Seasonal changes.

Sometimes September and October days bring misty mornings, which are then an excuse to search the garden for spiders webs, spangled with moisture, glistening like diamonds in the early sunshine when it breaks through the mist.

This web was in the purple berberis by the front door. Such a beautiful contruction.

This one was strung between the stems of perovskia in the back garden. It is huge, I wonder how long it took the little spider to make it?

Walking round the garden was difficult with the strands crosiing the paths, I had to be careful not to break any.

This time of year all the berries are forming which will hopefully feed the birds in the winter. Unfortunately the birds don’t think of the months to come, they just see plenty of food and start eating, gobbling up all the berries far too quickly. I’ll have to make sure that I am well stocked with bird food so that there is always something for them through the winter months.

The small purple berberis in the back garden is covered in bright red berries at the moment.

Rosa glauca is also covered with berries. The leaves are rapidly turning yellow and will soon drop, just leaving the berries hanging on for a bit longer.

Fuchsia Delta Sarah has such large berries, something is eating them, they don’t last long, but I’ve never found out who or what it is that fancies them.

Cotoneaster horizontalis growing up the kitchen wall, is covered with berries, but they never last long, they are eaten very quickly by the blackbirds and thrushes.

Red Pyracantha berries are in the border by the field.

Ilex Golden King has berries that end up orange, so they last longer than the red ones.

The yew in the back garden needs drastic cutting back, but at least while it’s shaggy, it has plenty of berrie, probably why I have so many seedlings!

Purple berberis by the front door is covered with berries. When redwings visit the garden on their migration, they can strip the bush in a day.

The Pyracantha by the entrance is completely covered with orange berries, hopefully these will last a while. This is another shrub that needs drastic pruning, but you need to wear body armour to do it, the thorns are lethal!

Just look at those gorgeous blackberries, I hope I can pick a few to put with my apple crumbles before the birds get them all.

When I see the blackbirds and thrushes jumping up and down on the little Lonicera nitida hedge, I know that the purple berries have formed. They are only a few, formed inside the hedge, not on the top,but obviously they love them.

We have lots of Arum in the garden, a lot are the wild ones , but also we have plenty of Arum italicum marmoratum with the beautiful marbled leaves. Their berries stand out in the shade where they love to live.

The eating apple trees are groaning with apples this year. Even after I have picked plenty there will be loads to keep the birds happy. I had to have Tree surgeon north east come out and trim back some of my apple trees.

I think my cooking apple tree is a Bramley, again it is laden, plenty for both me, the birds and little mammals.

The larder is full, but how long will it all last? It depends on the wildlife and the weather, we will just have to wait and see. Autumn is a very special season, very different from summer, very colourful with the leaves all changing and falling.

Masses of conkers, the fruit of the Horse Chestnut trees, are now dropping from the trees. A bumper crop this year, I hope it doesn’t mean that my trees are trying to reproduce before dying!

The acorns are crunching underfoot, there are so manny of them!

More work,for me, oh well, it’s good for the waistline!

The back lawn is covered with acorns and conkers amongst the leaves and I know the squirrels will be planting them in the borders and in pots, then in a couple of years I will have loads of seedling trees everywhere!

Autumn is a very special season but it also means lots of work is needed to keep the garden reasonably tidy. I leave the leaves on the beds with sturdy, tough plants, but they must be removed from any plants that will get smothered and die, usually in the front 2 ft of the borders. I also, believe it or not, rake the leaves up in the woodland, having found that the layer of thick chestnut leaves rise up on top of my precious snowdrops and they can’t be seen. The leaves are replaced with a nice mulch of leaf mould, which has been rotting away in a corner of the woodland for the last 2 years. Once this has been done, I’m ready for the snowdrop season to start once more!

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32 Responses to Seasonal changes.

  1. Sally says:

    Hi Pauline,
    I love that you call Horse Chestnuts conkers! It’s such a fitting name and gave me a good chuckle. All you have to feed the wildlife is just wonderful and you’re so knowledgeable about them. Is the first picture also called Japanese Barberry? I have one that has been here since Moses but, they are considered invasive in Massachusetts and are no longer sold. There’s something melancholy about Autumn but, it’s so pretty I still love it.

    • Pauline says:

      I’ve just been reading an article Sally, about birds gorging themselves on berries, just before migration, that must be what happens in my garden when the bushes are stripped so quickly. Your Barberry is a relative of my purple Berberis, so far, mine is well behaved, thank goodness!

  2. Sue C. says:

    What a brilliant collection of berrying shrubs to keep the wildlife in your garden happy, Pauline. Wonderful colours and autumn tints.

  3. Alison says:

    I love autumn, it’s one of my favorite seasons of the year. I wonder what’s eating your fuchsia berries, mine stay on the bushes for quite a while, I’ve never noticed anything eating them. Very nice shots of the spiderwebs.

    • Pauline says:

      I find spiders webs difficult to photograph Alison, the camera doesn’t know where to focus! The fuchsia is just outside the window where my lap top is and I’ve never seen anything on the bush eating the berries, but they don’t last very long.

  4. Christina says:

    You are right about autumn being a busy time; probably the busiest of all in my garden as it is the only time to successfully plant or divide most plants as well as a general tidy of the dead leaves and flowering stems etc. from summer. All your lovely berries must be so tempting to all the birds and I’m sure they appreciate the plenty before migrating to warmer climes.

    • Pauline says:

      It is a busy time isn’t it Christina, we have to try and fit the jobs in between all the rain too! Our birds feed up before going south, but then we get birds coming from Norway, Sweden and Russia, they come to the milder climate of Britain, so I hope I have berries left for them too.

  5. Denise says:

    Your post has brought back childhood memories….did you play conkers as a child Pauline? And memories of walking down country lanes to pick the blackberries and mum would make bramley and blackberry pie! I too have lots of bramley apples this year, so tomorrow I will pick blackberries and make a pie!

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Denise, my brother and I played conkers every autumn! Children aren’t allowed to play conkers any more at school, health and safety gone mad, thanks to the EU, this makes another good reason to leave! Blackberry and apple pie or crumble featured on my childhood menus, I can remember picking them each autumn. I did the same for my children and now its just for me, but it brings back some very happy memories. Enjoy your pie!

  6. Cathy says:

    Now if I were a bird I would be right over to your house with all my buddies! You have got such a great selection of fruits and berries, and all so attractive too. I know the problem with seedlings – we get sycamores everywhere! Hope you get some nice dry and mild days for clearing the lawn. 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      And you and your friends would be very welcome Cathy! The forecast for this week isn’t too bad, so I think I’ll manage to get the lawn cleared.

  7. Jason says:

    That is an amazing spider web – a real work of art! I love all your red, orange, and purple berries. Lucky you with your fruitful apple trees. The cooking apples make me thing of apple pie, applesauce, apple butter … We’re having a strange fall this year, warm and dry. It’s more than a little disconcerting.

    • Pauline says:

      The apple trees were here Jason when we moved in nearly 30 yrs ago and they have never let us down, lots of apples for me, the neighbours, family and friends and still plenty left over for the wildlife. We too are having a warm spell, but not as warm as yours I think, ours though is accompanied by lots of rain!

  8. Susie says:

    Pauline, your photos of the spider webs are as amazing as the constructions themselves. Really nice. The smorgasbord of berries you provide in the garden offers something for each little critter. I must look for my arum to see if it produced berries this year. Have a wonderful week.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Susie, I did have a problem focusing on the webs though, I got there in the end! We have lots of Arum but not many with berries this year, I don’t know why.

  9. Chloris says:

    I love your spider web shots. There are plenty of berries in your garden to keep the birds happy. I have noticed both oaks and horse chestnuts round here producing bumper crops.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Chloris, the spiders have been busy! I have just gathered the conkers from on the back lawn before cutting the grass and it has taken me 45 mins, I’ve never known a year like it!

  10. snowbird says:

    Wow, fantastic webs! Autumn is such a wonderful season, ever changing and atmospheric. You certainly have a variety of berries and nuts for the wildlife. Your Yew tree must be old to be so big, I have a small one but it is a very slow

    • Pauline says:

      The webs were beautifully made Dina, a work of art! I’m not sure how old the yew tree is, whether it was here originally or if the people before us planted it, we have been here though for 27 yrs, so that would make it easily 30 yrs old if not more. Our soil must suit it as the seedlings seem to grow fairly quickly, I’m hoping to make a hedge from the seedlings that are a couple of feet high already.

  11. Cathy says:

    What amazing webs, Pauline, and a wonderful selectin of berries. I feel so sorry when I have to break a web to get past, thinking of all that work the spider put into it, and I do apologise, but that doesn’t really help the spider!

    • Pauline says:

      I’m so glad to know there is someone else like me, apologising to the spiders Cathy! Having read that it costs so much energy to spin a web, I do feel guilty when I break one, but I also read that the spider will eat their broken web, so that they have nourishment to make another.

  12. catmint says:

    Hi Pauline, I am so impressed that you managed to photograph the web like that. They are a tricky thing to photograph. And as far as webs go, that one is really spectacular. I wonder what kind of spider made it. Often you see them sitting in the middle, so I wonder why this one isn’t taking advantage of its work. If you go out to check in the dark, you might see it. As for the next part of the post, I can’t resist commenting it is berry interesting.

    • Pauline says:

      The webs were difficult to photograph Catmint, the camera just didn’t know what to focus on,I took lots of photos but these were the only ones sharp enough to show you! As you say, the spiders are usually sitting un the middle of the webs, maybe they just didn’t fancy having their photo taken!

  13. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Such beautiful spider webs. Autumn is a beautiful but messy time in the garden. Wildlife must love the buffet of your garden!

    • Pauline says:

      Autumn is a busy time Peter, almost as busy as spring, raking up of leaves will now take over from weeding, which has slowed down at last. Time to make plans for next year and improve the planting, time to plant new bulbs and plants for next spring. Lots of the berries have been eaten already, especially the cotoneaster horizontalis.

  14. debsgarden says:

    Your berry-laden garden is a marvelous buffet for birds and other wildlife, and so pretty for human eyes! Spider webs certainly can create a challenge walking through the garden. The other day I inadvertently walked through the middle of one and found spider web dangling all over my head and face. I was shaking my hair and trying to get it off, when, to my horror, the owner of the web dropped to the ground in front of me. I tried to reassure myself there was only one spider in that web! Poor spider. No doubt it was a worse event for her than me!

    • Pauline says:

      The webs can be a problem in the garden Deb, I suppose they must be there at other times of the year, but we just don’t see them until they are spangled with the mist of autumn. It must have been a shock for you and the spider when you walked into the web, not a nice experience for either of you!

  15. Cecilia says:

    Your beautiful spider web picture pulled me in and I discovered so many beautiful photos more. Awesome, thank you!

  16. Wonderful photos of the webs! Around here, old timers say a bumper crop of acorns means a harsh winter is coming. We have lots of acorns this year too, which is a good thing. When they are scarce, bears come down from the mountains in search of food, which causes all kinds of problems…..especially for the bear.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Marian, I always try to avoid the webs across the paths, but sadly am not always successful. At least we don’t have the problems with bears that you do, here it is just the birds and squirrels that collect the acorns and bury them, no wonder I get so many seedling oak trees!

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