The penultimate lottie wander post for 2012 and at last the weather is providing a few bright cold days. This is what we look forward to in this autumnal month, rather than the wet dark days we have been presented with in the first few days. The light is warm and gives a crisp edge to any photos taken as the blue haze of summer has disappeared.
We went up the lottie yesterday to deliver some spare seeds for the Seed Swap basket and to collect some greens left by fellow plot holders for our chickens. They are spoilt by our friends from the site! It was mid-afternoon and we had not intended to stop to work, but we changed our minds. We got out the communal mowers and rakes and gave the final two meadows their annual “hair cuts”. Jude, The Undergardener did most of the work as it is a bit difficult with my spine and leg pains, so I wandered off taking advantage of the special quality of the day’s light and shot off a couple of dozen pics with my Galaxy.
As we worked on the meadows the resident Field Voles scuttled off as they felt the mower’s vibrations and disappeared down their holes. We left a few clumps of wildflowers standing for everyone to enjoy before winter cuts them down. Field Scabious, Mallow and Sunflowers.
The meadows that are already trimmed look flat and brown, but the pathways mown through them look crisp and green.
The foliage in our Sensory Garden is given extra vitality in the November sunshine.
The next shot is a view of the site boundary through the seed heads of a white-flowered Actaea across the Spring Garden. In the Spring Garden a tiny Acer shows that you don’t have to be big to impress.
In the meadows the last of the grasses and sunflowers stand tall and proud.
Up in the mature Sycamore and Oak the resident bats will be shuffling around and preening in readiness to leave their roosts in the boxes and go on the feed for moths and night-flying insects. Bats are our night-time pest control patrols. In the daylight hours we are being entertained by birds of prey often being mobbed by our flocks of Jackdaws and Rooks . Peregrines, Buzzard, Red Kite, Kestrel and Sparrow Hawk.
Around the plots the gardeners are preparing their plots for the winter, beds are cleared and manure piled up or spread over the surface.
A few crops remain for winter sustenance.The red stems and purple leaves of Ruby Chard add a burst of colour. Brassicas are covered to give protection from ravenous and greedy Wood Pigeons who love to eat the sweet centres of Brussels Sprouts and the tenderest, newest leaves of cabbages.
A few remaining flowers add extra brightness to the plots.Tthat most popular of companion plants, the Calendula brightens up compost areas and odd roses still perform in the Summer Garden. We can expect these David Austin roses to continue to treat us to flowers until the new year.
The star of the site for the next few months will be the Winter Garden and it is already showing promises and hints of what delights it has in store for us in times ahead. As leaves fall from trees and shrubs the colours and textures of the stems and trunks will come into their own.
We have endured a wet summer and autumn with each month breaking previous rainfall records. Crops have been poor and we have been flooded four times. Dave, the Scarecrow looks a bit worse for wear too!