|St John's Wort, dripping in the Autumn sun
I’ve often wondered whether gardening is in my genes.
I can remember an old black and white photograph that captured a long, narrow garden stuffed full and overflowing with perennials and annuals. In the foreground was my proud grandfather, who died three years before I was born. I never knew him but I stole his name to pass on to one of the giants.
|Leaves shout out their bawdy beauty
Even as a young child, the image made a strong impression on me. Despite the limitations of colour, I knew that it would have been a spectacular display.
|Olives share a pot with a munching vine weevil
Later, as fashions and generations had altered, I watched my father propagating annuals, lifting dandelion clumps from the lawn (with a strange metal tool that looked like a lizard's tongue) and develop a long term relationship with rocks and alpines!
|Despite its poisonous sap, the Euphorbia earns its place with its elegant fronds
The autumnal drop in temperature, shortening of daylight hours and curling of vegetation, always sets my inner stopwatch off as the winter closes in. There is much to be done still, in this drowsy garden.
|The last of the sweet peas
|as others have turned to seed
I love the fact that we have seasons in England; less so, the unpredictability. Just as we start snuggling into voluminous woollens, with steaming bowls of soup or stew, our plots need tucking in for the winter months ahead.
|Bay leaves ...
|... self seeded tomatoes
|and a cranky fig, introduce a mediterranean vibe
Newly purchased bulbs are hidden, for later appreciation, like squirreled away nuts (I always scrawl details of requirements in the midst of the bulb flowering season, on the calendar month of September). Dead foliage is cut back, while still-living plants are left alone for snoozing invertebrates and other diminutive beasts.
Right now, the leaves continue to change into their autumnal coloured robes. If I’m lucky, I will smell the wafts of wood smoke from freshly lit fires and will be transported back to a childhood garden, in the suburban south east.
I‘ll admit to hating the dark mornings that result in me reluctantly peeling myself out of bed, despite having the luxury of a heated house. So too the dark evenings, journeying home from work and cooking an evening meal when it feels like bedtime, with the dark rain speckled windows being hidden by drawn curtains.
|and horseradish loving snails
So, when I ventured into a rain sodden garden this morning, during a break in this October’s deluge, I was thrilled to record these photographs of autumnal garden delights. I hope you've enjoyed them too?