October garden

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I am ignoring the rugby (England v Australia) which is currently on in the other room. My boys have just left the room in disgust. It’s just too much
to bear.

So… It’s been a glorious week, weather-wise. There was a keen wind here on the south-east coast earlier in the week but the days have been sunny and lovely and warm in sheltered spots. Yesterday, the wind dropped and I threw open the doors and windows to listen to the birds singing and fill the house with fresh sea air. Gorgeous.

There is still quite a lot going on in the garden and loads of jobs to do.

The self-sown marigolds are looking jewel-like with the dark purple nicotiana.
The self-sown marigolds are looking jewel-like with the dark purple nicotiana. This really is one of my favourite colour combinations.  I hoiked out the marigolds (calendula) this afternoon as they have somewhat swamped the other planting and I want to see where all the perennials are and fill the gaps. The planting here was rather thrown together for the Garden Safari back in June and I’d like to give it more thought.
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The Tithonias are still flowering their socks off and providing welcome autumn nectar for bees and hoverflies. I’ll keep deadheading them and see how long they last.
Our autumn raspberries are laden with fruit. 'Joan-J' is the stand-out variety with large, well-formed delicious fruit. The 'Autumn Bliss' canes, while just as prolific, have smaller, less tasty fruit.
Our autumn raspberries are laden with fruit. ‘Joan-J’ is the stand-out variety for me with its large, well-formed delicious fruit. The ‘Autumn Bliss’ canes, while just as prolific, have smaller, less tasty fruit (in my opinion!). I’m picking about half a colander-full of raspberries every other day at the moment (some don’t make it into the colander) and we’ve been enjoying them with Greek yogurt. 
The border along the back wall needs a good weed and tidy but it's still colourful.
The border along the back wall needs a good sort out but it’s still looking lush.
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This pretty clump of pink Japanese anemones is on one side of the front steps and a large swathe of white ones is on the other side. The whites are much more invasive and have started to creep across the steps to join their mates.
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One of our two cats – Alfie – posing for the camera. Those meddlesome white anemones are in the foreground. The Erigeron on the steps has been flowering non-stop since April.
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Erigeron is also growing in the back garden wall. This plant can spread itself all over the garden if it wants to. I love it.
The wilderness at the bottom of the front garden. We sowed chalk grassland wildflower seeds here in May but there are too many weeds that have out-competed the wild flowers. Some, such as the ox-eye daisies, have come up though. It's a tricky area and we need to rethink it.
The wilderness at the bottom of the front garden – we sowed chalk grassland wildflower seeds here in May. Unfortunately we didn’t do a thorough enough job of clearing beforehand and too many weeds out-competed the wild flowers. Some, such as the ox-eye daisies, have come up though.
The climbing rose (unknown variety) at the front of the house has been flowering since May.
The climbing rose (unknown variety) at the front of the house has been flowering since May. You can just see the lavender in the background – it’s put on sturdy new growth since its hard cut at the end of August (phew).
Cassie has been enjoying the autumn sunshine too.
Cassie has also been enjoying the autumn sunshine.

Wishing you all a good rest of the weekend, with plenty of sunshine and relaxation wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.

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34 thoughts on “October garden

    1. HI RD
      I heard the other day that Japanese Anemones only become invasive when they are in poor soil and go looking for better soil. If yours are in good soil then they will stay put
      Helen J

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    2. We have it popping up all over the place – cracks in paving, steps, walls – it is beautiful but I think it’d take over the whole garden given half the chance. It obviously loves our chalky, free-draining soil. Want some?!

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  1. I have two Joan J raspberry canes in a large tub and agree that the fruit is delicious! I would love to have the space to have more. I have been making a raspberry sauce to have with yogurt and that is delicious too. Your steps with the erigeron look stunning.
    Enjoy your beautiful autumnal garden…
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Thanks Amy. These anemones were here when we moved in, so I’m not sure how old they are. They do seem to multiply year on year and obviously love our soil – they are thriving in the areas we haven’t yet ‘improved’.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. It’s her favourite thing to do. She has a long walk/run in the morning and then lolls about for the rest of the day. It really is a dog’s life!

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  2. I absolutely love that first photo, it’s gorgeous. Beautiful erigeron, I like to see it spreading around too. I’m interested to hear how well Joan J does, I’m going to replace my raspberries this winter I think, so I might get that variety. CJ xx

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  3. What a gorgeous garden you have. I particularly like the steps (and the posing cat). My Japanese anemones are still a tiny clump, I planted them about 10 years ago! They’re up against the lady’s mantle though which is starting to take over the whole garden. I like it, but there’s way too much of it now!

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    1. Thanks Anne. I love lady’s mantle – we’ve a few clumps that I hope will spread a little (but not too much). I’m not sure what the trick is with the anemones but we have very free-draining, chalky soil. Perhaps it’s on the move to find water!

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  4. Hi Sam
    Glad to find your blog too, lovely fresh look to it. I really like the erigeron steps with your cat. I keep meaning to try and establish it here

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    1. Hi Helen, welcome. Erigeron has been a very easy-going plant for us and is spreading well. It obviously thrives on neglect because we’ve left it alone. It’s in cracks and crevices that are south-facing so it obviously likes a dry sunny spot. Good luck with it.

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  5. You’re garden is still lively and humming. Aren’t Tithonia the most superb annual of all time? I love those marigolds, I don’t think I have seen any quite like those over here. Also the Erigeron blooming in/on/out of the stone steps are wonderful. Very jealous of your raspberries, though.

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    1. Totally agree about the Tithonia. I’ve loved growing it. I think the marigolds are Calendula officinalis (possibly ‘Indian Prince’) but they were here when we moved in, so I can’t be sure. They pop up every year and love the chalky soil. I don’t think they like very fertile soil.

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  6. Your steps look so pretty with the Erigeron karvinskianus and your lovely cat who is clearly a poser. October is such a lovely month and this last week has been wonderful. I must try your raspberry, I have Autumn Bliss but I will look out for Joan- J. Your tithonias are lovely and marigolds are such good value flowering all summer long.

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    1. He really is a poser. We’ve an all-black cat, too, who hides but she’s a cutie. Last week was gorgeous but this week is gloomy. Hey ho. I’m going to catch up indoors and admire the Sarah Raven website!

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  7. Lots of lovely rich colour in your garden, including those lush raspberries, but my favourite photo is your handsome black and white cat on the steps framed by the white flowers. Talking of which my white Japanese anemones stay contained in their bed, it’s the pink ones and their meandering ways that I’ve had trouble with in the past. Raining here today, but I’m not sad, the allotment needs water and I need a rest!

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    1. Thank you Sarah. It’s funny that your pink anemones are the wanderers. I wonder what it is that makes them spread so. It’s very dull here today as well, so I’m turning my attention to indoor jobs. Have a good week.

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  8. Your garden is still so full of colour and those raspberries look so good. We bought some white anemones this weekend.!They have never spread for us unlike the pink ones, you must have perfect conditions. I love erigeron too, but my husband hates it so I have to try and sneak it in! Sarah x

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    1. My husband hates violas and pansies, whereas I quite like them in pots, etc. Collaborative gardening can be quite testing at times! I’m sure you could squeeze in a little erigeron – it’s so small and unassuming at first…

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  9. How I love looking at photos of your garden! I envy you the steps and the back wall to grow your Erigeron in – mine has to sit in a pot where it looks fab but I wish I had places for it to self seed. I will definitely be planting Tithonia next year – it is obviously a hard worker and will look perfect in my August border.

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    1. The Tithonia took a while to get going – it really sulked at first because I planted it out too early. It only really got going when the weather warmed up but it was worth the wait. I look forward to seeing it in your August border next year.

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  10. Lovely update post, Sam. I’m sorry to be commenting so late (catching up!) but a lot of what you’ve written about rings true with me too. I’ve decided to take out my Autumn Bliss raspberries and buy a few Joan J canes to join my Polka raspberries. Love the Erigeron and Tithonia – both of those will definitely be going into the garden here next year. The photo of your cat on the steps is gorgeous – one to be framed I’d think! And is that purple Nicotiana growing through the calendula? It’s a stunning colour combo! Caro x

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    1. It takes time to read all the blogs, let alone comment on them, so thank you for taking the time Caro. Yes, it is a deep purple Nicotiana. I’m hoping to catch some seed for next year as I love the colour combo too.

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  11. How lovely to see your garden still blooming and thriving. I am just imagining all those gorgeous homemgrown raspberries with Greek yogurt (I’d be tempted to add a drizzle of honey, but that’s just my Scottish sweet tooth!) Beautiful photographs as always X

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