We seem to spend quite an amount of time in our gardens yet little time simply looking and reflecting on it. It’s somewhat like the number of seats we have in our garden – we seldom sit on them. It’s a pity we don’t sit more and reflect more as both the garden and ourselves would most likely benefit from it.
My morning was spent painting our bedroom and the afternoon clearing up the many branches an unthinking contractor had shredded from any trees and shrubs which had grown through the fence into the farmland surrounding our garden. He had been hired to cut the field boundary ditches and, obviously, failed to distinguish between those and our garden planting. It was upsetting to see trees and shrubs which we had grown and tended for fifteen or so years broken so roughly – this cutting back of ditches is not a precision job but more of a flailing where branches are broken rather than cut. I spent yesterday morning pruning back to undamaged wood over a fifty metre stretch of boundary and today began the cleaning up. It will continue tomorrow and the following day.
Before finishing for the day I took out my camera and went for a stroll around the garden. I find this a wonderful way to make one look at the garden. When you walk around seeking shots for the camera you are more inclined to look in greater detail at the garden that you normally would when working in it – when one’s mind is occupied with the job in hand.
So, what was there to see? Most of all that we are in a time of transition; that the garden is moving from summer to autumn, that the summer display is in its last hooray, that dahlias have performed fabulously this year but are showing signs of the colder nights; that asters are wonderful late-season plants providing excellent colour as are nerines and some of the monkshoods; that hydrangeas are outstanding shrubs and that I will get more of them, particularly Hydrangea paniculata cultivars; that the first of the trees are changing colour and the leaves are beginning to fall and I shall have to begin collecting them shortly; that Crataegus prunifolius is an outstanding tree which provides beautiful blossom in spring and excellent berries and foliage colour in autumn; that a certain rhododendron has put out the Christmas decorations already; that medlars and quince are almost ready to be made into jelly; that though it seems the year is coming to an end the first snowdrops of the season are already in flower and before this season has ended the next has begun so, really, there is no time to be sitting on those garden seats nor for reflecting on the garden. There is work to be done! There is always work to be done and I enjoy doing it.
Some late season performers in the garden:
Showing autumn colour: