A touch of frost.

November is often thought of as a month when not much is happening in a garden. We can’t agree with that. There are still lots of vegetables to harvest, beds to cover and mulch, areas to clear of unwanted plants and a few cherished newcomers that will need planting.

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All of the above is probably the reason why we are a bit behind on posting here on the blog. It is high time for our summary of last month in the garden.

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It has been a bit over a year since we planted up the area outside our conservatory and added some natural stone to the composition. The ground is on several levels with the conservatory set into an earth-bank and we added a few retaining walls to hold the soil in place and create terraces for planting.

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We have been collecting Japanese Acers for years and thought that this area would suit them perfectly. They are planted in pockets of soil with stones around them and should thus stay relatively small. In between we have added groundcover plants and larger blocks and boulders of stones for a natural and relaxed feeling.

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In October we delighted in all the colours and how they changed and softened throughout the month. We are looking forward to finish planting this whole area over the next few months and add our newly acquired Japanese umbrella tree. An unusual tree resembling a pine, it has an ancient and interesting history.

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Because most of our land is given over to growing plants for food, wildlife habitats, firewood, weaving materials and so forth, it is fun to have an area mostly for admiring beauty and contemplation. It is still only being developed but you can already see glimpses of what it will be like in a few years’ time. The creation and gradual development of the garden is probably the thing we like the most. It allows us to slow right down and we can appreciate the small changes and the growing process.  In today’s world of technical wonders and instant gratification it is, more than ever, important to remember the natural wonders of the world.

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Towards the end of October we had our first frosts as you can see here in the month’s pictures of our main circle, taken early one morning.

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East

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South

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West

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North

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The garden is transforming into the young woodland we envisioned six years ago. We are delighted to be the guardians of this little patch of heaven on earth.

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9 thoughts on “A touch of frost.

  • The colours in the photo with the little bridge (is it over a rivulet?) are quite breathtaking, and I love your Acers. I have one in my garden, but it wasn’t a sensible choice as the summer is far too hot and so its leaves don’t change colour the way they should. They fry a bit and go brown. Yours have a gorgeous variety of colours.

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    • The bridge goes across a wildlife pond that we dug out and lined a few years back. In the spring it us full of frogs and later tadpoles. We have newts in it as well. They are all great for keeping the slug population down. I can imagine the Acer will not like your dry summers too much. Do you have a spot in the shade? I love the Acers and we are lucky with our climate as long as you give them plenty of drainage and a spot sheltered from strong winds.

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      • Oh my! Some of the sterile varieties are still grown here, but they have a bad reputation because of the invasive Cortaderia jubata. My colleague down south has a small one in front of his home. He always liked pampas grass. I grew up hating it from my experience with the Cortaderia jubata in coastal regions of San Mateo County.

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      • The climate here is too wet for it to be a problem. It does not spread by seed at all as for as I know. I can understand that you hate it from your experience. It would be like Japanese knotweed and Gunnera that has destroyed large areas of country side here.

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      • It may not spread because only the sterile varieties are available. The sterile varieties are only sterile because they are all female. In our region, the seemingly sterile flowers get pollinated by the feral Cortaderia jubata, and produce hybrids that are not sterile (not that it matters in regions where Cortaderia jubata is already established). Yours might stay sterile because there are no others to provide pollen.

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