End of Month View – October 2015

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October has been a kind month to this gardener.  We have had generally dry weekends with milder temperatures than normal allowing me to spend some quality time in the garden.  My efforts have been small but widespread and really have been little more than planting out bulbs and some perennials.  I have spent as much time looking, peering and pondering.

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As you can see the Field Maple, I think that is what the tree is, is dropping its leaves.  There were nearly as many a week ago and the tree has still more to drop.  I love autumn leaves; they always take me back to my childhood  and jumping into large piles of beech leaves in my parents’ garden.  But I can’t leave these leaves as they make the steps too hazardous.  I also don’t agree with the whole slow gardening approach which argues that you should leave the leaves in borders etc to rot down and feed the soil just as happens in nature.  This does not take into account that we, well I, garden my garden more intensively than happens in nature and the decaying leaves act as an overwinter home for all sorts of slugs and pests.  It always amuses me that those who extol the virtues of slow gardening loudest are also the ones who complain most about slugs!

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The milder temperatures mean that a lot of deciduous plants are still looking very green and even attempting a second flush of flowers.  Many of my roses have more buds on them than they did in early summer although I think it is unlikely that many will actually open.  I have started to cut back and tidy the Big Border.  I generally work through the borders on a regular basis cutting back any plants that are going over and once I have an area that is pretty tidy I give it a good mulch of home-made compost.  Due to the number of bulbs in the garden this is probably the best chance I will get in the year to mulch as come early spring there will be too many bulbs pushing through the ground to work round.

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The top of the woodland border has really come on this year.  Most of this area was dominated by an Acer which sadly died just over a year ago.  There are quite a few shrubs here now but they are all still quite young and will take a while to bulk up so I have been planting the rest of the border up with other woodland favourites including epimediums, hellebores and honesty.  I am hoping that next spring it will look very pretty. I will also get to see whether I had relocated some snowdrops here or not!

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The bottom half of the woodland border is more established having been planted some 3 or 4 years ago. I am pleased with the foliage textures but it needs a bit of tweaking; I’m not sure what exactly but something.  I will have to look back over this year’s photographs to try to identify why my instinct is telling me this area needs some attention.

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And finally the grass path which has survived my ponderings of removing it and is now enjoying the unusual prospect of being a fixed element of the garden.  Over the last few months I have added a number of grasses to the garden particularly either side of this path and they have brought some sort of cohesion to the planting as well as providing movement and airiness.  I need to work on the border to the right of the path.  The planting between the grass in the right hand corner and the small prunus is distinctly lacking.  In the spring it is full of hellebores and other spring delights, followed by hostas and I would like to add something to bring interest to overlap with the end of the hostas.  Something to ponder over the winter.

So that is my garden at the end of October.  If you would like to join in the with the End of Month View please do, the more the merrier.  You can use the meme in any way you wish.  I tend to take photographs of the same views during the year, others like to do a tour of their garden, or use the meme to follow a project.  Whatever approach you take all I ask is that you link back to this blog in your post and leave a link to your post in the comment box below.  It will help us find each other and pop by for a look-see at what is happening in your garden.

 

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38 Comments Add yours

  1. owenldn says:

    Havent even read your blog yet- but wanted to say I love your photos! I dont know if you have changed cameras or its jsut looking particularly crisp and colourful but this month your garden looks lovely!

    Right off to actually read it now!

  2. owenldn says:

    PS what are the hot pink flowers in your tropical border?

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Ummm, not sure which photo you are looking at, I don’t have a tropical border as far as I know but fab if you think it looks tropical!

    2. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Owen
      Looking at the pics I think you mean the plant above the shed in which case it is Salvia involucrata, close up of juvenile flower (and proper name) here https://patientgardener.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/wordless-wednesday-17-july-2013-salvia-involucrata-boutin/

  3. Linda B. says:

    Except for the fallen leaves, you can barely tell it’s autumn. Everything is still so green!

  4. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Autumn leaves so pretty!

  5. I like the carpet of leaves in your garden, Helen! Without it, your garden would look almost summery.
    My post: http://tanyasgarden.blogspot.com/2015/10/october-garden-pictures.html

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Tatyana
      It is surprising how summery some of the garden is looking though it is fading fast

  6. I love fallen leaves, too, but rather less so when they’ve been rained on, I must admit.
    I’m sure the quiet of winter will bring to fruition some of your ideas about tweaking the borders..

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi VA
      I am already ruminated about annuals and what to plan where next spring, it makes winter pass quicker

  7. rusty duck says:

    There’s been a big change since last month, I’ve noticed the same. The leaves add real depth of colour to your garden. It’s a good point you make about the slugs. In my heart I’d like to be tidy but it’s a huge job to remove them all.
    Here’s my link: http://www.rustyduck.net/2015/10/31/leaves-on-fire/
    Thanks as always for hosting the meme. It certainly keeps me on my toes!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Jessica
      You have a much bigger garden than me and are surrounded by many large trees so I’m not surprised you get tired picking up all the leaves

  8. Your first photo had a real look of Heligan about it – it’s lovely! I agree with not leaving leaves to rot down, I have enough trouble with slugs and snails, they don’t need any encouragement. There is a temptation to take bin liners into the front and collect the many leaves from the road but done thus way any good leaf mould will take ages to produce.

    This is my contribution to EOMV for October http://hurtledto60.com/2015/10/31/end-of-month-view-october-2015/

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Ronnie
      How nice to have the garden likened to Heligan but I think you are being very generous.

    2. I think it’s the ferns and the fatsia – your very own Heligan corner!

    3. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Ronnie

      I love ferns and fatsias, I have too many of both!

  9. jenhumm116 says:

    As others have commented, apart from the leaves you could definitely believe it was earlier in the year than it is. There are some lovely textures and combinations to admire. And yes, I agtree about the leaves too, but you’ll see I’ll have my work cut out to clear up all the oak leaves that blow into my garden!
    Here’s my post, and thanks for hosting:
    https://duverdiary.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/end-of-month-view-october-2015/

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Jen
      I do love autumn leaves but I am glad I’m not surrounded my trees

  10. Alison says:

    Hi Helen

    Your garden is looking really good, I agree about fallen leaves being part of the fun of autumn. My EoMR is here: http://www.blackberrygarden.co.uk/2015/10/end-of-month-review-october-2015.html

    Alison

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Alison
      I’ve spent a jolly hour bagging up leaves today, one of those jobs were you immediately see results

  11. Cathy says:

    I really enjoyed looking at your photos and reading your ponderings, Helen – I too have been realising how much I enjoy autumn for all sorts of different reasons, although I don’t think I actually said that in my post, which is at https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/end-of-month-view-swings-and-roundabouts/

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Cathy
      I think we have benefited from a nice mild autumn which has allowed is to enjoy the garden more rather than the mad dash of planting bulbs etc

  12. Anna says:

    October has certainly been a kind month and ended with a most mild day here. I’m with you on clearing up the leaves Helen. If left they provide a most cosy winter home for slugs. Ours are almost nearly all bagged and left to turn into leaf mould but there are always some that invariably escape. Is that salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’ still going strong in the second photo? My end of month view is here :
    http://www.greentapestry.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/end-of-month-view-october-2015.html

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Anna
      Yes it’s Phyllis Fancy going very strong, I was interested to see it featured in this month’s GI magazine. One of the best salvias in my limited view

  13. Anca Tîrcă says:

    Your garden looks so well at the end of October, with still many fresh plants and flowers in bloom, quite similar to mine.Here is my EOMV: http://timpingradina.blogspot.ro/2015/10/end-of-month-view-october.html

  14. homeslip says:

    Your garden is still looking so green and full of interest Helen. I especially like your grass path and fallen leaves. I tend to be lazy about leaves, letting them blow onto the borders to rot down. Luckily I don’t have too much of a problem with slugs and snails here. I do collect and bag the Norway Maple leaves from the front garden though and use them to mulch my raspberries the following year. I’m joining in again this month:
    https://homeslip.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/end-of-month-view-October-2015/
    Thanks for hosting. This sequence of posts is going to be so useful to look back on.

  15. Julieanne says:

    I still enjoy kicking my way through autumn leaves. I love the sound and the sense of abandon. You have a good point about not leaving the leaves on the borders. At the moment all my trees are quite young so I don’t get that many for creatures to hide under, but will have to watch this as they develop. Your garden is looking really good and a pleasure to look upon.

  16. Helene says:

    October has been kind to us gardeners here in London too, and although the weather has been good for doing gardening work, I have also spent a lot of time peering and pondering about what to do with my garden.
    I so agree with you about the leaves and about tidy up the beds, I don’t leave it to die down, I remove them and clear up everything, ready for the next big thing which is just around the corner – the hellebores will start to flower in just 6 weeks’ time and the first snowdrops in end of January.

    Thanks for hosting the meme, here’s my link:
    http://graphicality-uk.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/eomv-london-in-october-sunshine.html

  17. I like the way your grasses provide sort of punctuation marks along your grass path. I’m a massive fan of Hakonechloa myself. My leaves will get piled on top of the dahlias which I leave in the ground, then removed in spring, hopefully along with the slugs.
    My EOM view is here http://vespoid.blogspot.co.uk/

  18. Your garden looks lovely with its new fall coat of leaves and turning foliage. I had not heard about the slow gardening movement in the way you describe it, but I am a wildlife gardener and here I do let the leaves stay on the beds….but it is different for me as I live in a colder climate with lots of snow so those leaves are a wonderful mulch and do break down quickly.

    Leaving leaves really depends on your garden and I can see where those leaves can be quite a nuisance for you especially on those stairs. Joining in the EOMV:

    http://gardenseyeview.com/2015/11/02/gardens-eye-journal-november-2015/

  19. Angie says:

    October has been kind here too – such a pleasure to get outdoors, even without a fleece on the odd occasson here.
    I love how your entire garden looks right now and although the leaves do add to the effect I agree wholeheartedly about removing them. They provide the ideal spot for those slugs and snails to over winter.
    Apologies for being a tad late Helen.
    Here’s my offering this month:

    http://mygardenblogs.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/end-of-month-view-october-2015.html

  20. Chloris says:

    I enjoyed the October stroll round your garden Helen. And reading about your plans. I love the leaves everywhere, I can almost smell the lovely autumnal smell . Those leaves look rather big to be field maple. They are smaller and go a buttery yellow in autumn.
    I have joined in this month. A bit late I am afraid, but i got there in the end. https://thebloominggarden.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/end-of-month-v…autumn-glories/

  21. Hi Helen, your garden looks great this month with all the Autumn colours. Finally I have decided to join your meme as it will be a good record keeper for me. Let me know what you think. https://digwithdorris.wordpress.com/2015/11/03/showing-my-end-of-month-view

  22. What a great post, I miss Autumn in it’s true sense out here as very few trees are deciduous. I have got my green & autumnal leaf fix from your beautiful photos – thank you 🙂

  23. Gorgeous space you have created.

  24. Hi Helen, your garden is as beautifully covered in autumn leaves as mine is. I love gathering them up too. In these modern days we can spend too much time with our hands full of manmade things … electronic devices, steering wheels, bags of shopping… so it is a strange and soul-pleasing treat to grab handfuls of something so natural as fallen leaves. My post is here: https://edinburghgardendiary.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/end-of-month-view-october-2015/ and sorry as usual it is so late, life has been getting in the way as usual!

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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