October garden

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I am ignoring the rugby (England v Australia) which is currently on in the other room. My boys have just left the room in disgust. It’s just too much
to bear.

So… It’s been a glorious week, weather-wise. There was a keen wind here on the south-east coast earlier in the week but the days have been sunny and lovely and warm in sheltered spots. Yesterday, the wind dropped and I threw open the doors and windows to listen to the birds singing and fill the house with fresh sea air. Gorgeous.

There is still quite a lot going on in the garden and loads of jobs to do.

The self-sown marigolds are looking jewel-like with the dark purple nicotiana.
The self-sown marigolds are looking jewel-like with the dark purple nicotiana. This really is one of my favourite colour combinations.  I hoiked out the marigolds (calendula) this afternoon as they have somewhat swamped the other planting and I want to see where all the perennials are and fill the gaps. The planting here was rather thrown together for the Garden Safari back in June and I’d like to give it more thought.
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The Tithonias are still flowering their socks off and providing welcome autumn nectar for bees and hoverflies. I’ll keep deadheading them and see how long they last.
Our autumn raspberries are laden with fruit. 'Joan-J' is the stand-out variety with large, well-formed delicious fruit. The 'Autumn Bliss' canes, while just as prolific, have smaller, less tasty fruit.
Our autumn raspberries are laden with fruit. ‘Joan-J’ is the stand-out variety for me with its large, well-formed delicious fruit. The ‘Autumn Bliss’ canes, while just as prolific, have smaller, less tasty fruit (in my opinion!). I’m picking about half a colander-full of raspberries every other day at the moment (some don’t make it into the colander) and we’ve been enjoying them with Greek yogurt. 
The border along the back wall needs a good weed and tidy but it's still colourful.
The border along the back wall needs a good sort out but it’s still looking lush.
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This pretty clump of pink Japanese anemones is on one side of the front steps and a large swathe of white ones is on the other side. The whites are much more invasive and have started to creep across the steps to join their mates.
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One of our two cats – Alfie – posing for the camera. Those meddlesome white anemones are in the foreground. The Erigeron on the steps has been flowering non-stop since April.
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Erigeron is also growing in the back garden wall. This plant can spread itself all over the garden if it wants to. I love it.
The wilderness at the bottom of the front garden. We sowed chalk grassland wildflower seeds here in May but there are too many weeds that have out-competed the wild flowers. Some, such as the ox-eye daisies, have come up though. It's a tricky area and we need to rethink it.
The wilderness at the bottom of the front garden – we sowed chalk grassland wildflower seeds here in May. Unfortunately we didn’t do a thorough enough job of clearing beforehand and too many weeds out-competed the wild flowers. Some, such as the ox-eye daisies, have come up though.
The climbing rose (unknown variety) at the front of the house has been flowering since May.
The climbing rose (unknown variety) at the front of the house has been flowering since May. You can just see the lavender in the background – it’s put on sturdy new growth since its hard cut at the end of August (phew).
Cassie has been enjoying the autumn sunshine too.
Cassie has also been enjoying the autumn sunshine.

Wishing you all a good rest of the weekend, with plenty of sunshine and relaxation wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.

A weekend’s work

The veg patch is slowly starting to look like a proper veg plot rather than a neglected, overgrown heap. After two full days of digging and weeding, raking and levelling, and putting in posts and supports, we finally planted our new bare-root raspberry canes as the light was rapidly fading yesterday.

There are six plants each of two varieties of autumn-fruiting raspberries – ‘Joan-J’ and ‘Autumn Bliss’. According to the books, autumn-fruiters don’t usually need supporting but as it gets very windy here, and ‘Autumn Bliss’ is a tall one, we thought we should give them a hand. The supports also mean we can throw over a net if birds start pinching the fruit later in the year.

Two neat rows of raspberry canes.
Two neat rows of raspberry canes. Not bad considering it was dusk (then dark) when they went in!

 

It was David who did the final planting as I took the opportunity to stand upright for a while and cook dinner (late again). The children are getting fed up with later and later mealtimes as we make the most of the longer days. I did point out that they could cook dinner themselves and that would actually be very helpful occasionally, thank you!

Calm sea and lovely light today.
Calm sea and lovely light today.

It’s a lovely, calm day today after yesterday’s gusty wind. I went for a quick stroll round the garden first thing. There is something new to see every day this time of year and you can almost hear the buds popping. The most pleasing sight this morning are the tulips. The flower heads are peeking out (happy, happy) and they should be in full bloom soon.

Hello tulips!
Hello tulips!

A not so happy sight was a tray of snapdragon seedlings in the greenhouse munched to stumps by a snail. I found the culprit nestled snuggly underneath. The ‘greenhouse-keeping’ has been a bit lax. Will have to check all the nooks and crannies for rogue snails today.

The asparagus crowns we ordered arrived in the post on Saturday. We’re behind with preparing their home (over-ambitious plans!) – they’ll need to go into a tray of damp compost somewhere light and cool to await their new bed. I discovered some ground elder where we want to put the asparagus, which is a bit of a blow, so there’s a lot more hand weeding to come today. Digging, sifting, trying to find every tiny bit of root. Curses! Having spent most of yesterday hunting and pulling out perennial weeds and roots, I’m not relishing the thought. Thank goodness there’s a yoga class this evening.