End of Month View : October 2015

I tend to lose interest in the garden at this time of year and I am ready to start to pull things up and have a general tidy session.

Also I have not had a lot of time to venture out into the garden to do the necessary jobs.   My mum, who is 96, had another chest infection in September and went downhill very fast, not eating or drinking.  We were told by the doctor not to expect her to live through this one.   I sat with her most days and spooned water into her mouth as she didn’t have the strength to sip through a straw.   We even arranged for a priest to give her Last Rites, for the second time this year.

On top of that I had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.   Actually it is not as bad as it sounds.  They found a tiny little tumour on a mammogram, it had not even formed into a lump.  After a biopsy I was told it was grade one, and I had a lumpectomy and a lymph node removed from my armpit last week.   Mum has not quite bounced back, but is still very much with us and I am recovering well from my operation, with radiotherapy due after Christmas.  We are a family of tough women!!

Back to the garden; so you can see why it has taken backstage recently.

The leaves are falling fast from the trees and the lawn is becoming covered in leaves from the Sambucus.  When the muscles under my arm feel a little stronger, and the stitches have dissolved,  I will be out there with my rake.

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The trouble with starting to clear away the detritus is due to the mild weather there are plants in the garden still flowering, such Cerinthe:

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Hot Lips Salvia, Penstemon Garnet and even the roses are still in bloom.

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However, the majority of the garden really is now on its last legs and in the next week or so the majority will be slowly confined to the compost heap.  Leaving, of course, some plants for winter architecture, including the Sedum.

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Before last week I made a start clearing the side patio and now the Japanese Anemones are over, I can cut them down, turn over the soil and plant daffodil bulbs.

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I noticed the Pieris ‘Forest Flame’, which was looking a little worse for wear a few months ago, is producing lots of new shoots at the base.  It’s heartening when you think you may have lost a favourite plant  to see it rejuvenated.

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I am not too sure if the old wives tale of lots of holly berries is an indication of a harsh winter.  My holly tree has more berries on it this year than I remember from last years, so we shall see.

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There will not be so much to show when it comes to the November EOMV but I will take great pleasure in reading other contributors blogs from around the world who will be just starting their spring.   Thank you Helen from Patient Gardener https://patientgardener.wordpress.com for hosting this exceptionally useful monthly meme.

End of Month View – September 2013

I am almost too embarrassed to even write an End of Month View this time.  Why?  Well, I have been through a garden weary stage, knitting seemed more appealing.   Also I have had a couple of long weekends away back to back and the weather has had its moments!   Having read these feeble excuses for not tending to my garden lately, you either understand why the garden is looking dishevelled or are thinking well what does she expect?

So biting the bullet, let me share with you the disaster that is my garden at the end of September.

Firstly, the roses have turned that horrid, manky brown, and the leaves have been eaten down to the bare skeleton.

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The flowerbeds are looking very unkept and here, again, is another rose bush loudly shouting “We need dead heading!”

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Although a lot of the Cosmos are still in flower, some of them have died.   Seems a little odd as to why this has happened, but there you go, such are the vagaries of plants.

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And the Dahlia has toppled over with the weight of the flowerheads.  If I had been more on the ball, I would/should have ensured they were staked up properly.   You will note on this photo that the grass also needs mowing.

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Having painted a grim picture, there are a few things that are looking good.  The raspberries, for instance, are in abundance now and weighing heavily on the branches.  I think a spot of jam making is calling – yet another thing to do keeping me away from the garden.

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I did have a tidy up of the front garden this morning.  The Pyracantha, which grows along the wall between me and my neighbour is covered in berries.  I have always wondered how it obtains its goodness, it just comes out of the cracks in the wall.  I suppose it should be pruned at some stage but I will have to look up how and when is the best time.

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As always at this time of year the Hydrangea is turning a fabulous antique pinky and green colour, just right for flower arranging.

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I said at the end of the August EOMV that I would probably struggle to find anything for September and that was certainly true.   Next month may be even more difficult – we shall see.

Thank you Helen at Patient Gardener for hosting this monthly meme.  Please take time to visit her blog and read the other EOMV contributions which do come from all parts of the worlds.

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