A wet end to October.

Apologies for being so late with my end of month view, it was written at the end of October but the gremlins have been at work again!  Modern technology is fine when it is working properly, but when it goes wrong….! We have had Talk Talk arguing with British Telecom for over 10 days now, hopefully soon it will be resolved.

Drip, drip, drip is the sound of the garden today. It has been raining a lot overnight and the rain drops are dripping everywhere. We still have warm air coming up from Africa so the temperatures are high for the end of October, nights are practically the same as daytime temperatures. Warm and wet means that the grass will be growing for some time and the rain means that there will be more leaves to sweep up! I went for a quick wander, dodging the raindrops,  to see what I could photograph for the end of the month.

Silver Birch

This silver birch tree is outside the back door and the first thing I see when I come down in the morning to get the breakfast ready. It is a seedling which suddenly appeared in the garden about 10 years ago, it has grown so quickly.

Towards the back garden

Facing towards the back garden, on the left, behind the variegated Yucca is Prunus Ko-jo no mai, matching the colour of the Horse Chestnut at the back.

Next doors oak

In the back garden, looking towards next door’s huge oak, the small berberis in the front links with the Cotinus next to Euonymus Emerald and Gold.

Towards the woodland

Looking towards the woodland, the acer Sango kaku can be seen through the archway, day by day it is turning more yellow. At the right hand side behind the Euonymus Emerald Gaity is Acer Osakazuki, which is turning red, but taking a long time about it, possibly another week or two before it shows its autumn colours.

Border by the Conservatory

Still in the back garden, but looking back along the border in front of the conservatory. The conservatory is where I move all the pots with succulents to, which wouldn’t survive the winter outside here. They wouldn’t like the temperatures or all our winter wet.

Part of the side garden

This is part of the border which wraps round the side of the house, where the back door is. Where the yucca is , is the Alpine Scree, which is the only place in the garden with really good drainage. This was the old raised pond, made by the previous people, but we filled it in and put loads of grit and other drainage material in , so that I could grow a few alpines.

Mahonia in the island bed

In the island bed round the dead oak, the Mahonia Charity is flowering alongside a purple Berberis. In the left foreground is Lonicera Baggesens Gold, in need of a haircut so that it will be tidy all winter.

Through to the circular garden

Looking through to the circular lawn to where the bog garden is.  The grass in this area is very soggy, boggy and will probably stay like this all winter now, I hope we can manage to cut it a couple more times.

Border by the field with Miscanthus

At the side by the field next door, Miscanthus sinensis Malepartus is changing colour, soon to be a golden fountain.

Front drive

The purple leaves on the Cornus beside the driveway, haven’t lasted very long at all this year, all the winds that we have had,  have blown them off very quickly.

Silver birch and cornus

At least when the leaves do fall we can then see the red stems of Cornus alba sibirica Westonbirt which contrast so well with the bark of the silver birch and we will have this combination to enjoy until next March when the Cornus is coppiced.

Winter Jasmine

While wandering round taking long views of the garden, I found the winter jasmine in the front by the house, had started flowering. I can’t remember it flowering so early before, its usually December before it starts.

Iris unguicularis Walter Butt

Iris unguicularis Walter Butt

Iris unguicularis Walter Butt

Also in the front, in the Bee and Butterfly border, I suddenly spotted these lovely flowers of Iris unguicularis Walter Butt. They are flowering so early, another plant that has got confused by our warm weather,  this is another which usually flowers in December. So far 8 flowers have been produced but unfortunately they are all being eaten by something.

Fallen leaves

The weather is a lot cooler now, but still no frost so far. We have had lots of showers which, with the wind,  are bringing lots of leaves down, that is our main occupation at the moment, sweeping them all up!

I now have a mountain of e.mails to work my way through, I will catch up with you all eventually!


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39 Responses to A wet end to October.

  1. Angie says:

    It’s been a pleasure to stroll around your garden today Pauline – you’ve some really super colour going on. The bed by the driveway is gorgeous. I remember admiring last year at a similar stage and considered stealing your idea but then had a wake up call when I realised a silver birch would be far too big for my garden. I can but dream.
    I hope your issues are resolved – nothing worse is there?

    • Pauline says:

      Silver birches Angie, do eventually get rather tall unfortunately, but my special ones are a lot smaller than the native one in the garden here.
      We hope our problems will soon be resolved, I hadn’t realised I had come to rely on it so much!

  2. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    I know I say this every year but I really must get some of those Irses! And I even thought/remembered about them a week or so ago… So very much needed at this time of year for a bit of colour – and your winter bloomers too.

    Ah… BT and Talktalk. Now there’s your problem. I’ve never heard anything good re: TalkTalk. In fact when we first moved in the previous owners had them, and we were without the net for a few weeks. Luckily back then a lot of people still didn’t bother securing their connections so I could at least get on (naughty me).

    We had a first frost the other day, a bit early in my experience for round here and hope it isn’t a sign of a hard winter to come.

    • Pauline says:

      It was such a lovely surprise to see the Iris at the end of October Liz, they are so early this year, I wish something would stop eating them!
      Talk Talk will be given their marching orders, once everything has been sorted, we really are so fed up with them, it has been going on for so long and they just are not the least bit interested.

  3. rusty duck says:

    Strange, my Acer Osakazuki has done exactly the same thing… it’s taken ages to redden up. Even now it’s still half green but the red leaves are dropping off. We won’t get quite the same blaze of red this year sadly.

    • Pauline says:

      Slowly, very slowly, Osakazuki is changing Jessica, if they survive the gales we are having at the moment, it might be red in a couple more days! The Cornus leaves by the drive were blown away very quickly this year, but at least we have their bright red stems to enjoy through the winter.

  4. Cathy says:

    Good to see your garden again, Pauline – and like Angie I thought your drive way border looked stunning. Interesting to see which of your plants are confused by the weather – I am hoping for flowers on my Iris unguicularis, which were new to me this spring. ps I feel I ought to put in a good word for Talk Talk – we have been with them since they took over Tiscali and we have never had any problem with them at all so despite the poor publicity they get I see no reason to change while they are providing me with a reliable connection.

    • Pauline says:

      The driveway border Cathy,is looking rather bare now, all the silver birch leaves gone as well as the Cornus leaves, they didn’t last long this year unfortunately, but at least we have the bright red stems to enjoy for the next 4 or 5 months.
      Our problems with Talk Talk go back quite a few months, they say they are sending an engineer, we stay in, nobody comes. When we enquire, a different person tells us that the engineer wasn’t booked, they book the engineer, we stay in, nobody comes, and so it goes on. Eventually they give us a new router which works for a few weeks, then the problems all start again, I’m afraid we’ve had enough.

  5. Chloris says:

    How frustrating having internet problems. You are right we do come to rely on it.
    Your autumn garden is looking lovely. I have winter jasmine out too, ridiculously early. I haven’ t checked my Iris though. I must look tomorrow. It is fun having flowers from different seasons in bloom together.

    • Pauline says:

      The flowers on Iris unguicularis were so beautiful Chloris, until something came and ate them! It was a lovely surprise to find them flowering in October, a good couple of months early.

  6. Helle says:

    Internet providers do seem to be a pain in a certain part of the anatomy way too often. Some obviously better than others, but most in our experience have abysmal customer services. I hope your problem gets sorted soon.
    Silver birches are lovely, our one neighbour had one, until another neighbour had them cut it down. Such a pity, also for the birds that loved sitting in it. I loved the round bed surrounding your dead oak, what a great idea.

    • Pauline says:

      Silver birches are such lovely trees Helle, and so useful for the wildlife. They are the second most useful tree, after the oak, for supporting a large number of insects, which then the birds come to enjoy. What a shame that your neighbour cut theirs down. They don’t live very long anyway, about 25 yrs, so I am happy to see a few seedlings in the garden.
      Hopefully our internet problems will soon be sorted, I’m making the most of it today, before it goes down again!

  7. Jane Scorer says:

    Everything looks lovely still. Your lawns are so green and verdant!
    I misread the name of your gorgeous little Iris as ‘Water Butt’ and was thinking what an odd name it was !!
    We are drippy here too, in Lincolnshire, and it is hard to remember that just last Sunday it was t shirt weather !

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Jane, the lawn is very green indeed, thanks to all the rain we are having! The warm weather had to stop sometime, it is a lot cooler here now which has made the autumn tints start to show themselves properly at last. I hope we get a chance to enjoy them before they all blow away!

  8. Like the others above, I’m very admiring of your border by the driveway! I can imagine that it’s fascinating all year as well. Loved the glimpse of the little golden Acer Sango kaku through the archway – very mysterious and tempting. And such a joy to see your ‘Walter Butt’ flowers. I never see them in the life anymore, as it seems to be another of the plants nobody bothers with round here. Hope your internet is sorted (my Mum changed from TalkTalk in disgust a year or so back, so looks like they’ve got a bit of pulling up of socks to do!)

    • Pauline says:

      The border by the driveway is hopefully a 12 month border with the cornus and silver birch for the winter and then in front of the trees and bushes is where all the flowers for the bee and butterfly border are. There are snowdrops, crocus and narcissus planted under the cornus which takes care of spring and then we usually have plenty of colour for autumn with late flowers and the leaves changing on the trees and shrubs.
      The internet is behaving today fortunately, I’m trying to get as much done as possible in case it goes down again!

  9. If you have more iris blooms, you should bring a few inside. It’s hard to detect in the garden, but they have a scent similar to violets.

  10. wellywoman says:

    It’s been a soggy few weeks here too. Your garden always looks good and has so much interest. I’m hoping to take inspiration from your garden and planting if we get a new garden. I love the combination of the cornus and birch – fabulous! One thing I am grateful of now that our winters seem to be so much milder is not having any lawns to mow. It’s bad enough mowing in summer let alone winter. 😉 So agree with Marian. Any blooms I spot in the garden at this time of year come inside. It’s a great way to lift the spirits. I figure they’ll probably only get damaged by the wind and rain anyway.

    • Pauline says:

      We will still be cutting the grass for some time to come Louise, unfortunately we usually just get January off! We have certainly had torrential rain today, hopefully it will be a bit drier tomorrow. Lots more leaves have come down since I wrote the post and the garden now looks a bit bare in places. I’m so glad you like the cornus and birch combination, they lift my spirits and provide colour through winter until spring.

  11. Christina says:

    Not so very autumnal Pauline but all looking lovely. Sad that the Cornus has lost its leaves so quickly. My Iris unguicularis also flowered this week, but the wind ripped them to shreds before I managed to get a photograph. But a nice sign that they will keep flowering from now on. Hope you have enough dry weather to be able to cut the grass. Thank you for sharing your walk around.

    • Pauline says:

      The colours have intensified Christina, in the Acers since the warm weather has gone. Hopefully it won’t be too long before they reach their full colour and that the wind doesn’t blow them away in the meantime!
      The Iris unguicularis is flowering much earlier this year, it must be due to all the warm weather that we had until last weekend, temperatures are more seasonal now.

  12. Frank says:

    Even as the year winds down your garden still has so much color and promise. I’m a little envious of the mahonia buds, jasmine blooms, and iris flowers 🙂
    We have frozen soil and snow cover to look forward to….

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Frank, the colours in the leaves are getting better and better as the days go by. We should have some frosts soon but snow is rarely seen this far south in the UK, Scotland has already had quite a bit on the mountains, I hope you don’t get too much!

  13. Anna says:

    Oh sorry to hear that you have been having internet woes Pauline and hope that they are soon behind you. We are with Talk Talk too but met with a good response when we had problems earlier this year. I’m convinced that it’s sometimes just the luck of the draw when you make that initial call to customer services. Your November garden looks most serene. You must be so glad that you did not pull that silver birch seedling out when it was a babe. Let’s hope that we are in for a drier winter than the last one.

    • Pauline says:

      The seedling silver birch has been fantastic over the years, there are a few more tiny ones in that border but I think I will move them to the woodland sometime soon. I certainly agree with your wish for a drier winter than last time, I think some plants will need water wings to survive.
      Hopefully our Talk Talk problems are over, we have been able to use the internet for 2 days now – fantastic!

  14. debsgarden says:

    Your garden is lovely in all seasons! Autumn is particularly pretty with your reds, silvers, and golds. Your pile of leaves looks very familiar. All the leaves around us are turning now, and when we look upward we realize all those gorgeous leaves will soon be on the ground! We are also expected to have a hard frost this week. I hate to see autumn go.

    • Pauline says:

      So many leaves came down in the last couple of days, so we worked hard yesterday sweeping most of them up, what a difference having a green lawn makes! I wouldn’t be without our trees, it was one of the reasons that we bought this house, because of the small area of woodland. We are still waiting for our first frost, others not so far away have had theirs, I’m hoping autumn stays as long as possible!

  15. catmint says:

    hi Pauline, your garden’s looking warm, wet and happy. Good luck with those dreaded gremlins. Garden pests are bad enough …

    • Pauline says:

      Yes, Catmint, very wet and happy! We managed to get most of the leaves cleared from the lawn yesterday, the ones on the flowerbeds can wait and start rotting down where they are.
      This is the third day now that we can actually access the internet, fingers crossed it stays that way!

  16. I remember your birch and cornus combination from winter, such a great idea, but there again you have so many lovely combinations, and I do appreciate the way you have so many shrubs and small trees, so many gardens seem to be very perennial heavy, you have the space great shrub combinations too. I do like the way you think about how one shrub can echo the habit or colour of another in another border, connecting it all up together. And your self-sown birch is beautiful. I wonder if I could fit Sango kaku in somewhere after all, I fear not…

    Hope your internet gremlins stay slain!

    • Pauline says:

      When I was first starting the garden here Janet, it was so windy in the winter with the wind coming straight across the fields and the few plants that the previous people had planted were burnt to a crisp, so shelter belts were necessary. I now have micro climates around the garden and can grow a good range of more tender plants. We are lucky in that we have plenty of space so that borders can be nice and wide, with perennials in front of the shrubs.
      Acer Sango Kaku is described as a small tree, after nearly 20 yrs. mine is only a bit bigger than me now and it could be kept smaller by pruning in the winter! I forgot to mention in my post that it is also known as the Coral bark maple as the new growth at the ends of the twigs are a lovely pink colour.

  17. Annette says:

    I wouldn’t mind the drip-drip-drip with such a gorgeous garden to look out to, dear Pauline. It looks simply smashing. so much fine colour and intriguing shapes. Do you know the name of the cornus? I have planted Butterfly this year and I’m thrilled to bits. Hope your husband is much better by now, best wishes for you both 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Oh, thank you Annette, you’re so kind! The Cornus is C.alba sibirica Westonbirt and it does make a lovely splash of colour in the winter.
      We have just got back from the hospital today and have heard that the cancer hasn’t spread, thank goodness. It turned out to be Prostate Cancaer, not Bowel cancer as they first thought. He now faces a few months of hormone treatment then radio therapy, after which he should be ok, so we are now feeling so much happier. Thank you for your concern.

      • Annette says:

        Thanks, Pauline. Oh dear, didn’t realize it’s cancer but we have friends who went through the same and it was no bother, so I continue to keep my fingers crossed!!! Just planted yet another Cornus, this time Milky way but Westonbirt is surely a star plant which I remember admiring in an earlier post. Enjoy your weekend

  18. Sorry I missed this post earlier. I too love silver birches – I knew they didn’t live very long but I didn’t realise it was only 25 years. We have one in the corner of our garden that must be at least 27 years old as it was there when we bought the house. I have seen some a lot older looking in Scotland, so maybe they last a bit longer here. I do hope so as I would really miss it.
    I love the Iris unguicularis – what a shame they are being eaten. I seem to do well with dwarf irises so I will look out for some – it would be lovely to have some so early.

    • Pauline says:

      I think Annette, compared to the other trees that I have, oaks, ash and chestnut, the silver birches don’t seem to last anywhere near as long, maybe when they are 25 they are in their prime ( like us!)
      It was suggested to me that I could pick some iris buds when I next see them, bring them into the house and enjoy them there and deprive who or what is eating them.

  19. pbmgarden says:

    Lovely, lovely at your garden Pauline. The Iris unguicularis Walter Butt is fabulous. Too bad something finds it tasty.

    • Pauline says:

      I love the Iris too Susie, the petals are so delicate. I’ve been looking since I mentioned it in my post, but haven’t seen any more flowers that I could bring indoors to save them being eaten!

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