This Month

This Month November 2020 - Saturday, 31 Oct 2020

The Autumn colours are brilliant this year and although some blustery days have brought the leaves off some trees others are still wearing their finery. I spend my days dodging showers but in the fine patches I still get wet due to the soggy foliage, then it is in to change and hang damp clothes around the rayburn and back out to do a bit more. The jobs are getting done and I had a few pleasant days planting out but still there are more to find places for.
I um’d and ah’d about what to do where the frost knock relatively hardy plants last winter and I hope I have resolved the problem. I bought some red, orange and yellow berried Pyracantha and planted them through the strip where the frost rolls. It is in the middle of a bed but I am still going to keep them trimmed quite low so they do not block the view to the more distant trees and shrubs. I hope to shape them all different but we will have to wait and see how that goes as my topiary skills so far are just different sizes of blobs.
I also got a Stachyurus rubiflora, an early flowering shrub with drooping flowers, usually we see the yellow form but these flowers are pink. By preference it likes some sun so I am not sure where to plant it, I have the same conundrum with Vesalea floribunda which is a pink-flowering Abelia. As I plant more there naturally gets less sunny areas and more shade. I also prevaricate over where to plant the shade-lovers I bought, even the ground cover which I have plenty of space for. The issue here is how much dry conditions they will tolerate and how much they will spread.
Whilst planting in the Lower Garden this morning and looking at the views I looked at a wild Birch which was leaning to obscure one view, I had previously decided to remove some branches but looking again I decided to take the tree out completely. Two hours later the job was done and the brash cleared away. The result is more pleasing views in all directions and new planting opportunities for lower shrubs.
I have put protection around a lot of the new young trees and shrubs but still have a few more to do which will be one of my jobs as soon as the rain stops long enough to go down the Lower Garden. There are also several new plants in the grass garden that are not grasses but planted to try to cope with the dry of nearby conifers and these may need a little winter protection.
The grapes came well this year, at least the ones in the fruit cage did, they seemed sweeter than usual so I decided to make a few bottles of wine. Apart from the few beds of veg still in the ground the rest have been weeded, composted and covered, at least we hope to finish that job very soon, weather permitting.
I spend a lot of time each year weeding the fruit cage so I am in the process of weeding it before putting down weed suppressing membrane. I don’t really want to do it but I need to find ways to make the work easier and I hope this will save a lot of time and back ache.

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