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 – Oct 2014 : Surprises in the Garden

One of the greatest things of working part-time is having Mondays and Fridays at home and today the last day of the month, I have been able to take photos of the garden and write my EOMV post on the day it is due.

This morning the garden is green, lush and damp, also it is unseasonably mild.  I love it when it looks dewy and green, it has a particular smell about it which I can’t describe but am sure you will know what I am talking about.

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There are strange things going on.  Rather than dying down and getting ready for winter, some plants have been duped into thinking it is spring.

The Cleome and Penstemon are flowering again.

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Even the gaudy, blousey, magenta dahlia is still producing flowers.

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The Agapanthus, which died down really quite early this year, is throwing up new shoots.  I will have to make sure that I mulch it well before the frosts come.

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The aquilegia are coming up all over the garden with the promise that spring comes after winter.

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The raspberries are over and I have cut these down, but in order to prevent the local cats using the bed as a toilet I have had to put lots of sticks and paraphernalia to make it more difficult for them.   At this point, although I won’t show a photo, one particular cat, took no notice of the chicken wire I have over the raised bed, and has poo’d on top of the wire, so later today I will have a nasty mess to clear up.

DSC_0036 (1024x683) I am going to have to move the flower pots into a more sheltered spot shortly.   The stocks, which you can see in the foreground,  I grew from seed and was looking forward to some wonderful scented flowers, didn’t flower at all, which was really disappointing.

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The passion flower, growing over the side garden water butt is looking really good still, but is also a haven to the snails.  Last year when I finally cut it down, I had to wash the wall down as it was covered in mess.

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There are even some very tiny olives on the olive tree.

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At the end of September I planted up several pots of “lasagne” bulbs with tulips, daffodils and dwarf iris, topped off with pansies.  Details of this is in my post called “Getting Ready for Spring”.

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Finally, guess what??!!!   Some of the bulbs are coming through all ready.

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So there we are a brief round up of my garden on the coast in West Sussex at the end of October 2014.   As always, thank you Helen from Patient Gardener for hosting this great diary log known as the End of Month View.   Visit all the other contributors HERE and see what is happening in their gardens.