We’ve continued to have gorgeous weather this week. Lorna has posted some spectacular photos from Perthshire here. I have very reluctantly begun to clear the garden. Everything has bloomed so late – the marigolds are still going very strong – that it’s been hard to take things out. But I keep reminding myself that, despite appearances, frost, darkness and wintertime is around the corner. Also, the brown bins are only emptied until the start of November!
Katharine Stewart wrote, in her essay of October 19th, about the arrival of the “snow-birds” (fieldfares and redwings), and the geese. I have heard some geese flying overhead, but not many yet. However, the robins are once again out in force. I hear their calls everywhere I go, and they like to come to our ground-feeder. Stewart says that her bees are tucked up once again “in their winter cluster” and she misses the butterflies. “In late September, four red admirals [were] on the marguerites, so unafraid one could have reached out a hand to touch them.” (A Garden in the Hills, page 1) That reminded me of the red admiral I saw at Tollcross Rose Garden last week.
Unlike Katharine Stewart, we haven’t yet had a frost. Although I’ve been reluctant to clear out all the summer annuals, I have worked hard on trimming and tying the climbing roses. Most of my roses (8 out of 10!) are climbing roses, and they are now nearly two years old from time of bare-root planting. However mild and lovely the days are now, I know the winter storms will come, and I don’t want to be watching helplessly as the roses are torn from their moorings. So I waded in with twine and secateurs (and gloves), to train them as well as I can along the fence for next year’s flowering.
I love how gardening always involves thinking ahead into the future, planning and being excited for the next stage. I’ve also planted many pots of bulbs, though I still have a few bulbs to put into the ground. I’m collecting seeds, though the marigold seeds aren’t yet dry. I know from experience that fresh, green seed, will do very well if poked into the ground, so I will try both approaches.
The Dafter has benefitted from a week off school, and also a visit from a good friend from Aberdeen. As well, it was Michael’s birthday this past week! We enjoyed celebrating with him. One of his presents was a year’s adoption of a beehive through the British Beekeeping Association. I think I’ve mentioned that he loved moving the bumblebee nest in the church garden in Aberdeen.
This beautiful autumn has, for me, more than compensated for the dreich, dark summer. In just a week our clocks will “fall back” and then it will really feel like winter is on its way.
Then there will be more time to knit! I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend.