End of Month Review - October 2012

As much as September was short, October has felt long.  It has been foggy and frosty and damp and dank and also a bit sunny at times; it has felt like the weather's practice month.  So a pretty usual October actually, the month that Autumn really kicks in.  October starts with Goose Fair weather and ends with Hallowe'en, the nights draw in dramatically meaning that the fire is lit and life snuggles down to prepare for Winter.

It is also a good time for garden projects, its not too hot to do stuff, its not too dry to plant things out and the soil has not quite got too cold yet.  I like Autumn in the garden.
This month's significant development is the renovation of the front garden.  I took this photo from a bedroom window as I once read somewhere that knot gardens are designed to be looked at from above and it has always been the way I have checked what it looks like.  I remain happy with how it now looks, the gravel has cleaned up and simplified the design and it is now far more satisfactory.
As you walk through the front gate the knot garden is to you right and to the left is this shady lawn.  I have had plans at one point to remove this as well, but I have never decided what I would replace it with.  As time has gone on I have realised that I like the peaceful green of it as a foil to the knot garden.  It might one day disappear, but only if I can think of something better to put in its place, so for now it is safe.
The borders in front of the house are also looking quite nice at the moment (damned by faint praise), the anemones and the purple salvias are particularly making me happy.  The purple salvias are from the Thompson and Morgan trial and have been excellent.
In between the shady side front lawn and the gravel garden on the other side of it is an arch thing, that does not really serve a purpose as to my knowledge I have never walked under the arch, however it is home to various clematis which are currently flowering well.
There are three or four different types and this winter clematis seems a little early, but it is welcome.
The gravel garden has had its gravel refreshed too (anyone would think I had had a large delivery and had some spare).  It looks better and is now more crunchy than before. 
This self-seeded verbascum got a bit battered during the re-gravelling, but it will recover.
The garden has that Autumn colour about it, sort of golden and brown mellowness.
The shady courtyard (ha! courtyard, really?  that bit of concrete between the conservatory and the utility room that I have no idea what to do with) it home to some pots, some gnomes and a green hose pipe.  Believe me, that is an improvement.
Within the die back in the borders there is still colour.  These chrysanthemums have been wonderful.  They have flowered late and given some welcome colour.  I love these burnt orange ones.  Next year I will grow more.
The leaves are now falling with momentum.  Last week there was one or two, now they form a carpet.
The pall of death hangs over the borders, the tithonia are on their last legs.  After weeks of amazing flowers they will be pulled up soon.  Some have already gone as they have been blown over.  I will definitely grow these again, they have been such performers this year.
Once things have died back a bit more the pleaching will need some attention.
The borders are getting that patchy look now.  There are some nigella seedlings appearing and also there is the space for the wallflowers to be put out.  Once I have cleared away more of the annuals, the cosmos, tithonia and nasturtiums, then the wallflowers will move to their final places.
The prairie borders are still looking good.
The Autumn colour is good, this acer is fairly ordinary most of the year, but now it is ablaze.
The catalpa and the euonymus in the background are doing well.  The catalpa was one of the first trees I plants in this garden and it feels like it is really starting to grow now.
The amalanchier is looking wonderful too, it is still very young but has settled in well.
The view back across the woodland border shows leaves and leaves and leaves.  I am sure there are more fallen leaves this year than other years.
The dahlia border is clinging on to the last few days of colour.  Soon the frosts will do its work and end the flowers.
The persicaria orientalis make me happy, they are wonderful.  I am still hoping I can collect some viable seed from them.
The veg beds look Autumnal.  There is green manure, looking a bit patchy, the onions and garlic are also now planted.
The cauliflowers are definitely cabbages, I will start eating them soon, if I wait too long they will go too far and I am really looking forward to eating my first ever home-grown cabbage (even if I did think I had sown cauli seeds).
and the pond is full, full of water and full of fallen leaves, I will have to do some cleaning of it.  I will remove more of the parrot weed too, if I could remove it all I would be very happy.

Thanks as ever to Helen for hosting this meme.


  1. Good to see updates of your garden! The knot garden is looking good already but my favourite is the prairie garden which as you've said is still looking good.

    Autumn is such a variable, possibly the shortest season, and also a season that's easily forgotten by most gardeners.

    1. Thanks - I'm still impressed with myself about the prairie garden, its a bit like being a real gardener! I do love it when a plan comes together :-)

  2. It's all looking so beautifully natural. I especially like photo 11, of the tree, the lawn and the fallen leaves. And your knot garden. Nothing looks stressed.
    For me, spring is well under way, and so is the heat, but I've always preferred autumn.

  3. The fallen leaves seem to have appeared quite suddenly. Perhaps the trees are expecting a hard winter and are getting ready early!
    I too think your prairie border is looking good.
    Why not put some shelving in your courtyard garden. While I am quite a lazy gardener at times and can ignore empty spaces I find empty shelves just have to be filled. Shelves sorted out the messy collection of pot plants that used to litter the side of my house :-)

    1. I like the idea of shelves, thanks - it is such an odd useless bit of space - shelves might give it purpose

  4. Looks a very happy garden, and it feels like it is just at its beginning with promise of great things to come.


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