Thursday, September 30, 2010

First frost

Michaelmas daisies are a sign that Autumn is here. Much as I would like to, I cannot claim these for my own garden.

They grow on the roadside verge, just opposite Skip. I guess someone in the past has planted these, and they have thrived. I have a darker blue version, not nearly as prolific!

Despite everyone telling me (even the Beechgrove Garden the other night) that heather/conifer gardens are somewhat old fashioned, I remain a fan. This summer I've been replanting many of the heathers which had been looking a bit tired. Given the relative unpopularity of heathers these days, most garden centres don't stock a big selection. To get what I wanted (a yellow/bronze foliage Erica carnea) I stopped off at the Speyside Heather Centre near Dulnain Bridge when I was up north recently and today planted out five Ann Sparkes plants to fill the space I had earmarked.

The white mound is the centre of the pic is one of my all time favourites - Calluna Vulgaris Kinlochruel. How this heather got its name can be found on the Heather Society website here.

Wamphray experienced its first frost last week. I had an early start one day and had to scrape the car windscreen. It could not have been too severe, as the non-stop begonias are still not stopping, and these great value colour plants are usually the first to tip over when it gets cold.

The leaves on the big beech trees around the house are just beginning to change colour, and it won't be long until I'm hoovering them up for the compost heap.

Dull, miserable, cold days, and I thought it time to start feeding the birds again. I usually stop doing this over the summer months. This week the feeders have had a good wash, and a couple of new ones purchased. I have two 'stations' at different parts of the garden. These feeders I can watch from the conservatory.

I wonder how long before the local birds find them again?

This station I can watch from my bedroom window. I called in to my favourite garden centre to make my purchases yesterday. The staff were setting out displays of Christmas decorations and gift items. Eighty-five days to go, see here. Merry Christmas everyone!

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