Change In The Air

I have such mixed feelings about autumn.

The colours in the garden are superb, but I hate to see it decay. It’s good to have new and different projects to move on to, but I so miss the warmth of those long summer days. It was almost dark by 7.15 last night, so I can deny the inevitable no longer.


Geranium macrorrhizum 'Album' 002 Wm


Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Album’


Geranium macrorrhizum 'Album' Wm


ย The same plant in early summer

This geranium has been a real winner. Beautiful white flowers from May onwards, with deep pink calyces, and now in autumn the leaves have taken on rich red and orange tints. Best of all it grows anywhere, even in deep shade.


Cornus kousa 'Satomi' 003 Wm


ย Cornus kousa “Satomi’


Rose Hips 001 Wm


ย Rose Hips





For the past few days I’ve been back up on the bank. Ground elder shows no mercy. A single day of rain was all it took. But there is one more project I want to tackle this year..


Wilderness Wm


The far end of the bank, where it borders the woodland, has been like this all summer long. Getting it cleared will give me space to relocate some of the taller perennials taking over elsewhere.



2018-02-08T20:27:25+00:00September 26th, 2013|Tags: |


  1. Pauline September 26, 2013 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    What fantastic Pyracantha berries you have, your birds will be happy this winter! Clearing an area is hard work but so rewarding when it’s done, then comes the best bit, sitting down with the books and catalogues and deciding which plants you are going to use.

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      There are a lot of berries around this year. Hard winter? Hope not!

  2. Jenny September 26, 2013 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    We’re starting to think about clearing bits of the garden too, now that the summer is behind us. It’ll look so much better next year, but starting can be so overwhelming can’t it?

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      It certainly can. The meagre bit I’ve done today suggests it will take a while!

  3. wherefivevalleysmeet September 26, 2013 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    I think of this period as being a gentle winding down towards the fallow winter months. It would be impossible for me to keep up the relentless summer jobs in the garden all year round. When spring re-emerges it will be possible to once again tackle the jobs with a more energised feeling after the enforced break.

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      Much as I love gardening it is good to take a break from it. Plus there is the anticipation of what will emerge and the hope that work done this year will be suitably rewarded.

  4. Justine September 26, 2013 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Several large beds have been cleared in our garden – very therapeutic!

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      It is, and good exercise too. I just wish my knees didn’t ache so much tonight!

  5. justjilluk September 26, 2013 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    Ground elder, aaargh. Its called Bishops weed up here, no idea why. I do know I cant get rid of it.

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      Dreadful stuff. If we keep digging it out it will give up eventually. Won’t it?

  6. Em September 26, 2013 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Gulp indeed – that looks like serious work.

    Your Geranium looks very like one I have which was sold to me as ‘evergreen’. Hmmm. It just goes the colours you’ve shown and then limp in the frost so I cut it all back. I haven’t really got the room for it and it’s trying to take over. Lovely smell when you hack it back though!

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      Could it work in your shade? I was hoping to divide it and get it growing in the wood, where little else will survive.

  7. Jo September 26, 2013 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Jobs in the garden are never finished, it’s an ongoing process, especially if you have ground elder. Your geranium is really pretty, I have a similar one in my garden but I’m unsure of its name, it just seems to flower its socks off all year.

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      It wouldn’t be so bad if the ground elder didn’t invade other plants. Often the only solution is to dig the whole lot out.

      • Sabine September 28, 2013 at 9:55 am - Reply

        true, unfortunately and you have to keep digging for a while or else it will return with many friends:) I tried bio mulch fleece once and got good results.

        • Jessica September 28, 2013 at 10:21 am - Reply

          That’s certainly true. They pop back up overnight it seems! I shall have to keep on top of it from now on.

  8. Simone September 26, 2013 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    You certainly have your work cut out Jessica! Your garden wouldn’t be one for the fainthearted!!! Lovely autumn colours. x

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      No, it’s an awful lot of work. Wonder if I would have taken it on had I known…

  9. Denise September 26, 2013 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    Need to shift my ample backside!

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      Not so ample these days!

      • Denise September 29, 2013 at 11:33 pm - Reply

        Not so ample agree – more lazy! lol!

        • Jessica September 30, 2013 at 11:34 am - Reply

          When it’s cold, damp and windy my motivation for gardening is zero. Laziness rules!

  10. countrysidetales September 26, 2013 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    Dark here by 7.30 last night too ๐Ÿ™

    Gorgeous berries and hips- are you going to make jelly?

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      I don’t think there’s enough hips, sadly. I’ll just enjoy looking at them instead.

  11. Vera September 26, 2013 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Lovely photos. So clear. Your camera is an ace, as is the camera lady.

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      And the camera chappy. Two of mine, rest are his! Thanks Vera.

  12. CJ September 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    I know what you mean about autumn. I don’t much like the decay either, but there are some nice aspects of the season too. Good luck with that border.

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 10:06 pm - Reply

      It’s only in recent years that I’ve appreciated the change in seasons. It’s nice to have a rest, get a chance to indulge in indoor pursuits and just get warm and cosy!

  13. Sarah September 26, 2013 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    I feel the same about Autumn, it’s lovely to see the bright colours but sad that summer is over and a long time until the lighter and warmer evenings.
    Sarah x

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      After the New Year it starts to get better for me, when you can see the evenings getting longer again and the snowdrops start to appear!

  14. jabblog September 26, 2013 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    No rest for the gardener . . . autumn is lovely, such rich colours and that unmistakeable scent of damp and *shhhh* decay – but life for some is retreating underground to emerge fresh and green next year.

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 10:21 pm - Reply

      Bigger and better too..

  15. Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA September 26, 2013 at 10:41 pm - Reply

    Love your photos. Geranium mac. Is a mainstay for me too. Very versatile and forgiving too.
    I’ve been thinking on your slope with chicken wire under it. Have you tried
    A digging fork to loosen the soil through the wire mesh? I have had luck loosening hard soils and pulling weeds this way. The thought of the keyhole surgery you described before made my hands hurt just visualizing it. You have made such great progress thus far, I have faith you will persevere this last leg of the project!

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 11:44 pm - Reply

      I do use one on the flatter sections. The chicken wire is mainly on the steeper face of the slope, where I can’t afford to disturb the soil too much, but I did find a hand version which works well: It just about reaches the roots of the ground elder, but only just.
      Thankfully, there is no wire at the top end of the bank, so ‘all’ I have to contend with is the slope! I have filled eight dustbin liners today and had to drag them up the hill, one step forward, two back!

      • Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA September 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm - Reply

        That does look like a well made tool. That is a lot of hauling up hill. You’ll get it squared away by and by. Soon enough you’ll be stuck indoors. I’d rather be hauling weeds than dusting,hoovering and such.

        • Jessica September 27, 2013 at 10:52 pm - Reply

          You and me both!

  16. nataliescarberry September 26, 2013 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed the read. Autumn is one of my favorite times of year here because it’s cooler than our summers and some things make a lovely come back before it’s all said and done. And I can at last get outside and get some things done without risking a heat stroke. And the tidier look after summer’s reckless abandon is nice. Blessings, Natalie

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 11:51 pm - Reply

      Yes, I can understand that!

  17. Bilbowaggins September 26, 2013 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    Good luck with the Ground Elder and if you succeed – let the rest of us know how you did it {grin}.

    Tagetes Minuta is meant to kill ground elder by excreting something from its roots – I tried it last year and had total failure with seed germination.

    (WordPress won’t let me log in, sorry if this comment doesn’t link back properly)

    • Jessica September 26, 2013 at 11:58 pm - Reply

      On the vertical sections of the bank, where nibbling from pheasants etc. is less likely, I’m going to try the stuff you paint on the leaves. Not heard of the Tagetes idea before. Intriguing.

  18. Wendy September 26, 2013 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    I’m always sad to see the summer end; no more light evenings, the swallows have gone etc, but the autumn colours in sunlight (when there is some) are beautiful. Good luck with clearing the border – I look forward to seeing the ‘after’ photo now I’ve seen the ‘before’!

    • Jessica September 27, 2013 at 12:07 am - Reply

      I always wish I could go too when the swallows leave.
      The bank is going to be slow progress. Stupidly I thought I’d have it all done by the end of the weekend. Ha! Today I’ve barely scratched the surface.

  19. BadPenny September 27, 2013 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Lovely photo of your cottage nestling under the bank.
    I do love autumn; the changing colours, making soups, picking blackberries, hearty casseroles, a crispness in the air…have I sold it to you yet ? I could go on……

    • Jessica September 27, 2013 at 9:16 am - Reply

      I feel the cold, autumn tells me winter is coming. I get round it by cocooning to some extent and keeping busy. Soups and hearty casseroles do help, but I should really live somewhere warmer!

      • BadPenny September 28, 2013 at 8:45 am - Reply

        I feel the heat ! I’m turning into my mother who says she starts to come alive in Autumn ! Seeing her today.

        ( Funny I coped with the heat when living abroad but here a very very hot day makes me irritable. But I did enjoy this summer – though not the very very hot days ! )

        • Jessica September 28, 2013 at 9:49 am - Reply

          I did resort to siesta hours this summer, haven’t done that for a while! Have a good day.

  20. Cathy September 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Lovely photos, from both you and the camera chappy, and good to read how you are getting on. I was surprised though, that you had not finished the bank yet – come, come, you must be slacking….. ๐Ÿ˜‰ … teehee…. I do know though, that if you and camera chappy’s heart and soul are here then all the hard work will be deepening the roots you have for the place.

    • Jessica September 27, 2013 at 10:40 pm - Reply

      I shall redouble my efforts accordingly ๐Ÿ˜‰
      It gives you a real sense of belonging, does it not?

  21. frayedattheedge September 27, 2013 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    It’s raining today, so no lying by the pool! Still, it gives me a chance to catch up on some blogs. I think we will need the heating on when we get home!

    • Jessica September 27, 2013 at 10:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Anne!
      I’ve been thinking of you, and hoping you’re having a good time. Sounds like it… ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Rosie September 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    I think it is the darker evenings that bother me about this time of year, I can cope with cooler weather but the shorter days I don’t like so much. You have some lovely red berries to feed the birds over the next fewweeks:)

    • Jessica September 27, 2013 at 10:50 pm - Reply

      It never takes them long to polish the lot off though does it? The blackbirds are enjoying the blackberries for sure.

  23. woolythymes September 27, 2013 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    My ENTIRE backyard gardens look like your last picture….and worse. (We were gone just too much this summer, and am I ever going to pay for it!!!!) I’ve called in reenforcements….and we’re slowing tackling it. You are my hero, you know??? I need to continue to see all your before and after photos. Gotta go now….and pick the zucchini that is growing up (and over!) the mock orange bush.

    • Jessica September 27, 2013 at 11:00 pm - Reply

      In two days I have done just three square yards, and generated ten dustbin liners worth of rubbish!

  24. wherethejourneytakesme September 27, 2013 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    I have bits at our Beach cottage garden that look like this. I look forward to the winter so I can get on top of the clearing – usually the black polythene comes out then to cover the patch until I can get it planted up again with the things I want. Good luck.

    • Jessica September 27, 2013 at 11:54 pm - Reply

      It’s amazing how quickly the weedlings come back..

  25. haggiz September 28, 2013 at 7:19 am - Reply

    My pyracantha berries are still quite small and green this year, we’re way behind you. I don’t envy you the task of clearing the end of the bank… good luck with that! Julie c

    • Jessica September 28, 2013 at 9:46 am - Reply

      It’s very hard work, but day off today – it’s raining! Thanks Julie.

  26. CherryPie September 28, 2013 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    That is a lot of work!!

    But your garden does look pretty ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jessica September 29, 2013 at 10:08 am - Reply

      Thanks Cherie. It’s hard work too, lots of docks and brambles that go down deep ๐Ÿ™

  27. elaine September 30, 2013 at 8:40 am - Reply

    Don’t talk to me about ground elder – the bain of my life. Although the garden is now in its downward spiral there is still a certain beauty in decay (at least that’s what I tell myself when I look in the mirror)!!!

    • Jessica September 30, 2013 at 11:46 am - Reply

      I only wish I too could rejuvenate, with teenage freshness, when next Spring comes around!

  28. snowbird September 30, 2013 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Ground elder is a nightmare isn’t it, I’ve had to move every rock in my rockery to try and get shut and yet still it comes!!! Good luck with that border. Some lovely Autumn pics there.xxxx

    • Jessica September 30, 2013 at 11:49 am - Reply

      It’s a berluddy nightmare, especially if you want to garden organically.
      Hope you had a good holiday!

  29. Janet/Plantaliscious October 1, 2013 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    Bloomin ‘eck Jessica, no wonder you were feeling a little weary about battling the weeds! But what a wonderful area to reclaim for prettier things. I love that geranium too, though the smell of the leaves takes some getting used to. Mine are currently languishing in pots wondering when I am going to get round to planting them…

    • Jessica October 1, 2013 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      I know. It’s dire isn’t it. And all the while I am digging it, the weeds are catching up elsewhere.
      It will look great when it’s done though, and will give me space to relocate some ‘problem’ plants from elsewhere. But for now, il pleut. Game on hold.

  30. Anna B October 2, 2013 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    I have mixed feelings too when we have the rubbish wet days but then I look at the plants that grow through the rain and grey days and I think this season has a lot to offer. I love seeing the changes. It is definitely a busy time though, people think ‘that’s it, it’s all over’ but there’s soo much to do! The hardest part is the nights drawing in and not having the same amount of time to potter. It looks absolutely idyllic where you live. What a wonderful lifestyle ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jessica October 2, 2013 at 10:52 pm - Reply

      I think autumn is one of the busiest times in the garden! In an ideal world I’d get everything moved that needs moving, so it will come up in the right place next Spring. Whether I’ll achieve it this year is another matter.
      For a number of reasons, it’s not as idyllic as I hoped it would be, but is anywhere? Thanks Anna.

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