The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

The Clearing Begins

Some plants I prefer to leave over winter to provide food and shelter for wildlife, or remain looking good over the winter with a little frost to decorate.  Others however are looking decidedly tatty and so the back garden was given a tidy up this week.

The pink Japanese anemone spreads like mad in this corner. The whole plant was cut down and the unwanted sections removed.  Also in this corner the zebra thuggish grass was dug up.  We may have to keep an eye on this area as it sends out runners under the soil.

The fuchsia has been removed further along this bed, creating a good planting space for next year.  I haven't decided on the replacement yet.

Three clematis have had a hard prune.

The water feature in the Yen Garden has been emptied, cleaned and stored in a frost free spot in the shed.  The plants have been put into the pond until the spring. 

The remaining wall planters were stripped and the Japanese anemone in front of the shed was also cut back hard.  A new handle has been attached to the shed door.

Long strappy leaves from the crocosmias either side of the arch have been removed. 

'Flo' has been returned to her usual place and a handle has been added to this shed too.

Finally, the working area has been tidied up with the bags of compost being stacked up the corner.  A fourth compost bin, gifted from a neighbour, had been positioned ready to be filled by all the pruning and dying bedding plants from this week's spruce up.

Around the garden, leaves are falling, revealing some stunning stems of dogwood and birch. 

Next comes the front garden. 

It is most definitely Autumn

Come said the leaves to the wind one day,

Come o'er the meadows and we will play.

Put on your dresses scarlet and gold,

For summer is gone and the days grow cold.

George Eliot 

Two of the bird boxes that are really just for decoration were given a lick of paint, along with the front and one side of the bottom shed.

I'm really rather pleased with the result.

Rambling Rose in Print!

I'd completely forgotten about sending in a quick photo to one of the gardening magazines.   It was a very pleasant surprise therefore to recognise the view from my sofa!

Lazy Sunday

TMTC simply loves these lazy days at week's end when the sun is shining and there's nothing planned.

And then I think it's time to get some plantpot feet to help the new containers survive winter so we 'just nip out' to the big diy store the other side of the city.  While there, I'm to look for 'icy cold' looking plants for Bumblebee's pot.  And there's fence paint of darkest brown to choose for the front garden....oh and since we're that way, paint for the shed at the bottom of the garden in two tones of green.  On reading the guide on the latter, we'll need to sand it down so sandpaper and paint brushes as ours have seen better days.

But they have sold out of pot a trip to our local garden centre is a must.  The guy at the garden centre is setting up his Christmas display and is more than happy to switch on the little train winding in and out of the various seasonal produce.

What's not to love about these lazy Sundays? 

Oh yes.  Of course now we have the plants, feet and sandpaper,  there's work to do!

A white tipped euonymous is the backbone of Bumblebee's pot, with 3 blue-white violas, 3 blue primulas with white eyes, and a variegated ivy draping over the edge.

There are a lot of buds on the rhododendron in the Yen Garden.  Some are leaf buds and others are flower buds.

The fence erected by our neighbour doesn't look so bad from the bottom. It just needs a lick of paint.

TMTC set to sanding down the shed to prepare it.

All we have to do now is paint...the fence above the bottom shed, the shed, the fence in the front garden and the fence along the drive.  I can hear someone praying for rain...

Autumn jobs

It's that time again.  Certain things have to be done at certain times, for instance autumn clearance and moving things.

I'm done with this fuchsia.  It hasn't performed particularly well again and tends to struggle with aphids.  It'll come out in the next couple of weeks to open out this space.

The clematis are finished.  They have needs specific to when they flower. This one will be cut back in March.

But this one just needs tidying up.

I have to organise this corner behind the pond a little better. It's a mishmash of Japanese anemones, and pots. 

But not today.

Rose on a Ramble

As autumn rolls in, every opportunity to get out into the fresh air is grabbed before the dank sets in.  Bumblebee is always looking for new opportunities to develop his photography skills so we combined the two and headed up to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield. 

We've been aiming to visit for the last 8 years since moving up here, and at last we were able to make it. 

The Sculpture Park is free entry, but there is a charge for the car park of £8 for the day, which I'd say is a very fair price.  Dogs are welcome on a lead and we spotted a collection of mobility scooters and wheelchairs to loan, but it's not particularly wheelchair friendly once out in the open.  There are trails but many of the exhibits are in lawned areas if you want to get up close and personal.

Take a picnic and a camera,  and wear some good walking shoes.  It's a great place!

Preparing for Autumn

The equinox fell this week, the nights will now grow longer which means we have to squeeze as much into a dry weekend as possible before the temperatures dip. 

Gardening further north, this doesn't necessarily mean tidying all the fading foliage from the plants in the borders. Some plants will appreciate the extra protection from the cold, just as we do. Beneficial insects also like to use the hollow stems for instance.

We were given a couple of bird boxes recently. An open one suitable for robins and wrens was situated nestled among an ivy on the fence which will eventually hide the nest if used.

The other, more suited to tits or sparrows was attached to the bottom shed.

We were also given another compost bin (which makes 4 now).  We will have to sort out this utility space to fit it in, but fit it will!

Holes have been drilled into these three pots on the bottom shed, in preparation for planting up when I find something suited to this shaded spot.

The final vine eyes and wire have been set up in the pink garden...

...and Yen Garden 

And the mirror put back up.

It's time also to replace the summer bedding plants to give new ones a chance to settle in and fill out before the colder months arrive.  

I've lifted the pelargoniums, tidied up the foliage and potted them up. They can stay a wee while longer on the patio, keeping an eye on the forecast for frosts which may kill them.

In each planter either side of the terrace seat I've reused the copper grasses from the kitchen window mangers, along with a cherry coloured heuchera lifted from a wooden planter that had seen better days. Creamy white bare-root wallflowers have been added at the back and in a day or two will look a little more alive.  The roses have been lightly pruned, as have the osteospermums.  The rest of the summer bedding was composted.   Finally a sugary pink cyclamen was planted along with a few burgundy viola plugs which should stretch out the interest until the spring bulbs re-emerge. 

I don't have the heart to disturb Bumblebee's container just yet.  I have however planted up 3 matching pots.  The fuchsia is still going strong but as it fades, burgundy violas will take over in each pot. Beneath these are bulbs of white narcissus, corms of pink and white cyclamen and mixed crocus.  In the smaller pot new tulip 'Queen of the Night' bulbs from our Dutch friends are crammed in for a punch of moody colour. Two clumps of the same creamy white wallflowers will provide a scented corner in spring.

TMTC lifted, split and replanted a clump of crocosmias that had swamped his sea hollies this year.  He removed a spindly fuchsia behind the washing line post, and found the perfect spot for them.

The other penstemon was dug up, tidied up and temporarily potted up to take to his parent's garden.

This area will be replanted at a later date, but in the meantime there is a clematis Armandii to clothe the trellis as an evergreen backdrop.

In the pink garden, flowers are few but definitely pink.

The apples are being harvested

and making way for c. Shikoo in the Yen Garden. 

C. Princess Kate is still producing blooms on the arch as the acers begin their autumn display. 

And finally, what would an autumn entry be without a shot of the vivid shades of the Stag Horn tree leaves?