Clouds over Arran

For the past few weeks the weather has been set fair, bright skies, dewy mornings, easterly winds and warm sunshine. Determined not to let the weather overtake me as it did last year, the great garden tidy began and continued to the absolute neglect of everything else – including blogging. Forgive me!

Never one for having a perfectly tidy patch but this year the front garden has become so overgrown there has been no other option but to dig out, divide and prune.

Garden 2013

As the Cottage was being transformed into a 21st century home (parts of the house date from the 19th C) so the work in the garden began. There were clumps of unknown perennials, the Snow-berry bush had strayed across the whole garden and perennial weeds flourished everywhere. Stumps of unknown shrubs littered the garden – gradually huge clumps of nameless plants were removed and small pieces kept Β out of curiosity.

Garden 2013

Taking my good friend’s advice; I stopped trying to remove the stumps and planted around them. Summer revealed Day lilies, hostas, Red hot poker, berberis and a holly tree. The herbs were planted where ever room became available, not so much a plan just evolving organised chaos!

Some of us are just slow learners. A clump forming perennial is just what it says – left to its own device you get – well, clumps. Huge clumps! So here we are, digging out, dividing and sending the rest to the composter…

Four years on and the stumps that refused to be removed yield to my efforts and come out with reasonable ease, much to my astonishment. Barrows of garden waste and the composters are overflowing. I guess I’ll be able to use it in about two years! My two companions (Flossie the hen and Oscar the cat) keep me company as I dig. Flossie inspects the freshly turned soil, encouraging me to hurry and turn more over. Os meows, his lead caught around a plant. He will happily sit for hours secreted in a shady patch, the birds know he is there and reprimand him loudly.

The three of us have thoroughly enjoyed our times in the warm, Autumn garden. Last tattered butterflies, birds returning to the feeders. New visitors, a woodpecker, wagtails, curlews overhead. Wrens, dunnocks, blackbirds, gold crests, finches, tree creeper and gregarious, blue, coal and great tits. The hedgehog hibernates in the grass opposite the kitchen window, more grass and leaves have been added to the nest. There are no more telltale signs of nocturnal visits although for a couple of weeks it was obvious that there were a few hedgehogs foraging in the garden.

 Golden Sunflower & beech leaves

Sunflowers have survived into bloom this year thanks to the fair weather. First frosts bring a shower of golden beech leaves across the lawn. I love the colour of Autumn! From my desk a small movement catches my eye, a pair of female pheasants cross the garden, the first this year. Always something new to marvel at…

Have a good day and thanks for stopping by today!