Realism and Rabbit Holes




It didn’t take much to make it feel like autumn. It’s still quite mild in Devon, warm enough to be gardening in a T-shirt, even for a cold blooded creature like me. But shorter daylight hours and decreasing nighttime temperatures have seen bronzy tints appearing in leaves with some even starting to fall.






The bank 069 Wm




I made it to the tree. It may not look much but believe me those brambles took some shifting. And as I’ve probably said many times before, it’s not just the digging, it’s the dragging all the resultant rubbish back up the hill. Not least when it’s wet and slippery as it is now.. the ole’ gardening trousers are, as we speak, in the wash for a second time today. Such were the muddy brown stains on the bum.




The bonfire heap




Hydrangea, astilbes and hardy fuchsias rescued from brambles taller than the plants. The fuchsias have clearly seen better days!






The bank 067 Wm




There are still stumps in the ground from a few scraggy and recently decapitated shrubs but for those I require assistance from He Who Lays Floorboards and his trusty winch. Judging by the squeals of frustration emanating from the house his current task could be going more smoothly and I’m reluctant to create a diversion. The multitude of holes across the bedroom floor does have priority. After all, the foot through the ceiling story we’ve heard before.




Calming Cosmos


Now that it’s so late in the season it may be prudent to revise the way forward with the bank. There’s an 8′ x 8′ section left to do in the latest strip and then as far as further clearing is concerned I’m calling it a day. It makes more sense to spend the time consolidating the work I’ve already done. New weed growth is catching up with me as fast as I move forward and must be knocked on the head before it gets established. Failing to do so was exactly the mistake I made before. Autumn plant sales are upon us too. The more stuff I can get into the ground, the less bare earth. Less space for weeds to grow and less risk of winter erosion.




Hello, hello.. anyone home?




In getting as far as the tree line I’ve also reached a natural break. From this point on the bank becomes increasingly wooded and the nature of the planting will change. It’s really quite exciting. I have dabbled in the shadier parts of the garden before but not with any serious intent. There’s a lot to learn and plenty of time for research during those cold dark winter evenings to come. A re-reading of Beth Chatto’s Woodland Garden will be a good place to start.




Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’ and Asplenium scolopendrium, the hart’s tongue fern, positively glowing in the low light.




The woodland beyond..

More brambles. Lovely. And beyond them a brand new adversary, Enchanters Nightshade. Circaea lutetiana spreads rapidly via white, cylindrical rhizomes and it’s bloomin’ everywhere. Everything I’ve read suggests it’s easy to uproot but it certainly isn’t here. One thing is clear, if I don’t get out every last bit of brittle root, even the tiniest piece will gleefully resprout.

Oh dear. Oh dear. Does it ever end?


Linking with Helen’s End of Month View at The Patient Gardener.