Summer has gone

The back yard in summer, there are still a few flowers out there now at the end of November, but nowhere near how these looked. Summer is a wonderful season if you live in the northern or southern latitudes you have that wait when the sun gets lower in autumn and only returns in the spring. I’m sure equatorial countries have some variations, but I don’t think there is such a change in temperature and light. I think plants bloom all year round. I wonder how climate change might effect plants. Will we have continuous blooms even through the winter? What have we done to the world?

Autumn leaf

Rain and wind are buffeting the trees. Slowly the chlorophyll comes out of the leaves and other coloured photosynthesis pigments remain. Xanthaphyl and Ceratines are some of these. They are the pigments that cause yellows and reds. They are the chemicals that transfer energy from sunlight and convert Carbon Dioxide and Water to sugars and Oxygen. The sugars feed the plants and the Oxygen helps supply the air that we breathe. If plants stopped providing Oxygen and sugar we would run out of Oxygen (21% in air) and the food we get from plants. They are essential for life. And if when the Nothern Hemisphere lost leaves in Autumn, the South didn’t have a Springtime we would be in trouble

Six months ago

Six months ago I remember things were fine. The Rhododendrons in the Dorothy Clive Garden were in flower, we had the whole summer to enjoy. The sun was shining and covid seemed to be on the wane. Now things are not so good. Autumn has arrived and life has thrown me some curve balls. We are heading towards darker days and the summer is speedily disappearing. But I have decided I have to be OK. Just doing things like getting my covid and flu jabs seems positive. Protecting myself and people around me.

Sun’s up

Sunlight through leaves, making patterns on the kitchen wall. It would be brighter but the wall is painted a pale apple green. When there was a partial eclipse a few years ago the light hitting the wall turned into increasing crescent moon shapes as the Moon passed in front of the Sun. This time of year, before the autumn sets in, there is a lot of shade from the trees in the garden. The pear tree is casting most of the shade on the wall, and a few pears have started to fall as the morning temperature reduces. I can almost feel a chill in the air this morning.

Soon it will be the vernal? Equinox, when the day and night time are in balance in the Northern (and also Southern) Hemispheres of the Earth. That is when both day and night are exactly 12 hours long. Soon the days here will shorten, whilst they grow longer in the south. I hope the nights are not too cold, I would like the leaves to stay on the trees as long as possible. I always feel sad when they become skeletal in the winter and the long wait till spring comes round again drags on. I miss my flowers as they wilt and fade, and I find it harder to motivate myself in the dark days of winter. But that is a while away yet, so I will enjoy what is left of the summer while I can.

Bluebell time

Soon to be over. That must of blue flowers will be gone. I’ve suddenly fallen in love with the romance of flowers! I don’t think I noticed them much last year and now it’s a revelation to see them in bloom. We have some bluebells but they are pink and white too. I think ours are the Spanish variety with blue Bell flowers all around the stem which is more upright and the leaves are wider and strappier. They are worth commenting on because of their gorgeous colour.

Growing

I need to start gardening again. I haven’t emptied out the old pots and put in new compost yet. It’s May and I’ve hardly been round the garden. We are trying to save money and so we have delayed making a start. But the perennials in the main garden are growing. The Russian vine is growing like mad after the rain. We have lots of lesser celandine and bluebells coming up, plus wild garlic. Geraniums are getting big enough to flower and the bushes keep growing. Oh so much to do and not enough energy or strength!

.

Vinca

This little purple flower with a white centre with five spiralling petals is called a Vinca. It has glossy dark green leaves and sprawls across the ground under dappled shady patches. We used to have some in our garden but I think the shade got too deep and other plants grew over it. We will have to try again. It cheers me to see this purple among the muted colours of helibores and fading tulips. Soon the summer will arrive and the flowers will change again.

Bluebell walk

We visited Betley Court and walked around the bluebell woods. It’s a private property so it only opens twelve times a year so we were really lucky to get in today. We will go back! It’s on the road from Keele in Newcastle under Lyme towards Nantwich I think. Its in Staffordshire I think (but its really near Cheshire). Its a lovely place. I really love this Spring abundance.