The penultimate posting in my monthly look at how well our Avocet garden is looking is already here. We are aiming for an all year round garden so we hope this series will help us check up on how we are progressing. The first week of November has been so changeable with bright, mild days, windy chilly days, nights with near freezing temperatures and cloudy dull days. We can still get in the garden to potter but we have to be ready to grasp any opportunity.
As usual we shall begin our tour by the gateway at the end of the drive and take a glance into the garden where it borders the lane. Our newly planted boxes are now well-established. From the lane berries dominate in the shrubs and trees and below them leaf textures capture our interest.
The Beth Chatto garden lights up in the low autumn light and makes the Tulbaghia and Verbena flowers glow.
Leaves have been stripped from many of the shrubs and trees leaving skeletons of coloured stems and seed heads above grasses and coloured foliage of evergreen perennials. Fungi on the lawn are definite sign of the season.
The most colourful tree must be the Liquidamber. With luck it will keep its leaves until the new year.
As we pass the shed on the way into the back garden this little alpine Erodium catches the eye. But it is the much more fiery colours that draw us in for a closer look as we turn the corner and see the Shed Bed. The bright yellow petals of the Welsh Poppy, Meconopsis cambrica bring out the palest hues in the palmate leaves of the Ricine Plant, Ricinus cambriensis. The Ricinus is such a garden worthy annual, interesting in every possible way. Flowers, fruit, buds, leaves and stems. The heavily textured leaves begin life orange and metamorphose into the deepest bronze through every shade of red.
In the Tropical Border the white flowers show up well against the Persicaris deep purple foliage. By the pond in the Rill Garden the seedheads of this Clematis are just as white. Walking down the central pathway there are plenty of out of season blooms to spot. Rosa Teasing Georgia clambers over the arch with late flowering Sweet Peas and alongside the path an orange flowered Primula which is normally a late spring flowerer is performing now. In a pot alongside the path a Dahlia has produced a very late and very pink bloom.
Throughout the borders to the left of the central path grasses put on a strong performance in the autumn light. The cerise of the Lychnis coronaria looks brighter than ever. It has been in flower for months now.
Moving across the central path we can see the Chicken Garden and the Secret Garden, where there are still plenty of flowers to put on a colourful show.
When we take the path alongside the Spring Garden it is the fruit and berries that give extra interest for ourselves and for the Blackbirds and Thrushes. The Blackbirds seem intent in finishing off the Crataegus berries. The yellow berries of the Cotoneaster rothschildiana will last much longer. They are low on their list of favourites.
I shall finish my November look at our garden with these two photos both featuring yellow. On the left a very out of season Oxlip is flowering strongly while on the left the last of the Gazanias has dropped its petals to reveal a brightly coloured central boss. Next month I shall be considering our Avocet garden in December and my look at the garden in 2014 will have come full circle.