Still gardening

The garden is still thriving although the evenings are drawing in. It gets dark earlier and stats dark longer. A lot of the flowers are fading but the plants are staying green. The worry is that as it gets colder they will die off, but it is to be expected here in the northern hemisphere. I do love cramming plants into our small yard and I thinks it creates a microclimate that keeps the temperature up and supports the growth. We’ve also had some heavy rain which has perked them up a bit over the last few days.

Still want a sculpture

Fox sculpture.

I still want a sculpture in our garden like this but the artist has not been in touch. I wonder if something has happened to him? Oh well, people get busy. I will try again and see if we can have it done.

A good friend came round earlier today and helped with our garden. It’s getting very overgrown and neither me or my hubby can manage it anymore. The whole thing needs cutting back and pruning. Unfortunately the wisteria was a casualty as it has grown into the ivy that has got onto the roof of the extension so it needs clearing. Then you might be able to see a sculpture!

Tomato

The tiny green tomato was plucked off our tomato plant today. The surrounding ones are large and shop bought and the apple on the top right was a windfall off my sisters tree…

I can grow flowers, but not vegetables or fruit. I spend too much on seeds, and get plants from sales and swaps, but I don’t have good conditions to grow them in… Too much shade. Too many shrubs!

Phycobilins?

At Trentham Gardens today.

Red leaves on plants at Trentham Gardens today. Usually leaves are green but these have a strong red colour. The light shines through them giving them a glow. I remember hearing about other plant colours that happen in autumn. The green chlorophyll is absorbed back into the plant (usually a tree) and other underlying pigments that help to phosynthesise carbon dioxide and water to join together into simple sugars that can then be transformed into cellulose and other plant structures.

As the chlorophyll is absorbed, red phycobilins, yellow xanthophylls and orange carotenes are left in the leaves giving Autumn colours. This usually happens as the temperature cools and the plants start to store food and chemicals for winter.

I don’t know if these plants are doing thus? They remind me of the colours that are found in Swiss Chard.

Passion flower

Suddenly there was a passionflower in the garden. She didn’t know where it had come from. Could it have been planted there by a bird? A squirrel? She knew she hadn’t planted it… At least she thought she knew…

A week later she was pottering in the yard. A beautiful lily caught her eye. Again she racked her mind, thought back to spring? It might have been in a bag of bulbs she had bought? It was early autumn. Too long ago to remember.

Over the next few weeks new plants appeared in her borders. Beautiful flowers and plants. Expensive plants. The gate was locked at night, and she only went out occasionally in the day. Was she being stalked…?

The revelation of who was doing the planting came late one Friday evening. She was having a drink with an old school friend. As she sipped her red wine she told her about the plants popping up in the garden.

Her friend blushed and smiled. Oh dear, she said. I’d better tell you. My garden is full, too full. I decided to spread plants out to my friends gardens, you, Jackie, Maude and Sisley.

Well it started as a bit of a joke, but once I realised I could push through the hedge down the bottom of the garden? Well I just kept coming back. I hope you enjoyed the plants? I should stop!

Don’t you dare! I love them. I was spooked, but now I appreciate the surprise. Thank you. Keep going, its fun.

Overgrown

Too many plants in our garden. A lot of shrubs. There are probably bears in there (not), maybe hedgehogs and the squirrels are back and have started eating the walnuts from our tree which must be sixty foot high now.

A massive two trunked laurel Bush /tree robs a lot of the light, and holy bushes and a small eucalyptus are dotted about. The cherry trees are getting big and we have had to prop up the pear tree which is now laden with fruit. The wisteria is tangled up with the ivy on our kitchen and bathroom extention and a fig tree is growing there too. A few small olives appeared on the olive tree this year but didn’t grow big enough to crop.

Too much shade in the main garden so we are growing flowers in the back yard and on the pavement. We even (weirdly) have a couple of cabbages growing at the front!