy, thanks for kind comments about the arch - it is still its infancy, and I hope it will fill out and even out a lot next season!

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  3. Your garden is looking really nice Jane, looking more like the photos were taken in early summer indeed than autumn. I know you want to keep most of the leaves of the banana but you can snip off virtually most if it for ease of moving indoors, it won't harm it. You both have done a fabulous job in your garden, I feel inspired to garden this weekend now :)

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  4. Hi Mark & gaz, thanks for the advice, the banana has been so glorious that we are determined to make sure it survives whatever this winter has to throw at it.

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  5. The sun had its hat pulled down over its ears yesterday here,
    Co-incidentally I bought the same collection of erysimums.

    As for geraniums/pelargoniums, our neighbour's are still flowering from last summer and didn't stop over winter, I wonder uf they will survive this winter?

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    1. Hi Sue, it has been an amazing year as regards the weather, and long may it continue.
      How are your Erysimums doing ? have you planted them out yet ? I kept mine in the greenhouse until they found their feet and have recently planted them in the garden. We will have to swap notes on their progress !

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    2. I bought my erysimums kast year and overwintered them in the cold frame and planted them out in spring and the planfs have bushed out nicely bit so far only a sprinkling of flowers - a light sprinkling at that.

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    3. Good to hear that the plants have already filled out, as I did wonder if they would be less vigorous than 'Bowles Mauve'. I am excited to see the flower colours of the new plants as they look so interesting. I have bought quite a few of the Hayloft offers, as they are so reasonable.

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  6. As others have said you have a truly amazing garden, one certainly to be very proud of. Thank you for sharing it with us. It is a beautiful warm sunny day today, great for working in the garden and sadly possibly one of the last before the colder weather arrives. Fingers crossed the weatherman is wrong!

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    1. Thankyou for your very kind comments, but I am very selective about the bits I photograph ! I could hear the garden calling me today but was unable to get out there - shame as it was. as you say, a perfect day. Hope you got loads accomplished !

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  7. How wonderful to have fall continuing glorious green and so many blooms still. We are waning in the garden. I will review mine on Monday. You will see such a stark difference. I much prefer your lingering autumn.

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  8. Hi Donna, I will pop over to you on Monday when your new post is up and see how your garden is faring! Ours can't keep this up for much longer!

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  9. I'm lusting after your beech hedge. If only I had the money/strength to pull out the unimaginative laurel I'm faced with every time I drive in and out. I'd love the prunus serrula too, but I just looked it up and I fear it would not do well here with our very wet soil. Your October garden is a real treat.

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  10. Hi Susan, I must admit to being rather partial to Laurel! Shame the Prunus serial would not like your conditions as it is a fabulous tree - it stays reasonably small and well shaped, has bark to die for, and even has blossom in spring.

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  11. I enjoyed your EOMV post Jane and chuckled at the thought of your banana plant snuggling under the duvet with you. What is the fabulous tall grass in the second photo?

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  12. Hi Anna, thanks for that. I will do anything to get that banana through the winter! The grass is 'Molinea', but I have lost any record of the variety. It is a wonderful grass which has very delicate seed heads. I have personally found a lot of grasses to be disappointing performers ... but not this one !

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  13. I have seen a professional gardener form an arch in exactly the same way and it worked a treat. Keep the faith! The garden is looking great, so lush!

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    1. Hi Jessica, phew, that is a relief . I thought it seemed logical just to tie the young whippy branches together and let nature do the rest, but when I Googled it, everyone was suggesting metal free standing frames and wire templates.Seemed far too complex to me, but thought I might be flying in the face of some known wisdom!

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  14. Still beautiful, still attractive! Always enjoy looking at your lush garden and interesting plants. I really like that Pampas and the plumes wow!!

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    1. Thank you Stephanie. The Pampas is a lovely sight at the moment, and I hadn't realised how long-lived they are !

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  15. What a beauty is still in your garden Jane. Overhere it feels also like it is june. I had a lot of problems with fungi on my roses during the year but now new fresh leaves are coming everywhere. Even a primula is flowering normaly flowering in begin of may. I enjoyed my visit in your garden.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Hi Marijke, glad you are enjoying this gorgeous weather too! People are reporting some very unusual flowerings at the moment. I have a delphinium in full flower, how mad is that ! Why do you think your roses have been so badly affected ? Some of mine were affected by the early spring weather but have been fine since. They are worth all the trouble they put us to!

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  16. Hello Jane ! I am glad to discover your gorgeous garden. You grow so many beautiful plants . Wishing you happy days in your green paradise ! Greetings from Greece !

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  17. Hi Dani, pleasure to meet you, and I'm glad you enjoyed your visit! gardening in Greece must be so very different to here in the UK.

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  18. I love your arch, who needs metal anyway, and the new bench invites you to pause and consider. Loads of lovely foliage, though how you are going to get that banana anywhere much without trimming leaves beats me! Crazy weather, isn't it, and who cares if it is moss, that emerald green carpet is beautiful.

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  19. Hi Janet, crazy weather indeed ! My Digitalis 'Illumination' has decided it is spring and has fired up into growth and flower ! Lots of weird and wonderful things going on! I think I will have to do as Mark & Gaz suggest, and trim leaves off, otherwise it won't even fit through the door!

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  20. Am coverting your new bench, wanted one like that for ages. I am sure Monty chopped the leaves off his banana before storing

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  21. Hi Helen, you adequate right, Monty was quite brutal and chopped all the leaves off his banana ! We want to try and keep ours in growth inside, if we can ! maybe we can compromise and chop enough leaves off to get it through the door !

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  22. Typo alert ... not 'adequate' but 'are quite' right !!

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  23. The dwarf red banana looks so stunning, I have never seen before. Here, I often see red ornamental banana, but the tree is much taller and slimmer than yours.

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    1. Hi Endah, I just hope it lasts through the winter as it is very tender !

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  24. What a beautiful garden you have, and so much interest even though it's the end of October (in your photos). I had to laugh when I read about Gus, I'd have the same problem with my Archie, he just has to jump in whatever water he finds. Your rose thinks it's still summer, it seems to have been a good year for them this year.

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    1. Hi Jo, thank you for your comments. Is it Archie in the photo ? He looks like a sweetie !

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  25. I suppose the cooler weather has hit your garden by now too, it was about 10 degrees colder today than last Friday and tonight it’s only 6 degrees! Brrr, I am not sure I’m ready for winter yet!

    Your garden looks lovely in the sunshine, thanks for the tour, I enjoyed seeing the different parts of your autumn garden and I loved your new bench. I can just imagine you going to be with your banana – what don’t we do for our plants eh? I also have some tender plants that might need to come to bed with me, they survived last winter just fine, but I had no frost – if we get a cold winter I might have to be inventive. Although taking a banana palm to be would not be so bad, a spiky canary palm is a bit worse…ough!

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    1. Hi helene, thank you for your comments. yes, the temperature has dropped suddenly now, and it is a big shock!

      The Canary palm will have to take its chances I'm afraid !!

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  26. What a gorgeous space you have to garden in! And I love the golden color of your home, it looks like Travertine. In fact, the whole thing looks like Italy instead of England. Is this what global warming is going to do for us? Create Italy in England? I have a possible idea for your banana. We weren't able to keep our greenhouse warm enough as a whole for the lemons, so my husband wrapped them in a garden cloth (so sun could get through) and put a very low--like 20watt--plastic shop light with a hook on the pots. It was just enough to keep each lemon tree from freezing without going broke trying to keep the whole greenhouse warm. It was brilliant! Just a thought....Thanks to Tammy for introducing me to your site! I garden in Portland, Oregon (similar to the UK) www.life-change-compost.com Cheers!

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    1. Hi Susie and thank you for your comments. What a good idea of yours to use a light to give low level heat. I have already told my partner abut it! I will pop over to your blog and pay you a visit!!

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  27. Your garden is huge! You must be in a warmer climate than I am because my garden is headed to bed a bit more each day. I have no idea what to do with that banana except to bundle it's leaves in twine and stuff it into the house.

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    1. Hi tammy, the banana has now taken up residence in the conservatory ! I bet my garden is catching yours up very quickly as the temperature has dropped like a stone over the last few days! It feels very wintry now !

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  28. Dear Jane, your garden looked absolutely fantastic in October! I do love all the tender and tropical plants that you are growing and I am quite astonished to see many plants that are growing here in San Diego as well. Your new Lutyens bench is so beautiful. A great purchase (certainly not cheap, I guess) that enhances your garden. I can see myself sitting there with a cup of tea and a book and not move for hours. 'Sexy Rexy' is a really good rose here in America and it seems to want to do well for you, too. The rose is lovely, but honestly the name is ridiculous. I can people see NOT buying this rose, just because of its name, which, of course, is not fair to the rose at all. I wonder, who names a rose like that? The emerald green color of the grass by the pond area is truly a sight to behold. Hope the nice weather continues for you, warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Hi Christina, thanks so much for your lovely comments.
      I agree that 'Sexy Rexy' is a name which will put people off purchasing it. It took me all my courage ...

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Thanks for visiting and reading.
I really welcome comments and have learned much from them, over the years of leaning over the virtual garden gate ...