The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

Crisp and cold

The last day of November. 

Winter is coming. 

Our Angel

Today's post is dedicated to our beautiful red border collie, Angel. 

I chose Angel when she was just a few days old, before she had even opened her eyes.  She had a pink heart shaped nose and pink foot pads.  We named her Angel and the breeder registered her with "celestial" as part of her KC papers.

After many play dates, at 12 weeks we were finally able to bring her home.  This tiny ball of fluff with a floppy ear became the most gentle, friendly, loyal companion I've ever known.

One of her favourite places was Filey beach in North Yorkshire where she visited at least once a year with the outlaws, camping.

Angel was a charmer.  She helped several children and my mother-in-law with their fear of dogs, and regularly received complements on how beautiful or well behaved she was.

She loved balls, sticks way too big for her, water and squirrels.

And she loved us as much as we loved her, if not more.


14.04.2005 - 10.11.2019

The final touches

It's the last few days of September and between showers the final touches take place in the Yen. 

The two hydrangeas, 'blueberry Cheesecake' have been planted and the euonymous elata has changed into its autumn attire. 

This gloriously tactile grass is a pennisetum and should link the colours in the opposite side of the Yen rather nicely.  It's considered a tender perennial in these parts so I'm not sure if it will delight again next year. I guess it will depend on how long and hard the winter is.

With the repositioned Buddha head and tsukubai water bowl, all that remains is replacing the setting stones "ishi wo tateru koto" which represent Buddha and his two attendants. 

The gravel has been evenly redistributed and the banana and cannas positioned in place to enjoy what is left of the frost-free weather.

As the weather is about to turn much cooler, the rattan companion seat has taken up its winter position again behind the terrace seat and is now enveloped in its waterproof jacket.

The two Viburnums are placed either side of the patio arch and the washing line has come down. 

The garden is being prepared for the quieter months.

But and there, the plants and trees are making adjustments for their exit party.  They're not done just yet.

Cotinus in Mugwort's Retreat. 

Acer and euonymous elata in the Yen. 

Old papery birch bark peels in Mugwort's Retreat. 

And the staghorn tree in the front garden. 

There is so much interest in the autumn months yet to be revealed, all it needs is the temperatures to drop a little more. 

But summer is not going down without a fight. 

Scented white phlox and blue hardy geraniums peek through the glowing weigela Wings of Fire foliage in the corner of the patio border/ Long Border 

A pretty fuchsia scrambling through fading peony leaves in the Long Border. 

And in the front garden, r. Tall Story and a magenta hardy geranium, along with the final blooms of crocosmias hang on to every last moment of summer.


Autumn is definitely on its way.  It's as though a switch has been flicked.  The nights are drawing in and it is taking longer each morning for the sun to rise.  There's a sharper freshness in the mornings and the nights are certainly cooler.

A little attention has been given to the Yen Garden today as the autumn tweaking begins.

The first job was to extricate the Cotinus (smoke bush) from the pot it has lived in for the past few years.  It took quite some effort and eventually, once it was free, it was planted at the back of Mugwort's Retreat.  If it has coped with the upheaval, the autumn shades will look wonderful here.

Back to the Yen, and the new bed is being created, along with making the original bed much deeper.

There are buds aplenty on the Skimmia japonica 'Rubella' above, and r. Mum in a Million is still going strong. 

Before long all the tints of the season will begin to develop.  I hope for a dry, less breezy autumn to enjoy the colours for the longest time possible. 

A quick glance around the garden.

Recently, Adam Frost hosted Gardener's World on the BBC and he was explaining the pruning techniques for Wisteria.  He was told to remember 7's and 2's!

So The Man That Can decided to give it a try.  We had a single flower this year so here's hoping that cutting back to 7 buds in the 7th month, and to 2 buds in the 2nd month, will give us the goods next year.  

He has only done a few shoots this way because we're still training in the framework. 

This curious flower belongs to Rhodochiton which we planted in July. 

As it's a tender climber, I doubt it'll survive our winter but it's happy enough for now, scrambling through r. Shropshire Lad. 

As the long weekend at the end of August passes, my mind begins to wander, toying with ideas for next year...