The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

Autumn in the air

Of course it is the change of season...we all have a cold. So far autumn has been cool nights, foggy mornings, dry afternoons, with some very welcome warm sunshine.

There's a change just around the corner however with wet and windy weather in the forecast. Typically British. Just as the leaves turn up the heat, they'll not be able to show off for very long.

In preparation for the cooler weather, it was time for a visit to the garden centre for my autumn-spring display.

Spring bulbs nestled below white cyclamen, yellow violas and dark red heuchera either side of the bench on the deck.

The theme continues with the trough and window boxes.

The fuchsia was moved to the opposite corner (above) opening up planting opportunities. A pot of ericaceous compost is a temporary home for the two skimmias that aren't looking very happy. I've moved them to a more sheltered spot to see if they perk up.

In their place either side of the gate, I've removed all the lily bulbs (I've given up fighting lily beetles) and replaced the compost, a couple of verbena with some wallflowers for spring, topped off with white pansies.

The last of the Japanese Anemones cling a day or two they will have been claimed by the incoming winds.  The hydrangea below is made of sterner stuff. The heads are fading, but will stay put until I trim them in the spring.

We were given a huge rhododendron by our neighbours as it had outgrown their garden. It appears a little unwell so I've potted it up in ericaceous compost and watering it with water from the butt, I'm hoping it will make it through the winter. We'll see.

Oh...and our visitor is back. It's dug a hole beside the one we blocked off in the bottom bed...

...and started work on a new hole to get into the neighbour's garden, breaking some of the sedum stems.

We've decided that since its not trying to get under the deck this time, we'll allow its passage, so we've moved some of the more delicate specimens to the neighbouring beds.

Now all the birds have finished nesting we can trim the high hedging at the bottom of the garden. It's a job for the professionals.

Happy gardening!

Productive day's work

The Man That Can and Bumblebee had an away day. Since it was such a beautiful day I thought I would get cracking on cutting back and clearing away for autumn.

There was enough waste plant material from cutting back and clearing to top up my compost bins. Most of it came from the white/pink bed and Bumblebee's plot.

This clematis is scrambling over the archway with the two honeysuckles. The lilies below are flowering themselves daft, despite having hardly any leaves. Last year I brought the flowers inside due to the wet weather.

I had clean forgotten I had bought a pink daylily! What a delightful surprise.

I had to browse my previous blog entries to check, but the above hydrangea is my 'blue' one....

The one below is my 'red' one...

And of course the inherited lilac one out front, which is spectacular!

Bumblebee's plot has produced garlic of varying success. Not bad at all for his first attempt.

Plans are already being drawn up for his 2016 plot.

Taking stock

It's that time of the year again; time to see what has worked and what hasn't in the summer garden. It's also a good idea to see what jobs need doing come the autumn.

First off the deck. It's so in need of being replaced as the whole thing is rotting - the sound of the wood splintering under foot is unnerving.

The pond has been a great success. A frog has taken up residence and the plants in and around are doing well.

The first part of the long border is overwhelmed with large herbaceous plants and a fuchsia

The mid section isn't too bad but the dark leafed fuchsia was attacked by aphids. It didn't seem to stop the plant taking over completely, despite being pruned hard. I'm going to move it in the autumn...not sure where to yet though.

The last part of the long border is so far just a dumping ground where I temporarily planted what was left of the plants that moved with us, with not much thought going into the outcome. Another area that needs attention.

The bed in front of the bottom shed is pretty much how I like it although the Japanese Anemone has taken over and will need dividing in the autumn.

The dwarf hedge is in need of a trim. I do plan on growing it taller however, to hide the shed wall.

The bed below is lacking in wow factor now the foxgloves have finished. There is a very small Japanese Anemone and another small fuchsia but there's a clear space that needs filling for next year.

Another gap has become apparent, again left by the foxgloves...a space just right for an overexcited fuchsia perhaps?

The dry border below has done very well. The electric blue of the sea holly is cracking beside the bright pink of the Penstemon. We have another two sea holly varieties hiding among the foliage somewhere, but I don't think we'll see them anytime this year...if ever!

Lilies either side of the arch are very poor quality. I'm going to give them one more chance but in another area of the garden to see if moving them would be their saving grace.

I am also considering removing the honeysuckles. The scented yellow variety by this time of year has produced bright red shiny berries and is losing leaves. The other, an evergreen, simply takes over. The flowers are pretty and alongside the purple clematis looks great...even better on the other side, but maybe a hard prune might change my mind.

There are so many berries on the sorbus this year. The blackbirds are already showing an interest, but keeping the fallen berries swept up and away from the dogs is a challenge as they give them a poorly tum!

They are a perfect match for the crocosmia 'Lucifer'

The evergreen clematis is looking neglected. I'm hoping it is just due to us having been on holiday.

I'm not sure the new pink bed is properly designed yet for summer. It looks amazing in spring, but so tired and dull now.  Plenty of time to put that right; move things about a bit.

The hydrangea my colleagues bought me is very much in the wrong place - it's blue! This means the acid ph needs adjusting for the rest of the border, but perhaps swap this one for the larger pink one that is still in a container from when we revamped the front garden.

Either side of the secret door we planted clematis. One has died back and the other is spindly and weak looking. I'm hoping it's again due to our being away and that next year, with some tlc and a good prune things will turnaround.

Bumblebee's plot is pretty much beyond repair. All the flowers have run to seed so a good clearing is the best course of action.

The birds have had every single strawberry. He's planning on making a net/cage for next year.

And finally the apples are ripening well.  A garden is never finished. There is always something either failing, outgrowing its allotted space or needing to be moved. It's a living being that gives as good as it gets. It's all part of the joy of gardening and using a blog or a journal is a great way to keep an eye on how a garden evolves.