October has been a month for cutting things down here in the Welsh marches. We missed dealing with the shrubs last autumn when we were away and really needed to tame the rampant Portuguese laurels and eleagnus we have in abundance, an overgrown cotoneaster ,immense weigela and yards and yards and yards of beech hedge. Feeling smugly triumphant, the OH has only to take his magic pruning saw to the Sambucus nigra and all the fruit trees, and he’s won. There’s going to be quite a bonfire this November 5th, following on from the two we have already had. There has been shredding too, but there’s not enough time to shred everything we cut down and the heavy duty shredder is very noisy. Interestingly, the woody shreddings we put on the compost heap last year were nested in by grass snakes. We found the remains of the eggs and one small, newly hatched baby grass snake last month. Very pleasing.
The border flowers are slowly fading away, to be replaced by the colours of leaves and fruit . On the left is a glorious wild thing that grows opposite the drive, in a hedgerow, better in colour than anything in the garden! I have no idea whether it is a thorn or a crab apple.
Many of the plants that were in flower in the middle of September are still blooming-Michaelmas daises, verbenas, salvia, rudbeckia and heleniums, but this months collage has some fresh faces. You can see the first coloured leaf on my newly purchased liquidamber , a pink persicaria and the first flowers on the Sanguisorba tenuifolia Alba I bought in the summer. In the second row, another view of the Sanguisorba, late-blooming Cosmos “Purity” and the pink Hebe “Trudi”. The bottom picture is Gaura lindheimeri, one of a group I grew from seed.
Still in their containers by the greenhouse are some flowering grasses. There is Pennisetum Hammeln, with stiff brown seed heads, the softer, whiter flowers of Pennisetum rubrum and Panicum Heavy Metal , with its fat little seeds. The grasses, and several others that are less impressive to photograph now, are destined for a new planting – the new piece of meadow we bought during the summer . On the day we bought it, it looked like the picture, bottom right. It’s going to be fun making it part of the garden, which is on the right of the picture, on the other side of the hedge.