December hanging basket.

How is this possible. The hanging baskets are still alive and flowering despite a few frosts and cold winds. It’s not just one plant though. The flowers are still on four or five plants. Maybe they are so tightly packed that they are sheltering each other. I also think the flowers were not pollenated because of a lack of insects? I will keep posting about this till they wilt and die off.

Hanging baskets hanging on….

Yes they are still surviving. Plants and flowers that would normally have shrivelled away by now, a series of frosts due this week might do that, but the plucky baskets (OK they are not thinking or animated) have hung on together with the plants around the yard. I guess there must be a microclimate. I will let them stay where they are until its time to get them refilled again in spring next year…

There are various plants in the photos, including nasturtium, fushua, begonia, aster, pelargonium and many more.

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!

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!

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.

Pears

Views of the pear tree. They are getting bigger and a small branch has broken off. The sun was out again today although the wind is coming from the north and cooling things down. My hanging baskets have just started to wilt a bit since we hot this dry spell. I’m watering them, but the coll nights and the big gaps in the new fence are making the yard a bit cooler. The time will come when everything dies back. I’m pleased though that I’ve found a small courgette on one of my plants!

Back yard work

Our back yard

Today we had the task of replacing the plants, hanging baskets and pots in the back yard that we had taken down to have a new fence put in. The next door neighbour had allowed us in to get at his side of the wall so we’ve helped him by clearing back the brambles and Ivy and cleared his path so he can get to the back gate.

Now the pots are back I can see which ones have suffered from drought and the cold. They were all crammed together in our garden (on the other side of the house) but it was cold last night so some things have wilted. We have a real microclimate in the yard and it’s always a bit warmer there. Hopefully they will bounce back in the coming days.

Still growing

Yard

Everything is spreading out, the flowers are still blooming and huge leaves are sprouting from the courgette plants although I haven’t looked at them for a few days. My morning glory plants have survived a few cool nights, but still no flowers. I probably planted them too late in the season. I really need to dead head the plants but it’s so cramped along the yard its hard to get down there….. I have noticed the blueberries are ripening. I must pick them soon… I need to get my act together.

Begonias

One of the best things this year have been the begonias in the hanging baskets.

I’m not certain, but I think there are male and female flowers. Because some are big and blousy and the others are smaller and more simple. Whichever they are, they have been beautiful this year. The colours are subtle and amazing. They have also lasted a long time. I’ve only had to dead head them a few times. I’m hoping the weather does not get cold too soon so I can enjoy them for a few weeks longer.

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