Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A flower for Halloween

It’s cold and windy outside, I have just spent 2 hours in the garden clearing up leaves and putting some of my plants to bed for the winter and it was good to get inside again to get warm. In my garden ‘putting plants to bed for the winter’ just means moving pots from the beds up to the nursery area where I can keep an eye on them and water them if necessary – nothing gets lifted or wrapped up in my garden over the winter. My garden has taken on a distinctly wintery look, but thanks to all the evergreen plants I have there are still a lot of greenery. And I do have a lot of plants in flower still. My dahlias are still in flower and I thought I just had to post a photo of my Dahlia ‘Striped Vulcan’ on this Halloween day, what an appropriate colour!

Dahlia ‘Striped Vulcan’


The Bonsai trees, made of Parthenocisus henryana, a form of Virginia creeper has taken on a gorgeous red colour – a couple of more weeks and all the leaves will have dropped off.


The garden is colourful with very autumnal tones, although some of the perennials have died down already.


Winter is right around the corner and if the forecasters are anything to go by, we are in for our third cold winter in a row. I must admit I dread the thought of a long, cold winter after the dismal spring and summer we have had – it’s going to feel very long till spring again...The novelty of breaking weather records over and over has long past. But I am enjoying my garden no matter what month we are in, as long as it isn’t raining I can always find something to do out there. And when it is really cold I put on my Norwegian winter coat which I used many winters down to minus 35 Celsius, and even below at times – thankfully we are never going to get temperatures like that in London, although when it’s minus 5 and strong wind from the River Thames I sometimes think to myself that I would rather have really cold, dry mountain air at minus 35 :-)

Speaking of extreme weather, let me finish this post with a sincere hope that all my gardening friends on the US East Coast has survived the storm Sandy and that you are not too much affected by the aftermath - you are in my thoughts. Until next time, take care.

18 comments:

  1. Good choice to post the photo of the orange dahlia, it is indeed perfect for Halloween! Enjoy the rest from gardening daily, time to start dreaming of all we will do in the Spring.

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    1. Thank you Rosemary, I am already looking at new plants on the Internet for the spring, I am sure I could squeeze in a few more...

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  2. What a lovely Dahlia. Yes, it is getting close to the time for us all to hibernate. I agree with you about all those weather records being broken. It's about time the weather settled down and just became a bit er, boring for a change.

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    1. Boring, predictable, normal - whatever you call it, bring it on, I am fed up with freak weather and broken weather records!

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  3. Your bonsai is so beautiful Helene! My dahlias are still flowering but we've already had the first frosts so I shouldn't think they'll be around for much longer x

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    1. Thank you, my dahlias are slowly vanishing here too, it’s just too cold during the night. And yes, I think my Bonsai trees are lovely too, and unusual – you can’t buy them!

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  4. Autumn gardens always look extra peaceful, I think--yours is certainly looking lovely, Helene! Maybe the cold winter weather they're forecasting for you will be like the drought that was predicted this summer.

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    1. The drought we never got you mean...I am not sure we are going to be that lucky, the first snow has already fallen in England, last night, on the west coast, that is very early. I can remember November months in the past with people walking around in T-shirts on the streets. You wouldn’t do that today in London!

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  5. I have never seen a bonsai tree like that! Most I see are evergreen. Yours is just gorgeous! And I am very familiar with Virginia Creeper, but not that type. What a beauty!

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    1. There is possibly a reason why you haven’t seen a Bonsai tree like mine before, and that’s because I made it myself! I have two of them, they are 8 years old and they don’t grow much anymore, but the first few years they put on a lot of growth and I had to trim them very often. Now they get a trim only once or twice a year. Parthenocisus henryana usually grow to 30 feet if they are grown in the ground so I am still amazed that mine are happy being in those small trays :-)

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  6. That is the perfect Dahlia to highlight for Halloween! And your Bonsai is delightful. Sorry about all the cold weather--you're due for a pleasant stretch of weather! I know what you mean about the wet, cool weather vs. the cold, dry weather. Our winters here in the northern U.S. are probably similar (maybe slightly warmer) to your winters in Norway. 20F (-7C), sunny and dry is sometimes easier to take than 45F (7C), cloudy, windy and wet. I'm bracing myself for a cold winter. We'll see. Take care, Helene!

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    1. England got its first snow last night, not in London though, but it’s only just above freezing during the night. And we are only first week of November. Oh, yes, it’s going to be a long winter.....wrap up warm, and take care you too Beth :-)

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  7. I can feel you bracing yourself for winter Helene, but I really admire your attitude to the weather: no matter how cold it is, you can dress really warmly and still enjoy being outdoors. Although minus 35 celcius!! that is very cold. I agree with above comments: lovely dahlia and bonsai. I never used to like bonsai, but slowly I am starting to appreciate them.

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    1. Well, don’t get me wrong, I never did any gardening in Norway in minus 35, we usually had 5 feet snow everywhere and the snow laid till late April! But we all went to and from work, and we did our shopping, and our children went to school and after school arrangements and occasionally they would go out to play for an hour or so too. Life didn’t stop just because it was minus 35 for a couple of weeks where I lived in Norway.

      But here in London it rarely snows and we don’t have frost in the ground so I can garden all year round, if I can just wrap up warm enough, the cold, wet winds can sometimes go straight through you no matter how much clothes you are wearing. And I don’t garden when it rains, that’s where I draw the line! No need to get both cold AND wet. So when it’s raining I am writing on my blog, like today :-)

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  8. That dahlia is gorgeous! My dahlias always get eaten by bugs (cane borers) or they fall over so I've given up on them. But when I see beautiful pictures like yours, I miss them. I'm hoping for a cold, snowy winter here. My roses had horrible black spot this year from a dry, warm winter that didn't kill the spores or provide enough water.

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    1. I have to stake the Striped Vulcan, it is 5 feet tall and would be horizontal without stakes! The other ones manage without. I have also had horrible blackspot this summer, due to all the rain, but here in London we have to spray every summer, as the winter is not cold enough to kill off the spores. I just didn't spray often enough this summer it seems....

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  9. A perfect flower for Halloween! I am in awe over the bonsai - I had no idea you could turn vines like that into bonsai trees! Very pretty!

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    1. Thank you! I didn't know I could make Virginia creeper into a Bonsai either, until I tried! I am now experimenting with a honey suckle, 6 years old and a jasmin, 3 years old. Will make a post about this next year I think.

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