Autumn in the Garden

Autumn in the Garden

Although it seems like no time since the long, heady days of summer, we’re well into October now and only a week away from the clocks going back an hour. Usually, we’ve had the wood-burner lit by now, and our logs delivered. But not this year. Since early April, we’ve had pretty glorious weather, but along with that, we’ve also very little rainfall, so the garden has struggled at times, despite regular watering. Flowers haven’t bloomed for as long as they normally would, and there just hasn’t been the intensity of colour that we usually have, when we have our normal rains. But, one thing that is definitely happening now, is a bit of a garden resurgence.

Temperatures are still relatively mild – low to mid twenties, most days – and we do seem to be having rain some nights. And, what we’re seeing now, is that a lot of plants which are normally finished by this time of year, are springing back into life. Or, plants which have been pretty dormant, are now growing and blooming. This time of year is usually when we’re packing up the garden, emptying pots, clearing up leaves etc and it always makes us a bit sad, as things start to look a little bleak. But, not this autumn…

Passionflowers winding up & over the shed, and blooming.

Passionflowers winding up & over the shed, and blooming.

Blooming passionflowers.

Blooming passionflowers

New strawberries.

New strawberries.

Tiny lemons.

Tiny lemons.

Emerging squashes.

Emerging squashes.

Nasturtiums & pansies growing through the cracks and stones.

Nasturtiums & pansies growing through the cracks and stones.

Courgettes still growing.

Courgettes still growing.

Towering cosmos, grown from a seed.

Towering cosmos, grown from a seed.

Pink dahlia bloom.

Pink dahlia bloom.

Crimson dahlia flower.

Crimson dahlia flower.

White dahlia flower.

White dahlia flower.

Burgundy dahlia flower.

Burgundy dahlia flower.

Colourful cosmos flowers.

Colourful cosmos flowers.

Pink cosmos.

Pink cosmos.

Flowering purple hearts.

Flowering purple hearts.

Dahlia blooms.

Dahlia blooms.

Tall cosmos.

Tall cosmos.

Yellow cosmos.

Yellow cosmos.

Mimosa already beginning to bud.

Mimosa already beginning to bud.

Seeing all of this colour, so late, in the garden, is making me very hopeful that winter may not seem quite as long as it often does. And that before we know, spring will have returned…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, October

Hello, October

So, our long, hot – but very strange – summer, has drawn to a close. As in previous years since we’ve been here, I’m sure we’ll still have days which are warm and sunny, but the intense heat of the sun has gone. Days are obviously getting shorter and there’s a chill in the air. Our thoughts are definitely turning to getting the garden and the house, autumn/winter ready. All summer, the kitchen windows have been wide open and as they open internally, the shelf we put up last year, in the one that overlooks the front of the house, has been down. As it doesn’t seem likely that the window will be thrown wide open again until next year, the shelf is back in its place…

I want this shelf to bring colour into the kitchen. The room is painted in Farrow & Ball Hague Blue – walls and ceiling – and so in the winter, can be dark. I also didn’t want to go and buy more “stuff” so have searched around the house and repurposed old bottles I’ve kept, because I liked the colours or the shapes. The apothecary style gin bottle was spotted in Lidl – as cheap as chips and now very pretty, full of artificial orange berries. A rose lemonade bottle, sprayed gold, has taken on a new lease of life, rather than being condemned to the recycling bin. A cork bottle stopper, sprayed gold, makes a perfect candle stand for a collection of fat, squat candles I have – all, pleasingly, in autumn colours. I’ve also found that our potted basil plants seem to fare well in this window, and so the shelf has a *use* too – fresh basil leaves can just be plucked from the plants, which, surprisingly, given our track record with them, do seem to be thriving.

The window ledge was tiled over the summer and because it’s quite deep, it’s a good storage area. This year, we’ve gone a bit pumpkin mad, and it’s the perfect place for these autumnal beauties. The colours – oranges, yellows, greens, shades of blue – are gorgeous. Definitely too pretty to be hidden away in a cupboard. And they add to the joy of our autumnal window. A window which, until we renovated our kitchen, wasn’t even there…

The area outside the front door has also been tackled. Although we’ve painted the concrete pale blue, and the well was moved out here, we’ve not really done anything with it, to prettify up the front of the house. Well, we’ve made a start on making the entrance to the house just a little bit more attractive. The more delicate potted plants have been moved up onto the platform and now they create a much nicer scene outside the front door. Especially as the Virginia Creeper, which we planted quite late on in the summer, and so didn’t hold out too much hope for, is beginning to attach itself to the wall and turn red. The shutters to the kitchen side window are never closed, so hanging pots have been brought up here and twines of ivy have been round the bar. Plus some tiny lights which will twinkle away in the dark.

A sturdy willow wreath was sitting in the shed, basically asking for something to be done to it to make it a whole lot more attractive. A few lengths of artificial ivy, some orange leaves and russet berries did the trick, and the bare wreath is now resplendent in green and orange – and looking quite the autumnal thing, under the metal cattle skull. Very Istria.

As we have no plans to go anywhere very far this month, we’re making absolutely sure that our home (which is for sale, by the way), will be the cosiest it possibly can be. Looking forward to a winter of hygge inspiration…