Gardening with Nature on the Edge of the Atlantic

A Mixed Bag

Despite the constantly changing weather there is still a summer feeling to this area of the garden. The Autumn Hawkbit (which opens and closes on a regular basis in response to the showers) provides a sunny contrast to the cosmos and the Fuchsia in the background. It is a nice contrast to some of the other parts of the garden which have left summer far behind.

The Phormium now completely stripped of all its seeds is looking suitable for Halloween decorations. It has done a sterling job of feeding the birds throughout the summer.

Many years ago, I had a high, wide, wall built to hide my oil tank and to replace the previous ugly mound of soil and rocks. I planted a variety of succulents to cover the area. Their failure was dramatic. Grass and wildflowers took over and dominated the area. That is until this summer. Suddenly this sedum (I am assuming it is one) has taken on a life of its own and is even flowering. Wonders will never cease.

The succulents have even started to colonise the gravel below the wall. Something I could not have hoped to achieve no matter how hard I tried.

Yet another rescue from the water bucket. I do leave sticks to provide a way out for any creature that falls in, but this is not always successful. I am assuming that it is a dragonfly but need to invest in a more detailed guide as I was not able to identify which one from my current book.

This area under some very large pine trees has defeated me for years. The ground is very dry and until the hedgerow to the South West grew enough to provide shelter it was also very exposed. Now lavender thrive alongside the Osteospermum and even an olive tree. In addition, the old stone wall is seen at its best.

Osteospermum and lavender in the new bed.

The double headed Hydrangea always look better in the Autumn than their mophead relatives. Each year this plant has one or two flowers that retain their original colour for longer than the others and provide a contrast to their companions. I think that this is Macrophylla Double Flower Pin.

I am not enamoured with Dahlias and have only grown them (not very successfully) when given some by friends. This year I decided to buy a couple of varieties and this Dahlia Collarette ‘Dahlegria Bicolore’ is one of them. This is the only flower so far and I am not even sure that I like it as it seems rather artificial. The other variety did not even bother to make an appearance. I think that I will stick to wildflowers which are so much more forgiving.

I have been expanding my homemade cordial collection and have started the first batch of haws from the common hawthorn. This Craetageus Prunifolia has been very successful in the garden and is full of berries this year. I am going to try these once they are fully ripe. The only restriction on my output will be the amount of brandy that I am prepared to sacrifice for a good cause.

Early morning after a night of hard work for some spider. They must work all night and then their creation is gone by noon. The true definition of dedication.

I received a gift of some seeds of South African Corn this Summer and planted them with hope but no expectations. They took off like wildfire and have produced at least 30 cobs. They are not fully ripe yet, but as usual the birds have made a pre-emptive strike and eaten at least five. I have covered them in netting and have also tried a few. The flavour is so subtle and the corn so crunchy that I am not sure that I can ever eat the common form again. I hope the changing weather won’t stop them from maturing fully.

A full harvest as the birds soon discovered.

This Myrtle tends to get overlooked in the garden as it sits in the copse. Despite the shade it flowers prolifically for long periods of time and does not seem to mind the weather here.

In another corner of the garden the variegated variety Myrtus Luma ‘Glanleam Gold’ is thriving in half sunlight. It is totally entwined with a green variety and I presume that they were accidentally grown together in the same pot. So far, I have not had the heart to separate them.

A number of my trees have lost their leaves already and there is little autumn colour in the garden. A gift of some wood from a neighbour is providing enough colour to keep me happy for the moment.

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