After what seemed like a long, dull winter, the daffodils are in flower, snowdrops are past their best, and there are buds on the trees and bushes. Only a few weeks hopefully and we'll see the first swallows back from Africa. I have seen them April 1st in Devon, but they are usually later here in East Anglia.
It is almost December and we have had a few frosts but there are at least 4 sweet pea flowers to cut in the garden! We also have clematis in flower. This is very late. The orchard next door is almost bare.
Although colder than of late, today was a bright and sunny day, so ideal
to be in the garden. There are fallen leaves everywhere at this time of year.
Our son came up from London this afternoon to help us "put the garden
to bed" for the colder months ahead. We had no idea just how long the
roots were on the shrub our other son dug up last week!
Our "London" son turned over
the ground and planted some bulbs with my wife. It will be fun seeing
these appear in the winter and spring.
The garden is still relatively colourful, although less so than in
spring and high summer. Our sweet peas are past their best and the
sunflowers have peaked. When the first frosts come - usually November -
we will replace the begonia sempiflorens with primroses, which give
colour all winter.
We'll blink and it will be spring, but we have autumn
and winter beauty to enjoy first. Luckily in the UK all seasons have their pleasures.
We have had the hottest day of the year so far with a temperature of 32 deg C, so we spent some of the afternoon in the garden. We had
tea outside. There was a gentle breeze.
Here are a few images in our garden. The first
is our Crocosomia "Lucifer" and the second a cobweb on our birdbath. The
latter was being well used by the wasps today. There was a sparrowhawk
chasing the young swifts high above us. The frog (?) was spotted when we watered the garden.
Well, today we probably saw the last of our warm, sunny weather. Tomorrow rain is forecast. We have had very few settled period this year with mostly low pressure systems and maybe a few sunny days. In the last few days we have had warmth and sunshine and the garden has really come on.
UPDATE 2220z: It has been raining here now for several hours. Ho hum - was that it? Spring and summer over?
This is a photo of our front garden yesterday. The windmill is in view
on the right. Spring has nearly sprung: all the trees are now starting
to look green or are in bud. Mind you, we still had a frost on Sunday
We have just returned from a week on the Isle of Wight. Many parts of the lawns at our bungalow look dry through a lack of rain. There was a thunderstorm here a few nights ago, but I suspect little rain fell.
The lawns usually bounce back in the autumn, but this year everything is about 4 weeks late flowering and the lawns have actually remained green for longer. I think summer is finally catching up with the lawns though and I expect they will remain dry for several weeks now unless we have lots of rain or I water them furiously. If lawns are watered they need a lot of water that goes through to the roots. In many ways the grass is better left. In order for them to look decent and keep the weeds down, it is tempting to cut the grass too short.
We had our "London" grandchildren for a couple of nights and for once the weather was hot and sunny, so they were able to enjoy being in the garden and spraying themselves with the garden hose. Our grass was turning brown in places so any hosing helped!
On a lovely summer day we ate our salad lunch in the garden. Such days are all too rare, but all the nicer when they occur. I'd hate a climate when it was warm all year around. We sat on the patio (LHS). Later, a friend called on the off-chance and we had cold drinks and biscuits outside too. The car needs a wash but this will have to wait until it is cooler.
For the first time this year, we sat outside in the garden and had a cup of tea in the sunshine. It felt quite warm for a change. We visited the "Burwell at Large" exhibition at the village college earlier this afternoon. Inside the village college it was hot. I refilled the garden bird bath and was entertained by a blackbird who spent several minutes in it later, preening and washing himself. He clearly enjoyed himself.
My wife Lis did some weeding. I was rather too exhausted to do very much. By now I was expecting to be fully fit again, but I still get times and days when I am totally shattered, like today.
At this time of the year, the garden seems asleep and nothing much is happening. Under the soil though, things are stirring. In a few months the gloom of cold winter days will be over, blossom and bulbs will be out and it will again be time to start cutting the grass.
Every season has its pleasure but roll on spring and light evenings!
Summer is gone and now we are entering autumn. The trees are losing their leaves and it is time to remove the summer bedding plants and replace them with bedding plants that will look good through winter. Last year my wife planted primroses and they looked really good when I left hospital in January. We'll probably plant these again this winter.
Although I still feel far from well, tomorrow, if it is dry, I shall attempt cutting the back lawn. This is quite large and my wife will certainly help me if needed. Our son, who normally come and helps on Wednesdays is in France with his family.
People who see me say how well I walk and look. If they only knew how I feel inside they might be very shocked: I still feel very poorly inside.
For the next few days our "London" grandchildren are staying with us. Like all our grandchildren, they are delightful. At the moment with my (still) poor health, I find having the little ones here very tiring. This is a picture of the two grandchildren with me after a short walk. We are all sitting on the front garden wall.
Because of my brain bleed, I have been able to do very little in the garden this year so far. I am now starting to cut the grass again (our son has been doing this most Wednesdays) , but most flower planting and maintenance has been done by my wife.
I think the garden is looking good. The laurel hedge in the front garden is thickening out now and roses have been colourful.
The garden at our bungalow is a little larger than at our old house. The lawns are about 50% bigger.
If anything, the flower beds here are easier to look after with few weeds blowing in from the fields.
We certainly like our new home and garden and have settled in well.
I am looking forward to the time when I can do a lot more in the garden without getting exhausted.