We all wish the summer, even the autumn, show to continue in the garden as long as possible and we treasure those plants which bring colour to this late end of the year. However, as the weather becomes worse – and in Ireland this means wetter and wetter – the day comes when the show is no longer sustainable.
Our climate doesn’t favour those crisp winter garden scenes so often featured in photographs of continental gardens, particularly in latter years, those gardens of the perennial movement, Piet Oudolf creations etc. Winter in Ireland is wet; frost is generally not heavy nor frequent and rather than crisp dry days we experience wet, dull, drab and miserable conditions and our winter borders reflect this. Not for us the enjoyment of sculptural winter skeletons in the herbaceous borders. Instead, our plants go to mush, a dull drab mess which is unattractive to view and a unpleasant chore to clear.
We juggle with the date for this clearing of the autumn/winter garden. If started too early we lose some enjoyment and, if too late, we leave ourselves with dirty and unenjoyable work. We must make the decision, make the move, choose the day and get on with it. We have had a few good dry days from the weekend to today and we decided to get on with the clear up – the day came!
Note: The photographs were taken with my ‘phone camera and confirm that it does not take photographs as well as my camera.