I really need a full day in the garden. There are so many things I have to do: lots of bulbs yet to be planted; leaves to rake and bag up for leaf mould; two roses still need pruning; a path we should lay before it gets so muddy that we have to wait until next year; trellis and vine wires to fix. But at the moment it’s difficult to manage anything more than a desultory wander around the garden, sighing heavily here and there, before scurrying indoors to do other stuff (in a similarly random fashion).
This morning I thought I might at least squeeze in an hour before I started writing, but the heavens opened so I put it off for another day, though I did manage to pick a few flowers. I am amazed that this late in the year I am still able to fill a (small) vase with what could almost pass for summer colour – though the Sedum gives the game away.
Having had a few misgivings about Achillea ‘Moonshine’, I am now grateful for this flash of ochre gold in an otherwise very rust-coloured garden. I think it probably needs to be moved to a different spot, but it has proved its worth – flowering still, in late November – so it gets to stay. But all in all, there are very few flowers left now: the last of the Knautia is on the kitchen table, and although there are still Verbena flowers and lots of geraniums, the bunches are getting smaller and smaller. I think this is because my sedums, which are the mainstay of my daily cuttings, are now looking very sorry for themselves, their rust-coloured heads are like worn velvet, and their stems are wasting away. But as I poked about in the rain this morning, I spotted a couple of pearl-like buds on one of my anemones, and a few bright nasturtiums sheltering under their parasol leaves, so the garden may limp on for another week or two. I Know that my Clematis cirrhosa “Ourika valley” should start flowering towards the end of December (maybe sooner), and already the tight fat knots of next year’s Euphorbia flowers are emerging. It will be interesting to see if there is a moment when there are no flowers at all, or whether autumn’s stragglers will hang on until the cycle has started all over again.