End of Month View – October 2017

October in the centre of England has been a strange month. The temperature has continued to be above average and the plants have continued to flower. It is definitely autumn with the leaves turning and dropping, all the more so with several windy periods as a couple of Atlantic storms have arrived. We are towards the east of the country so even these storms have normally moderated by the time they get to us.

17_10_28_7426My regular view across the garden. There are still many flowers out although not as many as last month. We have not had any frost so far so the dahlias are continuing to flower. One of the negative aspect of the warm and damp weather through September and October has been the growth of moss in the lawns. 17_10_29_7433This time of year is a good time for scarification to remove any thatch and moss in the lawn. It always amazes me how much can come up with such a small machine and this is after the lawns have been cut with the normal mower.17_10_28_7425Its a labour intensive job. After the scarification the thatch needs to be raked into piles.17_10_28_7427Bagged up ready to be moved around to the composting area. Then the lawn need mowing again to pick any lose material not raked up. Thank goodness it is only once a year.17_10_29_7434Elsewhere a sure sign that winter is on the way is when we start to wrap the benches in the garden.17_10_29_7442However, the roses continue to flower. This is mostly Rosa ‘Lichfield Angel’17_10_29_7437and Rosa ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ which also needs its winter prune to get it back into shape.17_10_29_7439Pruning climbing roses is a significant job at this time of year. This will more or less need to be taken off the wall and rearranged but………..17_05_13_5698……….see how it will look in May. Rosa ‘Shot Silk’ is the rose.

One of the stars this autumn has been Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’ which continues to look fantastic.17_10_29_7441View across the lawn with Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’  either side of the pond.

It is getting into bulb planting time. We do not lift our tulips as most come back each year but over time they do need replenishing. My order for 2017 arrived and contains the following:

Quantity Name
250 Crocus Joan of Arc
100 Crocus speciosus Albus
50 Cyclamineus Narcissi Jenny
100 Narcissi Tete-a-Tete
20 Lilium Bright Diamond
20 Lilium Foxtrot
10 Lilium Purple Lady
10 Lilium Curly Sue
10 Lilium Venezuela
20 Schubertii
100 Anemone Altrocoerulea
15 Cyclamen Coum Album
10 Cyclamen Hederifolium Album
25 Eremurus Bungei
100 Iris Histrioides Katherine Hodgkin
25 Leucojum Aestivum
25 Leucojum Vernum
10 Lilium candidum
100 Tulip Exotic Emperor
100 Tulip Purissima White Emperor
100 Tulip Red Impression
100 Tulip Big Smiles
100 Tulip Elegant Lady
100 Tulip Purple Blend
100 Tulip Species Turkestanica

We have made a start but the tulips are best not planted before November to avoid “Tulip Fire” so we are going to be busy in November with 700 bulbs to plant! Tulip fire is caused by the fungus Botrytis tulipae. It is closely related to the grey mould pathogen Botrytis cinerea. Leaf symptoms are visible from when leaves emerge in late winter until they die back in summer.

17_10_29_7444In some areas we have started to cut back the herbaceous plants in preparation for tulips and mulching. However, with so much still flowering it seems a shame to cut out too much.

The dahlias will continue to flower until the first hard frost. Here is Dahlia “Twyning’s After Eight” plus a Red Admiral butterfly!17_10_29_7438This is Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ which will be cut back soon but is looking great right now.17_10_28_7430This combination of Osteospermum ‘Tresco Purple’ and Salvia ‘Cerro Potosi’ has been looking great since June this year.17_10_29_7445What is this flowering so much at the end of November? Helianthemum ‘Ben Fhada’ a flower I normally associate with the summer but I am not complaining.

If you would like to join in with the End of Month View please do. It would be great if you could add a link to your post in the comments below and link to this post in your post.

2017 Gardening Hours
Week beginning
October 21st
Total 2017 to-date Average per week
28 883 21

Breaking News:

17_10_30_7446Having almost completed this blog and commented on the frost free weather; this morning we had the first frost of the winter! Not enough to hurt the dahlias but they will be hit soon.

The wall across the lawn

We moved to Glebe House in September 1994. When people come around our garden they often ask us what the garden was like when we moved in. Actually some of the garden features were there then but over time they have all evolved and in some areas a small paddock has been incorporated into the garden.17_05_25_5840 The other day I noticed that the wall across the lawn was looking particularly good.This wall divides the main lawn and follows the contours of the ground resulting in the lawn being at two levels and although it does not align with other garden features it takes the eye into the garden towards the views beyond.img120This photo was actually taken in June 1995. As you can see the wall was in place then but was not really made a feature of the garden.17_05_24_5833We always felt the wall needed a good “full stop” at the end. As you can see above we have created a small round bed at the end with a Rosa Bonica providing the “stop”. You can also see that the wall is actually higher than the original wall. In the old photo the lawn edge actually sloped down to the top of the wall.img119Another photo from June 1995. The steps up had been built and these have not been changed apart from the flower beds around them and the lawn in the foreground is now paved with sandstone  The very large tree, back right, is an old walnut. We were very disappointed when it died and had to be removed about ten years ago.17_05_25_5839The steps today with the sand stone paving.17_05_24_5831As well as raising the height of the wall we have created a flower bed along the top of the wall. This is about one metre wide and at this time of year it really comes into its own.

In any dry stone wall then Aubrieta is an essential plant.

The rock rose, Helianthemum ‘The Bride’ has been looking great although just one day after these photos were taken there were no flowers on it. That was probably due to the heat which has unusually been at 28c for the last few days!

This is probably my favourite geranium, Geranium cenereum subcaulescens. It is a very dark cerise colour which really shines out from the green leaves. It is planted singularly along the wall but also on mass under Rosa Bonica at the end of the wall.17_05_24_5824Another geranium at the end of the wall is Geramium sanguineum ‘Shepherd’s Warning’. This was planted about eight years ago and although it looks quite healthy has not spread unlike some  of the other sanguineums that can be very invasive.

This plant was taken from a cutting in a friend’s garden. It is definitely a “noname” plant at the moment.17_05_24_5818Viola cornuta ‘Alba’ must have arrived from else where in the garden but it is working well here.17_05_24_5832Rosmarinus officinalis forms a small bushy shrub and provides Rosemary for cooking.

17_05_24_5820

Geramium sanguineum striatum

17_05_24_5822

Geramium sanguineum striatum

17_05_24_5812Geramium sanguineum striatum is a lovely geramium and here it is on either side of the steps.17_05_24_5817Geranium cinereum ‘Ballerina’ another small geranium.17_05_24_5819Another rock rose, Helianthemum ‘Ben Fhada’17_05_25_5838Along the wall from the steps.17_05_24_5831Looking the other way along the wall. Over the next few days we will be planting Mesembryanthemum ‘Magic Carpet’ which have been started in the greenhouse and will provided interest throughout the summer.

Gardening Hours
This week Total since June 19th Average per week
51 885 17