Friday, 31 October 2014

End of Month View – October

Today was the last day of October, and what a day it was! Glorious sunshine and 23 degrees C – that was the temperature officially for London, in my garden it tipped slightly higher in the afternoon. Not a bad way to end October. The next few days the temperature is going to drop around 10 degrees. We will certainly notice that! I am sure today’s summerlike weather must have broken yet another weather record, but who’s counting, we seem to have broken one weather record after the other the last few years, weather records somehow seem to have gone out of fashion. Who cares, it was amazing today!


Despite the summer weather my garden still knows it’s autumn – some plants are dying down, some are slowing down, and some are just starting to flower or about to emerge. Never a dull moment in my garden!

I had a photo of my thermometer last ‘End of Month View’ post too, on the 30th of September it showed almost 25 degrees. Today it showed just over 23 when I remembered to take a photo, but it crept up to 24 an hour earlier when I was busy filming.

Some of my longest flowering fuchsias have finally decided to take a well-earned break, they have flowered since beginning of July 2013 so that’s 16 months non-stop flowering so far. They are still in flower all of them, but most of the ‘Annabelle’ fuchsias have started to get yellow leaves. No wonder, after such a long flowering time! I have plenty of this year’s fuchsias to get me through the winter, like this 'Perpetual Falls', should we get another frost-free winter (fingers crossed!). We got two amazing summers in a row so we could get two mild winters in a row – just leave out the flooding please, we can all manage without that bit :-)

This is the last of the sunflowers, the rest have been cut down or have blown down in the various small or big storms we have had. The tail-end of Gonzalo which landed here Tuesday last week took half of the other remaining sunflower, the rest I managed to prop up with lots of canes, and after I was finished filming today it ended in the compost bin. I think this one will follow soon.

The five Primula vulgaris Belarina 'Amethyst Ice' I had in the front garden containers last winter have been hibernating under other plants during the summer and have now been let out to play again this week, after I discovered they had started flowering. It always amazes me how little care and attention many plants need, they just get on with it. I like plants like that!

I have made TWO videos from my garden today, one short and one a bit longer. The longer one is 5.54 min long – the reason for such a long video is that it’s got one of my absolute favourite music to it, and I just didn’t have the heart to cut off neither the beginning nor the end, so I just had to make a video long enough to fit the music – which was 5:54 minutes. Simples :-)
The music is Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar by Joaquín Rodrigo, I have used the first movement today, and one day I will try to fit in the second movement in another movie, because that piece is even more beautiful – although nearly 11 minutes long....not sure how I will end up using it but....one day. I can still remember when my parents gave me this LP (yes, CD’s weren’t invented back then!) for Christmas, I was 15 and that’s 35 years ago.

Anyway, the short movie first. I know sometimes my movies can be a bit....ehrm....longwinded? I just have so much to show you! Well, today I have played around with the new setting on my iPad’s camera, the time lapse function. Have you tried it yet? Or have you also been frustrated with all the errors and troubles since upgrading to iOS8 so you haven’t had time to enjoy the new functions and settings? After the latest update the other day things seem to be working better so today I had a go at time lapse. By the way, if you haven’t upgraded to iOS8 yet, you won’t have this, it came with the new operating system. OK, so now I have tried it, and now I probably won’t use it again. It is too fast for anything normal use and way too slow for filming for example plants grow or flowers open or anything else I can think of – and no settings for speed. If you have tried it on anything successfully, please let me know in your comment. After 3 takes that were useless, I decided to go slowly, veeeeeery slowly, that way, you can actually get to see something.

So here’s 1 minute – exactly, of my main garden and my front garden, and a short view of my neighbours’ front gardens too, where I have containers with plants. Oh, and you get to see my kitchen and hallway, twice actually, once going out and once coming back again. Blink, and you’ll miss it! (Best viewed in HD)



OK, I admit it, if you haven’t seen my garden before you’d probably be none the wiser after that, but if you have been here many times before you could probably work out most of it.

Let’s slow it down to normal pace now, I got the second video ready for you. I tried to engage my cat into some interesting behaviour so I could film him too today, but he was having none of it. I am afraid the pieces of him in the video show him at his most indolent and typical cattish behaviour – lazying in a chair in the sunshine. Oh well, there is one piece of ‘wildlife’ in the video, the squirrels are back, and they are not lazying around. My goodness what a racket they make when they are courting! I haven’t got that bit on the video, the female is sitting in the tree and the male is flying up and down the tree trunk whilst shrieking this raw, loud sound that almost sounds like a crow. Anyway, sit back and enjoy the music - and my garden on the last day of October. Best viewed in HD!



The next time you’ll see my garden will probably be on GBBD the 15th November, and by then it will look quite different. In the front garden it will be out with the old and in with the new, the winter bedding is already here, waiting to get planted. I will save the old plants that can be saved, but some I won’t bother with. It is a matter of space too, space for pots over the winter, so some will just end up at the council’s composting service. And the dahlias will all have gone by next time, hopefully I will have planted the daffodil bulbs I have bought by then, they have waited a long time to get in the ground, between the dahlias. And by middle of next month I should have finished pulling out pots from the beds, I have done a lot this month, but there are still more pots to take out to make way for spring bulbs. I have already planted 300 crocuses and 100 daffodils, but the area around the dahlias is inaccessible until I have cut everything down so I can’t plant anything there yet. My idea is to have crocuses and early, miniature daffodils between the dahlias, just to have some interest early in the year before the dahlias start to emerge. That bed has only lilies and dahlias so a few (hundred) crocuses would be nice :-)

That was it for tonight, and for this month, by the time you read this it will be November already and just a few short weeks until Christmas. That feels weird, having in mind that when I woke up today I sat on the steps in my garden for a while, just in my nightie, bare-feet, and with no dressing gown, no cardigan, no blanket, just my cotton nightie – with my face towards the sun I just wanted to make sure I got the last of the summer. I can get through the winter when the summer lasts this long – and when spring is only a few short months away :-)

Thanks to Helen at The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for hosting the meme End of Month View, if you head over to her blog you will find many more End of Month Views.
Until next time, take care.

36 comments:

  1. Dear Helene, it is funny that you had almost the same temperatures in London as we did here today. As a matter of fact here it was one degree of Celisus cooler. The weather is really wired... Anyway, I love your primula vulgaris belarina 'Amethyst Ice'! Such a pretty color and the filled blooms are so romantic looking. I have to see if I can find them here, too.
    Honestly, the first video only made me dizzy, but the second one I enjoyed watching a lot. I am already looking forward to see all the spring bulbs flowering in your garden. It is hard to believe that you could squeeze that many into your yard. It will be a phenomenal spring display if they all emerge. Keeping my fingers crossed for you! Wishing you a nice weekend!
    Christina

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    1. Thanks Christina, I keep planting spring bulbs an-mass, in the hope that at least some will survive the squirrels feasting on them. It is mainly the crocuses they are taking, but I seem to be luckier with planting crocuses ‘in the green’ in the spring, as by then there are lots more for the squirrels to feed on. Perhaps I will just wait with the crocuses until February.

      I love the double Primulas, and my winter plant bedding has just arrived, with more double primroses, called ‘Rosebud’. Keep an eye out for them in December’s GBBD, I don’t think they will flower in time for November’s post. Have a great week!

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  2. I think daylight hours is often the trigger for autumn to begin and so the seasons will carry on regardless. City temperatures are always higher aren't they - storage heater effect. Any idea what the night time temperature is?

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    1. The night temperatures varies of course, the night after I wrote this post it only dipped down to 17 degrees :) But this week it will be a chilly minimum of 8-10 degrees.

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  3. I think fuchsia is one of the best autumn plants, which takes summer colors beyond the summer.
    Have a great November, Helene!

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    1. Thanks Tatyana, I agree, fuchsias are great for colour and flower into the winter – and sometimes right into spring. Have a great gardening week, despite the cooler weather :-)

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  4. I'm learning to think in terms of Celsius without having to do the mental math or use a converter (funny, it's kind of like learning a language, isn't it?). Anyway, I always think of the comfort zone (for me, anyway) as any temperatures above 20C and sunny. At that point, a person doesn't really need a jacket. And 23C would indeed be fabulous! From now until mid-February, I will be living vicariously through your blog and other warmer ones, since we are plunging headlong into "wintry" weather here in the Midwest U.S.--at least nighttime temperatures! In mid-February, I'm fortunate to be heading to Florida for a month! Talk about pleasant! I'm so looking forward to it! Great end-of-month view, Helene!

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    1. Thanks Beth, a trip to Florida in February sounds great! I must admit I am not so good with Fahrenheit temperatures yet, but there’s always Google to ask! And yes, day temperatures between 20 and 30 is my ideal, wouldn’t mind having that all year round.

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  5. Still looks so lush, so beautiful! Especially your Dahlias and Fuchsia. So impressing!

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    1. Thanks Endah, my garden is winding down its summer blooms, but the winter plants are gearing up :-)

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  6. You are not the only one enjoying the warm weather Helene - in fact, it's been so warm here that I only needed a T-Shirt on for work the last two nights, yet Tuesday it was way down to 3, almost frosty!
    I thoroughly enjoyed the quick clip of your garden. I'm making a quick pass through so no time to watch the longer one but I will come back to see it.
    I've put all the Fuchsia away for winter Helene, it will be interesting to see how they do. Thats some amount of bulbs - especially in your small space. Well done. As usual, great post.

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    1. Thanks Angie, I hope the fuchsias will do well over the winter, they should all survive really, home grown plants are often tougher than shop bought anyway.
      I guess the cooler weather has arrived with you too by now, by the middle of the week it might get rather nippy at night down here – I must admit I am not really ready for winter yet, I never am – and yet I know it’s over quite quickly so by the time we have past Christmas it’s only about 6 weeks until spring in my garden. Still – I would have loved to have a few more days like last Friday!
      Have a great week, whatever the weather :-)

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  7. My head is still spinning from the time lapse! Having heard all the reports I haven't upgraded yet. I don't understand why these 'improvements' are launched without proper testing. If the latest fix is better than perhaps now is the time to risk it.
    Still loads of colour in your garden.

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    1. I don’t understand how they could launch such a big upgrade with so many errors either, but I have installed the latest update and although I usually use my PC, I have tested the iPad a bit and it seems more stable. I now have iOS 8.1 - I don’t know if you have to go through all the previous updates to get to this one.

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  8. Fuchsias and Dahlias are going on and on these mild autumn summer days. We too had breakfast outside this morning, so strange but lovely. First clip was fast but I recognized it from earlier posts. Second video so interesting, you really have created your own little paradise and your cat enjoys these sunny days too. I think these squirrels are so funny, I could watch them for hours.

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    1. Thanks Janneke, I have a love/hate relationship with the squirrels, I love to see them playing about in the garden but I hate all the damage they do!

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  9. I prefer the longer video! I don't think I've seen another garden with the stamina of yours. Very impressive!

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    1. Thanks Kris, my garden is an all year garden, but I have been quite deliberate with the planting in order to never be without flowers :-)

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  10. I know what you mean about making the most of every second of this wonderful sunshine; and that, if we do, it will make the winter seem shorter.
    I was very interested to see Primula Vulgaris Belarina 'Amethyst Ice' beginning to flower. Have you been pleased with its performance ? I got some plug plants given from T & M so have been growing them on. I love double primulas and can't wait to see what they are like.
    Your garden looks lovely, full of interest and still quite summery and green !

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    1. I must say I am quite pleased with all my Primula vulgaris, they are troopers in my garden! Although the Belarina series took a flowering break during the winter, my white Primula vulgaris flowers all year round, whether it’s December or July :-) The Belarina series are sold as bedding plants and I suppose many people just throw them out when they plant the summer bedding, I dug mine out of my window boxes, put them in pots and placed them between plants at the bottom of my garden in May – and just forgot about them until recently when I cut off all the foliage and left them again where they were. The result is what you see. They will become much bigger over the winter and flower again next spring. I suppose with a bit of TLC they could last for years. There will be more double primulas on my blog next month, I have bought some new ones for my window boxes :-)

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  11. Ha, ha, Helene, I thought I'd just watch the short video for now and come back later when I have more time to watch the longer one--but I didn't realize we would be jogging around your garden:) Still, it was clear that your garden still looks like summer--those dahlias are just gorgeous! Do you dig them all up and store them over the winter, or can they be left in the ground? We had very warm temperatures last weekend--80 degrees (26 Celsius, I think) on Monday--but by Wednesday night that all changed. A killing frost and then a hard freeze have pretty much ended the gardening season here. No going outside in just a nightie here anymore:) Looking forward to seeing how your garden changes over the winter.

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    1. Ha ha, you say jogging, but you should have seen how slowly I walked for my final take – snail pace! I hope you will have time to see the other movie, it is at a much more leisurely pace, with some beautiful music.

      I don’t lift any of my dahlias, some of them have been in the ground for 10 years and should have been split by now! I rarely have any ground frost in my garden, and if I have it doesn’t go very deep – and only last for a night or maybe two, I have never lost any plants due to frost. This year I am tempting fate possibly, as I am having many more frost tender plants than ever before – and no greenhouse, but I am just trying out what I could possibly get away with. We never know what winter we get though, a few years ago we had around minus 5 C for a week, but that’s the coldest period I have experienced here in London. Since then I have bought a small palm tree and 2 oleanders….what survives, survives, what dies wasn’t suitable for my garden :-)

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  12. So nice to have a private garden you can step into in your nightie! Your garden is so lovely, even as winter approaches. I hope yours will be another mild one. Last winter was a hard one for us, and we are expecting another just like it, though I don't know how they can predict this.

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    1. Thanks, I do appreciate the privacy in my garden, it’s got view in some parts, but at the backdoor I am not overlooked by anyone. There are talks here too about a colder than usual winter, they said that last year too and we got the opposite so I guess it’s anybody’s guess really :-)

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  13. Helene!
    Wonderful second video, I love this Concierto de Aranjuez, especially a second part. The video goes well with music, lovely clematis, fuchsias with accordance of sounds, your cat moves his ears as he's listening to the music and in the end he closes his eyes as he says: All right!

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    1. Thank you Nadezda, I was actually talking to my cat on that piece when he is moving his ears, he is listening to my voice whilst still trying to hear all the sounds from the garden – the squirrel, the birds, the neighbour’s dog :-)

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  14. Interesting to see the primula flowering out of season. I think Helene, you would like Primula 'Nectarine' which flowers for me for several weeks in Autumn and then again in Spring.

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    1. The Belarina series is a lovely type of primulas, I would have liked to have them all! Particularly ‘Valentine’ and ‘Pink Ice’ is high on my list, but ‘Nectarine’ is pretty too. I don’t think they are flowering out of season, are they? As far as I know, Primula vulgaris normally flowers in the autumn, takes a short break at the coldest part of the winter and then starts again in early spring – and all in my garden do that, I have various types.

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  15. 16 months of bloom is amazing! Those fuchsias deserve a break, for sure. Hopefully, you'll avoid any flooding this year. I'm already thinking about what seed I want to buy. Excellent videos!

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    1. Those fuchsias are still flowering, even though we have had a few very cold days – that means they are now into their 17th month of flowering! It all depends on what kind of winter we get this time, a few days of frost is enough for them to drop all their leaves but I hope we won’t get any frost.

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  16. Fantastic, I expected to see my old friend Buster Keaton in the first video.

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  17. It is less than 10 degrees here, so I am very jealous of your warm weather. All the leaves are off the trees and snow is forecast. Won't spring be nice with all your bulbs and crocus! I bought some clearance daffodils today and will be getting frost bitten fingers planting them tomorrow.

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    1. The last 2 weeks the temperature has gone down to a more normal level for this time of year, summer is over! But I hope winter is a long way off yet. I have been planting more daffodils and crocuses today too :-)

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  18. I love the way gardens keep time with the weather, but by fall I am also looking forward to a break. How about you?

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    1. When I was still working I was happy for a break during the winter, but it’s a long time since I had to give up working and I am glad London is offering all year round gardening. I really enjoy the fact that I can potter about in my garden every week of the year and have flowers all the time, my garden just change to a slightly slower pace for a few months from now on.

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