The turn of the seasons


The sky hung heavy this morning with grey and cold looking clouds; I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had snowed although the temperatures weren’t quite low enough.

For me today has signalled the change of the seasons from Autumn to Winter.  This isn’t  because it is the start of December, no it is more of a feeling, a sense.  The warm autumnal tones have gone from the trees even the leaves lying on the ground have lost all colour.  Due to the excessive rain we have had there is a dampness and a sense of decay hanging over the garden.


But venturing out with a mission to complete the bulb planting closer inspection soon showed that there was much of interest if you took time to look.  The Bidens is still flowering and I think it has a kind of faded shabby elegance about it. The Phlomis russeliana which I had been considering removing has finely earnt its place with wonderful seed heads and sumptuous leaves.

In my last post I christened one corner of the garden the ‘Confused Corner’ as I don’t know what to do with it.  Today I planted 100 bulbs I had been given in it.  It sounds a lot but they were soon lost in the border so the impact won’t be as in your face as I had hoped.  While I was cutting back the perennials to make space for the bulbs I found myself in a ponderous mood and re-named the corner border – the Corner of Indecision.  I then went quite Bunyanish and started renaming other parts of the garden in the spirit of A Pilgrims Progress. So I ended up with the Slope of Aspiration, the Patio  of Promise and the Border of Despair!


I suspect the grey skies may have had an effect on my mood.

After a couple of hours of steady work all the bulbs were planted, the majority of the dead perennials were cut down and lots more of the leaves were collected and put in the leaf mould pile.  Cutting back the dead Helianthus has really highlighted the Calamagrostis overdam which is planted along the top of the slope.  The flower heads look particularly wonderful when the sun comes over the hills.


So winter is here and we turn our back on the garden and towards the fire-place and preparations for Christmas.  But if you look really carefully the bulbs are beginning to put their heads above the surface and I feel the anticipation for Spring beginning.



17 Comments Add yours

  1. I like the Pilgrim’s Progress theme. I think I have a Flower Border of Ridiculous Delusions, the Hedge Row of Incompatibility, and the Raised Bed of Complacency.

    1. patientgardener says:

      Hi Gardenerinacity -= your pilgrims progress borders are so better than mine. I had great ones when I was in the garden but when I wrote the post they had gone from my mind.

  2. Helen I love your renamed borders, glad you were able to get all your bulbs planted, I know 100 does sound a lot but they seem to go no where, still if they bulk up over the years you will soon have the lush springtime border, Frances

  3. Cathy says:

    I do like some of these new border names!! 🙂

  4. Yvonne Ryan says:

    For us first day of summer in NZ – Was actually warm, sunny and no wind – today Sunday back to being quite cold sw, cloudy and no sun —g rrrr when will it settle down? Took truck and car full of pots – non shreddable – sleeping bulbs etc and out door furniture up to daughters to wait until we move into cottage! Took the recyling bins with veg also. Garden looking quite bare with 200 pots missing! Still have some lovely opium popppies, roses and sweet peas, a few granny bonnets also catmint starting to flower.Oh yes and a lace cap hydranger white flowers and tight purple centres! Tomorrow son- in –
    law and grandson to take my tropical palms etc – going to look so bare. the only way to garden in this position was to have pots as concrete, volcanic rocks, fill and tree roots! I hope you not too wet and bedraggled!

  5. Christina says:

    The different areas in my garden have such boring names, your names are a great idea. Looking at all your photographs of the garden (not just todays) the one thing you could do (that I believe would give the greatest change and give you more satisfaction is to hide the boundaries; the garden would then become part of the wider landscape, ‘borrowing’ trees etc. from other gardens. Shrubs and mixed hedges usually work better than climbers that simply highlight the boudary rather than blur it. Hope you don’t mind the advice. Christina

    1. patientgardener says:

      Hi Christina
      I totally agree with the boundaries and have been planting lots of shrubs along them this year as well as climbers. Of course they are all a little small at the moment but hopefully they will start to fill out soon

  6. Holleygarden says:

    I have a few areas of my garden that need naming, although I’m not as creative as you. I, have an area of Confusion, or Indecision, too. I suppose most gardeners do. The leaves are still on the trees here, so it still looks like autumn. Isn’t it interesting how we psychologically move into the different seasons.

  7. Anna says:

    We had a glorious sunny and blue skied day here yesterday but yes it’s definitely winter. Like the Bunyan theme Helen – think I will refer to my garden as ‘The Slough Of Despond’.

  8. djdfr says:

    Some cold here has flattened the nasturtiums but there is plenty of life in the green grass and I can also see bulbs poised for spring.

  9. Good to hear you had time to finish your chores …I will link in tomorrow with the EMV. I have not had time to finish cleaning and tend to leave the leaves on the beds as mulch…I don’t clean up until spring now…it all just composts naturally and the critters and my back like it.

  10. hillwards says:

    I do like your border names. Hurrah for getting your last bulbs planted; never my favourite job, but the display in the spring should make it all worthwhile! It has felt very wintry these past few days…

  11. Mark and Gaz says:

    I agree about sensing that the season has turned simply by how it generally feels and what it looks like outside, rather than just date. Your own body and personal intuition are more reliable indicators than what the calendar dictates…

  12. Christina says:

    Hi again Helen. There was a piece on Gardener’s Question time about shubs for hedges and boundaries, not sure if the repeat has been on already but you can listen to the podcast (as I always do) Christina

  13. Anna B says:

    Hi Helen, I love your post! The photos are fab and sounds like you had a productive day. Isn’t it funny how blub planting is so enjoyable yet just seems like an everlasting chore at times! I really like the names you have given to areas of your garden too 🙂

  14. That’s a lovely calamagrostis – and a lot of bulb planting!

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