My Garden Journal 2019 – November

I started my entries for November by commenting. “November takes us deep into autumn, the red hot colours of foliage dominate but little gems of flower colour provide spots of colour that attracts us. This November the dominant colour has changed to yellow by the end of the first week.”

     

On the second page I continued, “We continue to be busy revamping areas of the garden and began the month reworking the Rill Garden. We cleared the borders and rill and pond of all herbaceous plants. After clearing out the rill it was replanted. In the Winter Garden to the right of the rill we added a new selection of shade-loving plants.”

 

The two Brunnera are B. ‘Alexander’s Great’ and B. ‘Little Jack’ and between them is the unusual shade lover, Azara splendens.

Two epimedium have been planted in the renewed border in the dappled shade, Epimedium ‘Spine Tingler’ and Epimedium ‘Mandarin star’

“We had a new  stable door fitted which we needed to protect with coats of yacht varnish.”

 

“Half pots we planted with dwarf bulbs and top-dressed with horticultural grit.”

“General views around the garden show just how much colour there still is to enhance the look of our patch.”

“Wildlife is full of surprises as we still see and hear so many bees feeding on our mahonias,  fatsias, and ivies. Whenever we garden buzzards and kites entertain us with their acrobatic displays in the sky overhead. Migrating starlings, and thrushes fill the sky with gossip.

“There are usually a dozen or more blackbirds in our patch who gorge themselves on the berries we grow for them, especially our cotoneasters, of which we grow several species and cultivars.”

“We continue to be busy whenever the weather allows, re-developing the two gravel circles in the front garden.”

So that is my garden journal for November 2019, and now we are waiting to see what December brings by way of ending the year.

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Seasonal Visits – Wildegoose – Winter Weekends

We were so pleased to get the opportunity to visit Wildegoose Nursery Garden this weekend a time when it is usually closed but two special “Winter Weekends” have been arranged. We arrive in fog which added so much to the atmosphere of the walled garden borders. We felt calmed by the muted sound that fog and mist gives us.

The borders were full of seed-heads of perennials and grasses and even a few rogue flowers. Tiny raindrops hung from every seed and stem, giving plants extra life.

Sometimes in gardens especially in winter it is the tiniest details that are the most beautiful, spidery stems, individual seed-heads and even out of season blooms.

 

Euphorbias are loved for their chartreuse, lime and lemon coloured bracts and tiny flowers but when these fall in the autumn they reveal the brightly coloured stems which brighten winter borders.

Sedum varieties have the same powerful coloured stems as their seed heads turn black and purple.

I shall share the rest of my photos below – I hope you enjoy looking at all the pics as much as we enjoyed our misty winter garden wander.

It will be a few months now before we next get the chance to explore Wildegooose Gardens and Nursery, as it stays closed now until April.

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Seasonal Visits to two very Different Gardens – Bodnant Gardens

Following on from our seasonal autumn visit to our smaller garden for 2019 we took a drive up to north Wales to wander around our larger garden, Bodnant Gardens. Join us as we enjoy the signs of the new season on its trees and shrubs.

Within the first ten minutes wandering we had discovered so many interesting plants and plant combinations. We were slowly making for the Winter Garden, one of our favourite parts of the garden. A first for us was a wall trained Gingko biloba which was really striking, as were the glossy indigo berries on this Dianella.

 

Of course The Winter Garden excels in its season but puts on a pretty good show in the autumn too.

 

From The Winter Garden we wandered through the open woodland towards the Acer Glade. All along the way trees were warming up the day with their hot coloured foliage and with some the added splash of colour provided by berries. I hope you enjoy my short gallery of photos below.

 

The woodland paths of gravel and sometimes grass led us to the predominately orange and red Acer Grove, which was busy with photographers and grandparents escorting their grandchildren picking up selections of their favourite leaves, natural jewels of the glade floor.

   

We left the Acer Grove and made towards the stream which we crossed by a wooden bridge and went upwards into the wooded slope of the dingle, so that we could wander along the many paths and look down into the dingle itself. We found more acers and other colourful deciduous shrubs below the giant conifers. Follow our journal be enjoying this gallery.

And so our day of wandering around the wonderful gardens at Bodnant came to an end, but as usual as we walked towards the gate we had a look at the Hot Garden alongside the stone wall. There is always something worth a second glance here whatever month we visit.

Perhaps one more visit to our other garden Wildegoose to go and if tempted another to Bodnant before the year is out!

 

 

 

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Are You Sitting Comfortably – no 23 in an occasional series

Here we are back with a collection of photos of garden seats that inspire me to record them and share them. Enjoy!

The first batch are from the National Trust garden at Biddulph Grange.

So I don’t know when my next post in this series will appear – it will simply when I have found enough garden seats to create a little gallery.

 

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The Sheffield Gardens – Part 3 –

David Clayden is the third gardener from the Sheffield School of Planting whose garden we visited in the weekend arranged by the NGS. His garden was completely different to the other two but enjoyed by us equally. The garden had a gentle feel to it and it was full of wildlife. It had many features that would attract wildlife including dry-stone walls, green roofs and patches of ferns and grasses.

We found the narrow entrance half way down a steep street of terraced houses, and we got a feeling for the garden as we walked through the tiny front patch.

We then wandered around the side of the house into the back and immediately felt calm and relaxed. With plenty of places to sit including seats on a deck in front of a summerhouse complete with green roof, there were opportunities throughout the garden to sit and observe the planting and soak up the atmosphere.

   

I will finish this report from the three Sheffield School gardeners home gardens with a selection of more images of this third garden. I hope you have enjoyed looking at these three Sheffield gardens which we visited one July weekend.

  

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My Garden Journal 2019 – October

Here we are once again delving into my garden journal this time looking at my entries for October, the first real autumnal month. I began by writing, “October tasks, which we have been planning during the time our garden was open for the NGS, began in ernest as the new month begins. We start by clearing the lavender edging to our front garden, where all the plants had become too woody and impregnated with self-seeded perennials and weeds from seeds dropped by tractor tyres. The shrub border behind the line of lavenders also needed a good revitalise.”

Replacing old lavender edging with new and revitalising the border behind.

Giving our mixed hedge a trim.

Resowing grass paths damaged by many visitors’ feet!

 

Revitalising planting in our vintage zinc galvanised tub, and planting miniature asters.

On the page opposite I carried on, “The leaves on trees and shrubs are slowly changing colour at a slower rate than usual.

“Berries are colouring up too, adding extra oomph to our patch, cotoneasters, sorbus, malus and hollies.”

     

Over to the next double page we see photos of colourful flowers of October. I introduced the photos with the words, “October flowers still add plenty of colour to our patch.”

            

And so to the final page of my October entries in my garden journal, where I wrote, “Further into the month grasses and perennials begin to show autumnal colours. Some like the hostas colour up and then turn to mush so we clear their leaves away before they attract slugs. Others remain firm and upright for months.”

That is my journal for October so just 2 months left to report on for this year.

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Seasonal visits to two very different gardens – Autumn at Wildegoose

This is the last visit to the smaller of our two gardens that we have been visiting throughout 2019, so please enjoy my report on Wildegoose Nursery and Garden which we visited on its last open day of the year. We spoke to Jack one of the owners who looked very glad that the season was ending and the nursery closing for another year. He and Laura and the twins were off on holiday the day after our visit.

The colours of the autumn flowers was so intensely beautiful and the light on the day of our visit enriched them further. The bright pink Persicaria amplexicaulis in a new cultivar to me, ‘Amethyst’.

 

There were signs of autumn to remind us of the season! Pumpkins and gourds, trees and shrubs showing unusual shades of pink-red.

  

In places the dying seedheads of perennials contrast beautifully with the autumn leaves on the shrubs.

 

I shall finish off this report of our visit with a gallery of my photos. As usual just click on the first photo and then navigate using the arrows.

For my next post in this series we will return to Bodnant, the bigger of our two gardens this year.

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