My Garden Journal 2017 – October

We can now look at what I wrote about, photographed and painted during October in my Garden Journal.

On the first page of my October Garden Journal I proposed a “fifth season” for us gardeners, a special one just for us  gardeners, but unfortunately I have so far been unable to think up a suitable name. I have spoken to a few other gardeners about this and they understood exactly what I was talking about. See what you think!

“October, the tenth month of the year, but what season is it in? But before I even look at the appropriate season there is some already some confusion over the name October, which derives from the Latin “octo” meaning eight. October was indeed the eighth month in the Roman calendar.

So let me look at the seasons again and consider where October sits. Is it the end of summer, so we can say October is in “Late Summer” or is it the first month of Autumn so then we can identify October being in “Early Autumn”.

I believe that with the changes to our climate and the developments in garden design and the increases in plant availability at this cross-over period we need a fifth garden season, comprising just September and October. Whatever name we could label it by, it would definitely be my favourite season! As for a suitable name? Perhaps we could call it the “Indian Summer” …… unless someone comes up with a fresh name, a more expressive one!”

On the opposite page I chose a few pics to show the special feel of this new season and I wrote, Our Avocet patch looking special and full of atmosphere in its “5th Season”.

Over the page I continued to look at this time in the garden with its special colours in foliage and seed heads.

“Flowers colours are changing as plants begin to form seeds. The new colours are more subtle and perhaps even subdued, but the low light of this month gives them special qualities. Insects still search plants for the final diminishing supplies of  nectar and perhaps a few drops of pollen.”

  

 

“The big show-stoppers of October though are the colours of fire and sunsets that appear as leaves lose their chlorophyl and allow new colours to take over.”

   

Turning over I move away from the garden in autumn and have a look at the changing fortunes of shrubs in our gardens.

“Shrubs are making a comeback in gardening and definitely in our garden. Over the last few years we have been adding many shrubs into our borders to add a layer of interest between trees and herbaceous planting. Garden centres stock only a limited range of common generally dull shrubs most of which have been around for decades. We are lucky to have two nurseries close to us just over the border into Wales close to the town of Welshpool. The Dingle and The Derwen just ten minutes drive apart are owned by the same family and specialise in trees and shrubs. They are our source of  inspiring plants.”

Some shrubs are grown for their dense foliage and growth habit which let us grow them as a hedge. We use our Buxus (Box) shrubs as a hedge we can shape in whatever form we want.”

“Other shrubs we grow for flowers and berries.”

 

Clerodendron trichitoma fargesii, grown for its eccentric flowers and berries. Luma apiculata grown for variegated foliage, coloured stems and white scented flowers.”

 

“Hypericum are grown for stunning flowers and berries. Hypericum inodorum give us yellow flowers and all sorts of  colours of berries.” 

“Roses provide flowers, scent and hips. Mahonia Winter Sun shines with yellow scented flowers in autumn  followed by purple-black berries in the winter.”

My next double page spread features the wonderful miniature shrub Ceratostigma plumbaginoides which I painted with my new set of Japanese brush pens.

I hope you enjoy looking at my paintings as much as I loved creating them.

 

I also chose Ceratostigma plumbaginoides as my plant of the month for October.

 

“Ceratostigma plumbaginoides is a colourful stalwart of the early autumn mixed border, albeit a little diminutive, growing to just 12 inches tall and 24 inches wide. This beauty is a sub-shrub which bears its rich blue blossom from July to November, and as autumn arrives its foliage turns from apple green to rich red.”

For the final page this month I take a look at white in the garden and wrote, “I have never been a fan of white in the garden be it furniture or flowers, but in October I see quite a few plants featuring white have crept in.”

Here are just a few!

    

Next time we pay a visit to my Garden Journal we will be in the penultimate month of 2017, November. I wonder what our eleventh month will bring?

 

Published by greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.

4 replies on “My Garden Journal 2017 – October”

  1. Hi Malc, this period is traditionally known as St Luke’s Little Summer. st Luke’s day falls on October 18th and there has often been a warm spell around that date ……don’t know why but I think it is not just happening with climate change.
    Love your notes

  2. Well I know just what you mean though many Scots who have had their first snowfalls might not. It does change from year to year. It may also be our age. I have a few 75+ year old friends who I think of as middle aged : do we need a new term for that period between middle and old age? ‘Indian Summer’, I discovered to my horror a few years back ,is said to have originated from good late season weather for settlers to kill native americans. This is highly disputed. St.Martin’s Summer is another saint whose name, along with Luke, was often said to have been used in this context.

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