And the question is whether it will be the last cut of the year. A couple of dry days during last week allowed a run of the larger lawnmower on Thursday afternoon with a finish off run with the smaller mower on Friday, like that lager, reaching those parts where other mowers cannot reach!
Although there wasn’t a great amount of grass growth the collection box on the mower was filled more times than usual because of the amount of leaves lying on the grass. Since then we have had some days of heavy rain so running the lawnmower now would only do damage to the sod and we wonder if we have cut the grass for the last time this year. It will certainly demand a week of dry and drying weather to allow any possibility of another cut. Indeed, the weather of the last few days has been so wet that it was only yesterday afternoon that I managed to trim the edges of the grass and leaf collecting from now on will be by hand, lots of raking and bagging to produce leafmould which will be spread on the beds around this time next year.
Some views of the grass areas with the tracks of the lawnmower very obvious:
Other winter preparations are also in hand and a lot of the winter-tender plants have been moved into the protection of the glasshouses. We have also started cutting down herbaceous plants, shredding and adding them to the compost heap. In the vegetable garden the asparagus has been cut down, another huge amount of material for the compost. Rooted strawberry runners were planted out and I also had a delivery of onion sets (Electric and Senshyu) during the week and of a new variety of garlic (Vallelado) and have sown these. Earlier planted garlic is well above ground as are broad beans. It isn’t the hive of activity of the summer but the temperatures are still warm enough for some growth, enough to give garlic and onions a start before the colder days of winter.
Acer cappadocicum ‘Aureum’ is the tree best waving the colours of autumn at the moment. It colours well though it is always a short-lived display. The blue flowers of Liriope muscari are a good partner colour and even the fading foliage of Solomon’s Seal, Polygonatum x hybridum, adds to the scene.
Nerines continue to defy the season, with splashes of flagrant pink here and there around the garden, defiantly bright and cheerful while most else heads towards that dowdy brown of winter.
This small-flowered fuchsia – ‘Hawkshead’ – seems to have held off until this last week to look its very best this year while Yucca filamentosa ‘Variegata’ makes a bold statement and Alstromeria ‘Indian Summer’ lives up to its name by giving its display late in the year.