Red

Beautiful tree I saw on a walk. I love red trees, but we don’t get many in this country.. I’m not sure what species this is. It does not look like an Acer which are the the ones that look like maple leaves? Are they called Japanese maples? Anyway, this was before the wind got up and blew them all away!

I would love to visit America to see the ‘fall’, every time I see photos of the East Coast at this time of year the colours of the forests are magnificent. I guess this is the last chance to photograph a red tree this year?

Dying plant

Hubby ‘rescued’ this, but I think there is no chance of survival. Its a blackened mess of sagging stems. The result of a particularly cold night and a very tender plant. I’m afraid it’s going to be relegated to the compost bin tomorrow after rescuing some spring bulbs that have started to grow even before the winter arrives. I have even seen blossom on the apple tree a few weeks ago. Gardening is tough at this time of year. The day length and cold kill the annual plants and shut down perennial ones. Can’t wait for spring……

Sad hanging baskets

They are wilting…

Every day they are declining, wilting, leaves and flowers crumpling. We still haven’t had a frost but we have had cold rain.

Once they are gone we won’t have flowers till April or May. A few plants might be able to overwinter. I’m still thinking of getting some winter flowering pansies and a few cyclamen.

The main decline is amongst the plants are the begonias, their soft stems hold lots of water but I think their cells are only thinly walled and they split in the cold weather. Fushias are stronger, their woody stems hold out against the cold….

And then I’ve got baby raspberries… Weird!

Baby raspberries

I went out to take photos of our hanging baskets and took a photo of these at the same time. I was lucky to see them because they are a bit further into the garden.

I was surprised because they didn’t flower earlier in the year. I’m sure they won’t ripen, but I’ll give them 10/10 for trying!

I never know which bits of a flower are stamens bur whatever the little bits of fluffy stuff are, but you can clearly see where the ones that have been pollenated have started to turn into green fruit.

I’m pleased the photo turned out so clear, it was windy and hard to get the phone camera to focus.

Poppies for remembrance

Poppies germinate in disturbed soil so when the First World War came to an end they sprang up in ‘Flanders fields’. This then became the iconic symbol for armastice day and is used as a way of collecting donations. Paper flowers are sold in shops and by volunteers to raise money for the Royal British Legion charity.

Poppies come in a variety of forms, among which are the common poppy, probably the ones that grew in the fields after the war. Welsh poppies, oranges and yellows. Californian poppies (I’m not sure they are the same plant as I think they are called Escholsia? not Papaver). Oriental poppies, which are grown in some places to make opiates. Himalayan blue poppy (mecanopsis) one of which I managed to grow last year. Then also different garden varieties, perrenials and annuals.

My favourite annual poppy is Shirley. Lots of variety of colours from pale pinks and whites to deep reds and with different shading, also the perrenial Patty’s Plum although it’s colour tends to fade. I also love painting them….

Tomatoes ripening-at last!

A few tiny tomatoes, some from our plants, most from an allotment we helped on. I think they were brought on by some ripe bananas that give out a gas which helps ripen fruit around them. My hubby says the chemical symbol for the gas is Ethene (previously called Ethylene) CH2=CH2….We have a few apples too. I used a cooking apple yesterday with some cider to make a very tasty apple sauce. I’m going to use the rest of the apples up in a cake.

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!

Orchids

This is a duplicated photo of the orchids in my window. I thought they were hard to grow, but they seem to thrive on the neglect they get from me. I generally just give them a bit of water once a week. I think you are supposed to mist them with water and give them orchid food but that doesn’t happen. I did try repotting them but I killed one because I didn’t know they like clear pots so the roots get light. Some of the roots are ariel ones that need to be allowed freedom from the pot. One of my plants has sent out two flower spikes since I got it. I’m hoping it will do it again.

Rain and shine

It was hailing earlier, then a great shower of rain and then the sun came out. That sort of weather when it doesn’t know what it’s doing… Leaves are still on the plants and flowers too. Mainly because it’s been cloudy at night, keeping the heat in a bit. The lowest temperature I’ve seen was about 5.2°C in the middle of the night.

My hanging baskets are looking a bit bedraggled but we will see what happens over the next few days. Life cycles round, winter arrives later every year…

Pots

Chimney pots outside Cherished Chimneys in Longport, Stoke-on-Trent during Urban sketchers Stoke-on-Trent’s national sketching weekend in the Summer of 2019. So many shapes and sizes. We bought a couple as planters and filled them full of summer flowers. They make a terrific display because it raises the plants up above the ground. It’s also a good reuse of an object that might otherwise get smashed and used for hard-core on a building site.