Posted by: christinelaennec | October 17, 2015

A mellow autumn

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!

Tilly helping me in the garden.  Glasgow, 16 October 2015.

Tilly helping me in the garden. Glasgow, 16 October 2015.

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.

Climbing roses pruned and tied back.

Climbing roses pruned and tied back.

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.

Michael and the Dafter on Michael's birthday, October 2015.

Michael and the Dafter on Michael’s birthday, October 2015.

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.



  1. What a lovely photo of your daughter and Michael! One to frame? I have not ventured into the garden for a while, I should. I will.
    We have been enjoying the wonderful weather, too. Have a lovely Sunday. x

  2. This is such a lovely written passage to summer’s end and the transition of fall into winter. It was so nice seeing the beautiful picture of your dear Dafter smiling and to know that she enjoyed her week off from school. We’ve had cloud cover here for a few days now but no rain to speak of. We’re keeping our fingers crossed. Enjoy your Sunday and give my best to your family. Hugs, Pat

  3. Il y a un plaisir doux-amer à jardiner en ce moment. Tristesse de penser que toutes ces belles fleurs, toutes ces belles couleurs vont bientôt disparaître, joie à l’idée de tout ce qui reviendra au printemps. Joyeux anniversaire à votre mari également. Votre fille semble également rayonnante sur cette photo ! C’est un plaisir de la voir ainsi ! Très belle semaine à tous les trois.

  4. Beautiful picture of Tilly in your garden, the colours look wonderful and I can understand you were reluctant to clear things away. Only my geraniums in pots are still alive here. They have coped with temperatures down to – 3 C, but I really must take them in now. Here we always feel so sad to see th geese go, a real sign that winter is coming. Makes it a little less sad though, to think that others are awaiting their arrival. A belated happy Birthday to Michael, such a sweet picture of him and your girl. Hope you have a lovely Sunday all of you. Pam in Norway

  5. I have reluctantly cleared the garden prior to my holiday and the weather forecast is not looking good for next week so it really was a case of now or never/next Spring. A beautiful photo of your lovely family, glad to hear the Dafter is doing well, a rest is sometimes just the tonic. Take care.

  6. Lovely photos, Christine. I always enjoy your optimistic comments, such as how you love gardening because of how it encourages you to plan for the future. We’ve been so lucky with the weather lately and I agree with you that it more than makes up for the summer, it’s been an unexpected pleasure. Thanks for mentioning my blog. 🙂

  7. Lovely photos, and Tilly is such a cutie. We’ve had our first frost two days ago, but winter is slow in coming. The garden is about done except for the mums. I’m looking forward to the time change too! It will be nice to rise on Sunday morning to daylight instead of dark to get to first service at our church. 🙂
    Happy ‘late’ Birthday to Michael. Good to hear the Dafter is doing better.
    Enjoy your week, ♥

  8. Belated Happy Birthday to Michael. The only tidying I usually manage is to rake up the leaves and fallen apples from our trees. I can’t bear to pull out ‘growing’ plants and usually have a big clearup early spring. I had hoped to keep the plants going in our greenhouse this year as the tomatoes fruited so late and there are lots of little green ones still, however the plants themselves have their own agenda and the leaves are all dying back now and they look very forlorn. I hate when the clock changes, I hate the dark nights however I can’t complain as like you, I feel our beautiful autumn weather has fully compensated us for the miserable summer. Perhaps we’ll get a crisp cold winter with sunny days too?? Is that too much to ask lol. x

  9. Happy Birthday to Michael and what a wonderful photo of him and the Dafter. Fall is my favorite season and it never lasts as long as I would like, although it lingers longer here in the mountains of North GA. than in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I am so happy to be back home where the beautiful season stays much longer.

    Wendy in GA

  10. This past weekend I got to have tea with a group of ladies, and midway through the tea our hostess walked us through the sweet little gardens around her house. She and her husband went to the nursery every season during their first year in their home and bought plants that thrived in each season. They made little sitting nooks and had fountains here and there and mosaic stepping stones and bird friendly accessaries, and flat little bee houses,and a charming potting bench made from trash to treasure. I think you would have enjoyed seeing it all as I did, Christine. Belatedly, Happy Birthday to Michael. I am glad that Dafter had a good week, and I admire your gardening efforts 🙂 xx

  11. I love the peaks into your beautiful autumn. Mine is far more hectic this year than usual. I do love October!

  12. Lovely to hear about your interest in the garden. I don’t really “garden” – we have shrubs and trees which do their own thing until we realise they are getting out of hand, then the loppers of death come out and the following season there is often something else there instead. However, I had a lovely compliment from my sister, whose suburban garden in the Philadelphia area is open to all the neighbours, just because of the way things are laid out where she lives. She thought our garden felt lovely, homely and enclosed. So I suppose I should be very happy with what I have!

  13. We had a frost a week ago while we were on vacation but I was so delighted to find that my zinnias were spared (alongside house) though sad that the should-be hardy marigolds were taken. Our fall has been more beautiful than most, mostly because of the sustained nice weather and little rain. I did bring all the plants indoors before we left and so the dining room is feeling a bit green. Your roses will be gorgeous next year!

  14. I’m sure all the hard work in your beautiful garden will repay your a thousand fold come spring. I always find this time of year both hopeful and nostalgic at the same time 🙂

  15. Thank you very much everyone! It’s so nice to have your kind comments and good wishes. Much appreciated. And interesting to read about other people’s gardens and climates, too.

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