Sunday, 21 September 2014

One of the nicest things

When I get home from any trip one of the things I like most - aside from sleeping in my own bed again! - is taking a trip around the garden to see what has been happening while I have been away.  Even if I have only been a way for a night I like to go and see what is growing or flowering.


There were a lot of leaves down already.  In fact there were more leaves down here than I had seen in New England it seemed.  We also had a lot of apples (i.e. small hard inedible rocks that the apple tree produces!) down, but hubby had picked them up before I got chance to take a picture.



I was surprised to see this giant mushroom growing, it must be four of five inches across!  I didn't pick it though as I would be too worried, and I suspect that it is going over now in any case.  It looks to me just like the sort of mushroom that you would see a little elf or pixie sheltering under.



There were just two flowers left on this beautiful bright pink penstemon, but it was lovely to see them in any case.  The rowan leaves are changing colour and the birds have been eating the berries already.  I saw a blackbird trying to eat them and I notice that there are a lot less berries than before we went away.  These are always one of the first things that get eaten in the garden.



Although they might not look like much, these two pictures really delighted my heart.  This is the best that this daisy has ever flowered.  It was so wonderful to see it, and I was even more delighted to see this Japanese anemone flower as I have been growing this plant for about 4 years now and it is the first time that it has ever flowered.  As you will see there are several spent flowerheads so I have obviously missed more flowers too.  To say I was excited would be an understatement!!



Of course there are other more normal signs of the changing seasons as well.  The forsythia leaves are turning a beautiful dark red colour and the sedums are blooming too.  Any passing insects and bees will be glad to stop and visit these.



The wildflower bed really is past its best now.  This week I will clear it and pick up some seeds to sow for next year having learned that wildflower seeds are best sown in the autumn.  Apparently some of them need to be frosted to stimulate germination so next year I hope they will be even better.  It has been fun to grow them and there has always been something in flower all summer even if it has been a bit faded looking in recent weeks.



The leaves of the peony are turning too.  Of course I really grow these for the beautiful flowers they produce, but the red leaves are another benefit later in the year too. 

I have absolutely no idea what the flowers are in the picture below.  Perhaps someone can identify them.  They only open up when it is bright and warm and sunny and are a stunning shade of pink.  When we moved here they were already here and I moved them to this spot and they love it.  I love them too!!



More sedums.  I really do love these for the late season colour they provide as well as the benefit they give to the insects and butterflies.  It is amazing how feathery they look when you get up close to them.



This marigold is still going and doing its best so I will leave it until it is spent.  The geraniums are still putting on a show as well which was nice to see as they were also looking a bit past it when we went away.  I have never had much luck in keeping these from year to year.  I don't have space indoors to keep them and no greenhouse. 

Last year though I put the ones I had in one of the raised beds and they made it through the winter.  Mainly I suspect because the weather was so mild.  So in the hope that I can keep the plants from last year as well as the new ones I bought this year going again I have bought a small plastic "greenhouse".  Actually, it is more like a plastic cold frame.  No idea if it will work, but nothing ventured nothing gained. 




The grapes are really ripening up now and looking good.  I haven't tasted one yet in case they ripen some more.  Although they look amazing, they are usually hard with very thick skins and far too sharp to eat.  I think they must be a wine grape of some sort rather than a dessert grape.  Who knows though, I have had a hankering to make some grape jelly so perhaps I will pick them in a while and see what happens.  The birds will be disappointed though as they usually get to eat the grapes!



One thing that hasn't faired at all well is this pot of mint.  it was growing really well when we left.  Now I think that it is a gonner.  Strange, because mint is one of the toughest of herbs and can actually be quite a thug if you grow it directly into the soil - which is why it is in a pot.  Oh well, I can get another one next year!


The grass is being mown though and the borders are looking pretty good considering, but I really must get out and start on some tidying up work while the sun is still out and it is dry.



Now, I have left the best till last - well second from last actually - but the last thing outdoors!  This yucca is in our front garden.  It has been there for about 9 or 10 years - I cant quite remember when I planted it.  Last year it started to produce a flower spike I think in about October or November and it got wet and cold and came to nothing.  So imagine my surprise and delight to return home to this sight!  If it stays warm enough it should flower which will be wonderful as my yucca in the back garden didn't bloom this year.  Yay!!  Here's hoping.



Oh, I forgot, and the weigela is flowering again - this is very unusual.



Last of all, as the house seemed rather bare and empty when we got home I bought two bunches of flowers - wild extravagance I realise! - from the supermarket.  They just seemed to shout out autumn with these wonderful orangey red and yellow tones though and they were on offer, so it would have been rude not to buy something wouldn't it!!


I hope that all is going well in your own gardens with the change of seasons from summer to autumn and winter to spring depending on where you are.

Amy

42 comments:

  1. I went for a quick trip around my garden before I'd even unlocked the door when I came home from holiday this year. It looks like your garden has done very well whilst you've been away, the grapes look fabulous. Just a warning about the plastic greenhouse, make sure you weight it down as they take off in the slightest wind. I usually put a bag of compost on the bottom shelf of mine. Your flowers are gorgeous, there's nothing better to make a house more welcoming that a vase of blooms.

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  2. Hello Amy,

    Thank you, thank you so much for showing us your Autumnal garden, it's looking wonderful. I love the vibrant colours of the flowers, and grapes how brilliant. Like you I love to come home to my own bed!

    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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  3. Oh that is so cool to see the changes. Wow, that is some mushroom. We are going away for a couple weeks and I hope my plants on the balcony survive. I will water them good before we go.

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  4. Good thing you didn't pick the giant mushroom ! I am quite sure a little garden gnome lives in it, with his little gnome wife, his teeny gnome children and their mini-mini gnome doggy ;-)))
    Wonderful pictures, I especially like the photos of your flowering yucca !!

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  5. I love coming home after being away and seeing what's changed in the garden too. There is always something new to look at xx

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  6. The yucca looks superb. I found a hellebore flowering today.. how weird is that??

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  7. There is nothing like your own bed is there? Be careful with the plastic greenhouse they have a tendency to blow away in the wind, when weighted down they can tear. Bear in mind I live on the East Coast where it is extremely windy so it might be alright where you are. We tend to put ours away for the winter.
    Some wonderful pictures.

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  8. You're not the only who enjoys a stroll around your garden! Our sedums have been totally squashed by heavy rain...poor things.
    Jane x

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  9. I know what you mean, Amy! I love coming home and checking out the garden's growth! Your grapes are so beautiful. I love all your autumn blooms and I think I'd love seeing your garden for real!
    xo

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  10. It's always lovely to get back to your own bed isn't it. Your garden is looking good, and your photo of the rose is stunning. I noticed my Spring flowering clematis is flowering again! I also have primulas flowering, and early geraniums with a few flowers, next to the Autumn sedum. All quite odd!! x

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  11. Lovely collection of photos :)

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  12. Your garden looks lovely, my garden might be small but I like to have wander first thing...
    Amanda xx

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  13. I do exactly the same, when we've been away I have to check the garden straight away! How exciting that your anemone flowered, I am glad that you didn't miss it entirely. My spring flowering clematis is flowering again too, what is going on?? x

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  14. I'm just the same - come home from holiday and straight out into the garden - yours looks like it fared okay whilst you were away and what wonderful grapes - mine didn't produce anything this year :( I think that flower you couldn't identify is probably a shamrock. Have a lovely week.

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  15. Your garden is beautiful Amy and I believe we are going to have an Indian Summer which will keep it all going a little longer. Great to see you back
    Cheers ~ Eddie

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  16. Beautiful photos of your garden, Amy. You've got a lot of gems there. :o)

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  17. I am exactly the same as you Amy, love to get into my own bed and also to wander around the garden. It is lovely to go away but also great to be back in your own home.
    So much still flowering away in your borders. That little pink flower is an Oxalis purpurea

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  18. We always wander around our garden when we return from a getaway too - such fun. Our sedum looks just like yours and we have the same wiegela too, but no blooms for us.
    I really enjoyed the Autumn tour of your garden!

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  19. I love checking my yard and gardens from day-to-day, but especially so when I've been away! It's amazing how quickly things grown and change. Those grapes look beautiful. Maybe you should stomp them and make some wine! :-)

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  20. Wow your fall season is ahead of ours . Your plants still are so pretty. We used to have a rowan tree we call them Mountain Ash over here. We used to get flocks of Bohemian Waxwings feasting on them in late fall. By then the berries would have started to ferment and there would be a lot of tipsy flyers! Lot of mid flight collisions and flights into our windows. Silly birds! Enjoy the September sunshine!!

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  21. When we returned from our trip earlier this month I couldn't wait to check out our gardens and flowers. They did fairly well as our neighbour was watering my annuals for me but the weeds sure took over!! I still haven't tended to them. I counted 10 bees on the sedum this evening. Your grapes are beautiful but it's too bad they aren't great to eat. Happy Fall to you. :)

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  22. So true, love to sleep in my own bed after being away. Last night started my first night being away and not sleeping in my own bed, however the camper bed is mine but not the same.

    Autumn, what a good start to it with a walk about your garden, especially love seedum and your grapes are looking so good. I lost my lovely grape vine to the mice last Winter. We cut it down and put the garden to rest just before hitting the road. I'll have to look through your eyes. Loved the tour- guide :-)

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  23. Hi Amy,

    I always enjoying coming back from a holiday to sleep in my own bed and to check out what is happening in the garden too. Lovely to see your garden and all the pretty flowers that are flowering.
    Also love the pretty flowers you bought to enjoy inside the house.
    Have a happy new week
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  24. I am with you on the dropping of leaves! We are seeing so much of that already and I feel as though it is a bit early in these parts for that! I am not sure what that means for the winter! Loving all of the autumn changes in your garden friend! Everything is just so lovely and those dogwoods flowering again has me stumped! I have never seen that before! Your bouquet for the house is stunning as well! Wishing you a great week Amy! Nicole xoxo

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  25. You have such a lovely garden with lovely flowers and grapes! I'm very impressed with how good those grapes are looking. And that mushroom is adorable--the perfect little home for a fairy! x

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  26. Your garden is looking absolutely lovely, there's so much going on out there. I shall be trying to take advantage of the dry weather to get things tidied up a bit as well. Last year I only got part way through at the allotment before the rain started, and didn't stop. So I didn't get back to it until spring. Wishing you a good week. CJ xx

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  27. Oh yes! The walk in the garden is one of the nicest things when you have been away. I do that too and every time it amazes me how much things grows and changes out there. I see you have a grape.. that is something I would like to try as well. My parents actually manage to grow lovely grapes in Sweden so I would think they would work well here in UK also. Happy tasting! xx

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  28. Hi Amy and it was so nice to hear from you! Oh, I love seeing all that is growing at your house. That is one big mushroom and I'm always afraid to touch them too in case they're poisonous! Thank you so much for your sweet comments and I've missed coming to see you. Hopefully, I'll be back to normal in the near future.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  29. coming home is the best event ever and I agree with sleeping in our own beds, sigh, that is bliss on earth :) Your garden is lovely and thanks for the walkabout!

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  30. There's so much to look at and so much going on. As nice as it is to go away, it's always good to come home xx

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  31. Your garden is looking lovely. I always like walking through mine when we return from a trip away.

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  32. You still have so much flowering there, it looks very nice. I can't believe your yucca is doing better than mine are doing here in the desert!

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  33. Your garden is looking lovely and those grapes look amazing!
    Marianne x

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  34. Your flowers are looking lovely Amy!
    Maria x

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  35. Beautiful photos, I'm usually halfway down the garden before hubby gets the key in the door. It doesn't matter where you have been on holiday, it's always nice to come home :-)

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  36. Your flowers look so pretty! It's always nice to see something blooming this late in the year.

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  37. Beautiful! Those marigolds are tough little bursts of color, aren't they?! And those roses...they are the perfect shade of "autumn"! :)

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  38. Your garden is still looking lovely (well, apart from the mint!). I love flowers in the house. XX

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  39. When the gardener's away, the flowers will play! Amy, your September lovelies are still looking quite pretty, to me, and yes, isn't it wonderful when they give us a surprise bloom? That's exactly what's happening with some varieties of jasmine that we have, and the portulaca has made second appearance, too.

    Off to read about your trip to New England!

    Happy Autumn!

    xx
    Poppy

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  40. I love that feeling of opening up the house and wandering into the garden when you have just got back from time away - there is nothing quite like it. You have some lovely plants and flowers in your garden Amy and those grapes look wonderful:)

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  41. I know what you mean Amy, coming home is always so lovely. Japanese Anemone can sometimes take ages to get going (depending on the soil) but once it starts it should spread out well. It's been a great year for many plants and lots of people have had yucca flowers....definitely worth waiting for!

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