AN OCTOBER GARDEN DIARY

Apart from a short stint pulling alarmingly large thistles in the Knot Garden, this week has been spent hiding from the wind and the rain.  So, as I ventured out with my camera today, I had very little idea whether there would be anything worth photographing.  Snapping away, I soon found I'd taken 30 shots.  Here are my highlights.

1. Rhododendron Luteum

These leaves develop such a deep rich red.  The good autumn colour is most welcome, but I would grow this plant anyway for the scent of its flowers. 



2. Lemon and Lime

I've no other way of describing the wonderful combination of colours in the leaves of this ornamental cherry tree.  Its leaves are in the process of turning from green to yellow, and just at present has a delightful mixture of the two.



3. Butcher's Broom


This evergreen has been added to the edge of woodland area.    A similar plant to this is sometimes included as foliage in flower arranging, but this one is spiny, prickly and should only be approached when wearing thick gloves.  It's been relocated from my parents garden. Ruscus aculeatus or 'Butcher's Broom' is a member of the Asparagaceae family, and its young shoots do resemble small asparagus spears. I believe the Butcher's Broom name is because it could be used to scour the Butchers chopping blocks.  They'd need to be careful not to take the skin off their fingers too.
  


4. Penstemon Cuttings

 I did a post last week about the plentiful amount of holly berries about this year.  This means that a hard winter is on its way, according to folk law.

I took loads of Penstemon cuttings last year and the plants have been a pretty addition to the Rose garden.  But they can be killed off if temperatures fall too low,  so I've taken these as a back up in case the holly berry theory is right and it gets very cold.



5. Salads

Whilst I may be planning for Winter, and its Autumn outside, on my plate it is Summer.  A few lettuce leaves are growing in a pot in the greenhouse to accompany the very last of the tomatoes.


6.  Autumn's final fling

I fear these colourful leaves won't last for long before they are blown down.  Mainly different maples with an ash and what I think is a Red oak make up this grouping, as seen from the Knot Garden.




 That's all from my garden this week.  More lovely gardens are featured on The Propagator, who hosts Six on Saturday.



Comments

  1. The Butcher's Broom is seldom seen these days. I suppose it would be a nuisance plant for retailers to handle, given its prickly nature and the ensuing complaints from "injured" customers. I like it though as it ages it regularly has dead material in the centre of the shrub which is a curse to remove - heavy leather gloves being absolutely essential. It does seed about very gently here and I have thought of sowing some seed to have more plants - perhaps, I will make the move this week!

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    1. I noticed that they used quite a lot of it at Anglesey Abbey Gardens to fill in the areas under trees where otherwise only ivy likes to grow, so I thought it would be worth a try since there was some going spare. I can quite see why garden centres wouldn't sell it 😊

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  2. I've just eaten my last tomato too. I'm already missing them as they taste so much better than the ones I buy - even good quality ones from the local greengrocer. I hope all your penstemons strike - they certainly look very happy.

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    1. I agree that the flavour is much better. I wonder whether refrigeration is the problem?

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  3. Good luck for the penstemons because it's not easy… I've collected seeds to sow them in the spring , rather cuttings. We'll see.
    I too have planted some salads in the vegetable garden and in the greenhouse : I can see the difference because the ones inside have already doubled in size. Thanks to the greenhouse, I still have a few tomatoes which are finishing ripening: fingers crossed that they are ripening otherwise I'll have to finish them in the kitchen.

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    1. Some have decided to wilt already, so I'm hoping the plastic bags will help with that.

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  4. I'm eating my last garden tomatoes - picked last weekend before the frosts and snow - but also had to buy a few. Ugh. I really like the knot garden view - it's framed beautifully with the large trees.

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    1. We're still waiting for the first frost here, but I'm sure it won't be long. I can eat shop bought tomatoes as long as they are drenched in French dressing and finely sliced red onion.

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  5. The Rhododendron Luteum is a beauty and I’d love to see the flowers in spring, even if I can’t smell them. The Butcher’s Broom must be a real prickly plant if it could scour a butcher’s chopping block! Lovely though the colour of the foliage is, I think I’ll perhaps give it a miss. ��

    Interesting about the holly berry theory, I think I’ll have to place an order for some extra fleece! Your final fling photograph is beautiful.

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    1. There's a good reason why the Butcher's Broom was being relocated - but I'm hoping it will be useful to fill an area where other things won't grow.

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  6. Lots of nice autumn foliage still. A lot of the trees here are looking quite bare now. I hope your Penstemon cuttings do well. They're one of the few plants I have success propagating.

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    1. They certainly do better than my other cuttings!

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  7. Your last photo is lovely! I am not a fan of butcher's broom, mainly as it hurts to garden anywhere close to it. :) Beautiful rhody, that is such a wonderful shrub has got everything. Hope the penstemon cuttings are successful. Look after yourself x

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  8. I tried some penstemon cuttings by layering and they very obligingly grew. I found it a very easy way to do it. Your last photo is so colourful, and is that the rhododendron in the right hand corner, looking splendid?

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    1. Thanks for the Penstemon propagation tip. I'd not thought of doing it that way. The red leaves on the right of the last photo are actually Photinia Red Robin.

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  9. That last shot is lovely. Quite a few of us are growing lettuces in our greenhouse, and I hope that continues through the winter.

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    1. I've got some seed described as Winter Mix, which I'm going to give a go. I think they are a bit mustardy though.

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