Monday, 12 October 2015

Sliding into Autumn, my favourite time of year

I love autumn, especially when it is the lovely weather we've had over the last week or so. Dry, mainly sunny days, quite warm too once the cool morning air has heated up. There is so much colour in the gardens and nursery, not just autumnal tree colour, but plenty perennials still flowering. I am particularly enjoying and would recommend Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Rosea', a late flowering pink variety, tough and great for clay soils, flowers for weeks and good ground cover. Teamed with late flowering Asters they provide lots of interest in the flower border as summer perennials are dying back. They have been selling well this past week.

A pretty pale blue Aster with Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Rosea' in the nursery gardens

Now that we are into October and the temperatures are dropping David's main work season has come to a close as the bats start to go into hibernation. He still has some reports and stage one surveys to finish off, but will be joining me more in the nursery to get on with the next phase of construction. We've been out a couple of evenings locally to record bat calls so he can use them to teach the students over winter. 

We visited a local reservoir to record some bats for teaching students over winter

The Sanguisorbas have done really well this year with their delicate bobbly flower heads adding a certain something to borders, especially along side grasses. You can read more about them here in my last blog. As a bonus some varieties also have good autumn foliage colour.

Sanguisorba 'Crimson Queen' in the nursery gardens

The bridge is being set of very nicely with the autumn colour in the back ground.
Acers, Rowans, Rodgersias, Persicaria and Mateuccia all providing

The autumn colour of the Rodgersia goes well with the late flowering Persicaria amplexicalis 'Rosea'

We have also been scouting around wedding venues, we loved this one but suspect the quote will come back
to far over our meagre budget, which is a shame as they did everything we were looking for

Swans as a wedding accessory? That might work

The trees are hanging with berries, theses Hawthorns were laden on our doggy walk last week

The cold dry mornings and lovely weather during the day have given some interesting and lovely views on the way to work, sometimes with mist sitting in the valleys. Thankfully there has been no frost yet, though I don't think it is far away some mornings 

Misty morning on the way to work

Misty view of the Biggar Hills

The monster Aconitums have finally come into flower in front of the office,
 much admired by customers, they are stunning

The other day I left a fern frond on my desk over night, when I came in the next day and lifted it to throw it in the compost heap it had left it's spores! So now I have a shadow fern on my desk.

Shadow fern

In other news, at home in the garden I spent last Monday winter preparing the greenhouses. I cleared them out, tidied plants and then put the bubble wrap up. It seems no time since I was doing this last year! Both houses looked much better for a clean up too. Now I can gradually move all the pots and containers into the glasshouses before the frost comes. Putting up the bubble wrap keeps the houses warmer, even before I have to put the heater on. Although expensive to buy at first for both houses, because I store it carefully when not in use in the summer, it has lasted 20 years so far! Now that is money well used and it has plenty life left in it yet.

David's latest creation, a sitting area with a renovated bench and a planter wall which I will be
filling with plants for seasonal interest, built out of recycled wood this feature cost us £20.00

Today, Monday I am taking time to get all the not so hardy plants into the greenhouse for winter. Having put the bubble wrap up last Monday, this is the next stage. Once I've tidied them up and cut them back, they get packed in like sardines. Of course the simple solution is not to keep buying plants, but as a plantaholic plants person, I can't resist when I see another I want to add to my collection. I've left the heaviest biggest ones to get a hand when there is another body available, sore back damage limitation is very important these days. I also tidied the alpine troughs, which is always therapeutic. Each plant has a story, a connection to a place I've visited, lived, worked or indeed a person. This is true of most plants I have in my collection, which made it so much harder to leave the ones behind in the last garden. You can read about moving and leaving the garden here and here.

Aronia looking lovely in the car park on the farm

I also got some potting up done, the poppies lifted from the front garden to dry off and one of the borders there weeded and hoed, the house cleaned, bottles to the bottle bank, errand done in the local town and other bits and pieces, so a very productive day off. We also got the quote back from the wedding venue we went to see last week. I'm glad I was sitting down when I opened the email, amazingly expensive, even if I had the money I couldn't spend that amount on one day. My conscience wouldn't let me. We are back to our original idea, which we both really like and it will be personal, different and us, but more of that later.

Have a great week

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  1. I love this time of year too, and the colours at your nursery are looking very rich and autumnal, especially set off against the blue bridge. I love those asters - must get some more for my own garden. The shadow fern reminds me of Christmas cards which I used to make with pressed ferns and silver spray paint. The planter wall is an ingenious creation and great recycling.
    Cathy x

    1. The colour just seems to be going on and on this year, and I'd forgotten how lovely and late flowering Asters are, I haven't grown them for a while, its been like meeting old friends again :) I'm looking forward to seeing how I use the planters through the year. I'm thinking herbs and edibles in summer, evergreens in winter, spring bulbs and so on :)