The colours of autumn...
Driveway in autumn
The end of April brings the colours of autumn, as fallen leaves form gold and red carpets over the lawns. There is a hint of colder days. The vegetable garden lies abandoned, full of obese marrows and heirloom tomatoes which still haven't formed fruit.
Sunday 21st April
Today I was a bit lazy. Mugsy the cat followed me down the driveway today as I trudged to the appointed gardening spot, and I ended up sitting with her on the grass planning and plotting. The autumn colours are quite noticeable now, and it can't be long before the first frost. The leaves of the smoke bush have turned a ridiculously bright red.
I didn't get into the garden yesterday because of work stuff. Another mail order catalogue arrived in the post - I checked it thoroughly and decided not to purchase anything. Could it be that I am getting more sensible? There was a time when those appealing little geraniums with darkish foliage would have sent me scuttling for a pen. I think I may finally be maturing as a gardener.
Autumn from the patio
Mid afternoon I retired, apres gardening, to the patio table and read my book until I got too cold. This time all the cats came out with me and sprawled on the accompanying chairs - there we were, a group of friends relaxing in the Autumn sun.
Each cat was allowed a small gourmet tin of cat food, a reward for being such good cat company. Sifter is catching two rabbits per week at the moment, but of course he still has stomach room for casserole beef with giblets.
I need to think seriously about clearing the steep bank on the house side of the water race. It is quite disheartening with the long dead grass (I might investigate some weed mat). Also I want to shift the old bath and fill it with trendy succulents and paint it a stylish colour like deep cherry red. It will probably look totally silly, like the row of Agapanthus will. I am not feeling very confident today.
Spot the path
Saturday 27th April
What a grumpy mood I was in on Thursday - no wonder no cats came near me. Today, on the other hand, I'm up early and intend to have a good, energetic, positive gardening day.
What shall I do first? I think I'll do some more creative work in the Hump - I can picture a network of magical paths in here, winding through the trees. Already there are huge carpets of self-sown honesty plants as a result of spreading out the rubbish piles.
A Dumping Ground for Dahlias
The Hump has traditionally been a dumping ground and is full of brave dahlia clumps, Monbretia bulbs, and abandoned plants from patio pots. Eventually I imagine it covered with graceful deciduous trees, but for now the pines and tall thin gums provide wind shelter.
I will load more ash from the rubbish fire in here and grab the last bales of rotting lucerne mulch. I love making paths - they are symbols of life's gardening journey in more ways than the obvious!
We went to visit a friend who is farming walnuts. Stephen is thinking of converting the big lucerne paddock out the back possibly into a nut tree crop. I might be allowed to have a small area for an arboretum, and possibly an avenue of Silver Birches to divide the orchard up. Very exciting. Hazelnuts and Chestnuts are also possibilities.
When we got back, I moved my new path further into the Hump. It's quite mysterious in there - not too closed in, but sort of secret. I dragged three barrowfuls of rubbish out, and spent the last hour of daylight dreamily tending the resulting fire.
Red and Gold
It is tremendously peaceful at this time of year in the garden, and more and more trees are colouring in vibrant shades of red and gold before their leaves drop. I need to remember such times.
Sunday 28th April
Drizzle, rain, light rain, drizzle, light rain, drizzle, etc... I have spent the morning hours peering outside and wondering why rain-gardening is in theory so easy and yet in practice so unappealing. Again the colours of the garden are beautiful, evocative and warm, hinting that winter is near.
The Berberis is again on fire, it seems, and the Cornus trees over the water race are turning brilliant red. I will make a heartwarming cup of coffee and then do a drizzle tour with the camera - such garden moods must be able to be captured!
I am wet and back. The temperatures are dropping out there, so I am going to light a fire inside. Lots of roses are still in bloom - like the pinky cream Nancy Steen and the apricot Buff Beauty. In fact these two roses are better coloured in autumn than in their first early summer blooming!
I have some burning questions - do I still like red dahlias? And cerise dahlias? And floppy canary yellow chrysanthemums? Hmm... I think April is almost officially over.