Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Spring in autumn

Spring appears to have started in my garden. Actually it started a while ago when the Raggedy Jack kale went to seed. Kale is a bienniel so should flower the year after the seed is sown. With flowers this means you don't get a display until year two. With a 'cut-and-come' cabbage family member it means you get a year of cropping before the plant is finished. Still, not to worry. There are still plenty of leaves on these plants to pick for dinner, and I'll collect the seeds to sow again next year.

 More of a worry are the shrubs taking the warm weather to be permission for a show of petals. Down in the Hollow, where it's a little warmer, an azalea is about to come into flower:

The Pieris is putting on a real show.


And the Guelder Rose. Berries and flowers at the same time.

Joe mowed all the grass this week. It's still growing. But come the cold weather the flowers will all be killed. Hopefully there'll be a new batch next spring. On the positive side all this fine weather has allowed me to put the vegetable garden to bed. In the first photo you can see the black polythene on the bed behind the Raggedy Jack. This was the potato bed. A layer of muck, polythene on, and I can relax, knowing I won't be faced with a major weeding job in the spring. Polythene is no good in the ornamental garden. There it's just a matter of pulling away. The second you turn your back, of course, the buggers are back, even in the winter.

Some nice colours about:

This young beech has appeared on the other side of the river. Self-seeding is all the rage here.

The deer were getting into the Grove on a regular basis. They'd made a proper path for themselves through a small gap in the hedge, hopping over the barbed wire. There were little hoofprints across the garden, mostly on the grass but sometimes through the flower bed. Sometimes the hoofprints stopped at the picket fence that separates the garden from the car parking area. Up and over. No bother when you've legs that long full of springs. Other times they went down through what I fondly call the orchard but is usually referred to by the presence of the septic tank. I went down to PJ Mac's and bought some chicken wire, and Joe rigged up his own version of deer fencing:

No doubt they'll be strolling in another way. I'm already planning how to protect the young apple trees in the Hollow next spring.

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