End of Month View – October 2011

It is at this time of the year that I start to let the garden go.   I am never too sure why, perhaps it is because it no longer gets any sun and feels damp and depressing.   Despite having little rain, what we have had has left the plants and lawn soggy.   Everything has stopped growing and I am always in a quandary whether I should pull it all up and make everything look clean and tidy, or  leave it to create some Winter architecture.  I tend to do the latter because I don’t like to see bare borders.

Also, I have spent more time out of the garden, with my photography and have left it to its own devices over the last few weeks.   Taking a walk around the garden this morning, to do a past month review, I noticed that the Rudbeckia have gone black and mouldy so come next weekend they will have to cut down.  I am hoping that if I don’t pull them up, they might come back next year.

Forget-me-nots have spread themselves under the fennel and rosemary and are probably elsewhere if the truth be known.  Whilst I love to see the little blue flowers in the Spring, I  find that I have a lot to remove about this time of the year.   They are great ground cover but really do need to be kept in check.

Nasturtiums are winding themselves all over the place and before I know it,  little seed pods will have tucked themselves comfortably into the soil, ready to take over again next year.  Even when I turn the soil, nothing seems to prevent them from coming back.  I could pull them up as they grow, before they have time to self-seed, but I quite enjoy seeing them rambling up the climbing rose.   My Mum used to grow Nasturtiums and I suppose that I why I like to have them in my garden, they remind me of my childhood.

Next year I am not going to grow so many tomatoes, but then I say that every year.   There are only so many you can eat and give away, and I don’t have time to make chutney to use up the green ones.   They have grown very well this year in the raised bed, this was the first time I have grown them this way and not in pots or grow bags.   I will certainly grow them this way again.  I do feel ashamed though to have let my tomato plants look like this.

The weather is unseasonably mild and as I have mentioned in earlier posts, plants are clearly confused.    The great thing is that even though we have got to the end of October, there are still flowers in the garden.    Roses, as usual, are incredibly hardy and continue to bloom, often up to Christmas.

Every time I write a post about the garden, I include a photo of  my passion flower and I offer no apologies for that.  It is still flowering, but soon I am going to have to deal with it being in a small pot.  I have not had to tackle this before, but the amount of growth it put on this year has meant that I need to address this problem.    Advice please!!   Where do I start?  I am worried that if I cut it right down, so I can re-pot it, it might not recover and it has been so glorious this year.

Not everybody likes Fuchsias, they can be seen as gaudy, but I am happy with mine.  Whilst I would not go out and buy fuchsia plants, these were  inherited and  need very little attention apart from a drastic pruning at the end of the year.    They flower  prolifically every year and give great colour down the side garden.

Finally, if you walked into my garden you would notice the overwhelming smell, (not sure if I can call it a perfume!) of the Ivy.  When I first moved in 10 years ago, I found it quite abhorrent but now I am used to it.   I really must arrange for some drastic work to remove a lot of the ivy which has now grown a good 2ft above the 5ft stone wall that borders three sides of the garden.    That is why, in the Autumn/Winter the garden gets no sun and I always have a dilemma as to the best time to do this.   Now is not good because the birds are feeding off the flowers and the flowerbeds are still fairly full.  If I leave it until the Spring the birds have made their nests in it.    All suggestions welcome please.

Before I finish, I want to say thank you to Helen at Patient Gardener for running this monthly meme.    Please take a look at the other contributors and see how they have fared this last month.

15 thoughts on “End of Month View – October 2011

  1. Hello Ronnie. Everything is dying back in our garden too and I tend to leave it for interests sake and also for the wildlife. I’m also winding down gently or running out of steam. I was going to pull out both the calendulas and the nasturtiums before they dropped all their seeds but I haven’t so they’ll popup next year. It,’s a glorious sunny autumn day here so I’m going out to tidy away the dahlias etc. amazing what a bit of sun can do!

    PS love the medlar header.

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  2. I enjoyed your end of month view Ronnie. Forget me nots certainly live up to their name and perpetuate themselves without any assistance everywhere 🙂 I like fuchsias too especially the perennial ones – great for late colour. Have you changed from Blogger to WordPress recently or have I been simply unobservant ? Like the look anyway.

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  3. I always say I am not going to plant as many tomatoes, but every year I do. It is as if I think I will never have enough. And then when July/August rolls around, I am in tomato world as I try to think of many ways to preserve them because we can’t possible eat all of them. Your garden, even though it is winding down, looks lovely!

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  4. I love the misty medlar photo that is the background to your blog! I think that, like the garden, we all wind down a bit in autumn. It’s spring here, though, and there’s a lot of frantic work to be done before the heat comes, so thinking of autumn is nice and restful.

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  5. How lovely to have grown too many tomatoes to be able to use! I can’t quite imagine this, but then we do eat an awful lot of them. I wouldn’t get too down on yourself for finding yourself lacking in enthusiasm, I think a lot of us wind up feeling the same at this time of year, everything is winding down and looking a little manky, and although there is always lots to be done we can only do what we can cope with. In my case, at the moment, not a lot! I would always advocate leaving as many plants as possible for winter interest (think of those frosty pictures!) and bird food, not to mention insect hidey holes. Not sure about the ivy, perhaps January?

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    1. Trouble is Janet, to be honest I am really not a great lover of tomatoes! I always ask myself why I grow so many, especialy when I live on my own. I end up giving them all away and most of my friends grow tomatoes too. I am looking forward to frosty pictures, 🙂

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  6. Thanks for joining in again this month. I have found my energy for the garden has waned over the last couple of months although this annoys me as it should be the time of year to get lots done.

    As for your rudbeckia, they fall into two categories – annual and perennials so it all depends on which one you have. If you grew it from seed this year I suspect its an annual but then it might self seed it self

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    1. Oh, Helen, I feel better for reading that. I always feel so guilty to leave the garden to itself, when I have poured so much love into it for most of the year. I am glad that energy wanes for others too.

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