In outdoor cat news…..

Talking to a friend about our outdoor cat I explained that he’s generally in our garden which is about the size of two terraced houses and their yards…. There are lots of other cats about that come and go (I fear for the bird population but they have plenty of cover). There’s a shed and a summerhouse, two cat beds and cushions. He’s a big cat, twice the size of my other two, well-groomed. Tidy, but not a dominant cat which is why I think they can integrate…

He comes in and sleeps sometimes but he’d found a space on the settee and now the indoor boy cat sleeps there. I will have to find him a new space, it all seems to be about territory. I also think he gets too hot when we have our heating on. He will eat, then mooch over to the back door and yowl to be let out… Such is the life of an abandoned out door cat, we want to love and care for him, but he hadn’t made his mind up fully about us.

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Today’s prompt is Sky

#bandofsketchers prompt

Got up just before 7 to draw a magnificent dawn? It was still gloomy when I started and because of the low cloud it got lighter, but no sign of the sun!

This is the view east of the house. Willow Bush still in leaf but turning yellow, beyond that the rooves of the shops on the main road and the skeleton of a new building that stopped growing in March. The telephone pole, the Walnut tree we planted twenty five years ago and a Holly Bush below the willow. Used a calligraphy black ink pen and Spectrum Noir metallic coloured pencils. Took about twenty minutes in semi darkness.

Backyard today

I’m still waiting, on the 3rd November, for my hanging baskets to get knocked off by the frost. October was the fifth wettest since the 19th century. And it was wet, and windy. A couple of ex hurricanes blew over us, the sky stayed battleship grey for a lot of the month. The wind makes our windows whistle and moan in the kitchen if its from the South West, and the noise moves to the front of the house if the wind shifts to the North East. That’s why the plants do well round the back, they are in a little sheltered micro climate. So I’m waiting to see what happens tomorrow… And not just in the garden!

Conkers

Still llife photo of conkers. Photo taken last year at Bodnant Garden in North Wales last year. What a great trip out that was. We walked round the large garden grounds. Down into the river valley, past huge and ancient trees. Late flowering perennials and bushes. Its a charming place to visit, but be aware it is hilly. Its a National Trust site so its very well maintained. There are small shops trading there, a garden centre and a cafe/restaurant.

Great for a visit when the garden is in full bloom, especially the laburnum walk. You can join the National Trust or pay when you visit. BUT check opening times, it does close in the winter and with the lockdown for the pandemic there will be changes to visiting and probably closures.

Ivy

I like ivy, it covers the ground, grows up trees, makes berries birds can eat. Places where birds can nest where it grows up walls. This is a mixture of plain and variegated varieties. It’s mature because it’s growing berries now. There is a Holly Bush near it which is also making berries. I might even make a wreath for the door when it gets to Christmas.

Hanging basket

It’s mid October and the baskets just keep flowering. This ones on the garden shed, another sheltered spot. I would recommend ordering them from a small nursery or farm, they generally end up filled with more and different flowers that have matured more by the time you get them. I usually ask for lots of colour and the lady that plants them up will put in lobelia, begonias, fushias, trailing petunias, and other flowers I can’t remember the names of. Then we fill our own baskets with pelagoniums, small sunflowers and trailing tomato plants (this year). I hang baskets one below another. Then set up pots on the wall and the ground. Finally we’ve grown a few, like this one, on the shed. Those have had nasturtium seeds put in them and have given a lovely late flowering display. In all the sadness of this year they have given me great joy.