The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

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?

Hardy Plants Sale

There was a plant sale at the Botanical Gardens this morning. 

Bumblebee kindly took most of the pictures above, before choosing a new plant for himself - a cactus.

Among our new acquisitions are a couple of pink hardy geraniums, grasses and ferns.

Back home, TMTC is busy planting in the pink garden while I thin out some plants in the container pond in the Yen Garden.

We've added to our Japanese anemone collection with a lovely deeper pink variety. There are quite a few buds but this fading bloom was the only one available today.

We've also added a taller persicaria and a number of pink hardy geraniums of various shades. 

The bedding is looking tired now. 

But the hydrangeas are looking fabulous! 

The pond has had a bit of a tidy up

But only a scant clean as the frog is still in residence.  Can you spot him?

And finally, the tree stump was taken down

And now the bees can be left in peace to pick over the sedum as it comes into full bloom.