Inbetween Days

The first days of November have mostly been mild and cloudy, with infrequent showers of varying intensity, although this weekend brought a welcome snap of cold clear sunshine.

A new ‘baby’ has joined our family of woodstores this weekend, constructed by King of the Hill in a break from the wearying work inside. It nestles against the wild plums along the boundary between our shed and greenhouse, behind the bed which currently plays host to leeks, cabbages and celeriac. It should form a much-needed windbreak as well as caching more firewood for the winter ahead, and sits relatively unobtrusively in this wildest patch of our garden (time to pull brambles and bindweed down from the plum trees again, I think!).

We are still to experience our first frost here, so the garden continues to flower fitfully in a state of limbo, amidst the natural decay. I find part of me rather relishing the prospect of frost now; to underline the change in seasons, and perhaps also in curiousity as to how our newly sculpted and planted garden will cope with the cruel grasp of winter’s clutches.

Down in the kitchen garden, the early hardneck Sprint garlic that I planted a few weeks ago has already formed a file of fresh green shoots – almost a straight line this time.

A few heads of Solent Wight softneck garlic have since arrived and await planting; I intend to sow some of these cloves later this month, and the rest a month later, as close to the year’s shortest day as time and temperature allow!

The Verbascum chaixii ‘Album’ seed that I sowed last month, along with the Echinops ritro, germinated strongly, and I have begun to prick these out in the greenhouse.  Hopefully they will overwinter happily under glass and I can plant them out as the earth begins to warm up once more to enjoy their spires in the summer.

While activity in the garden has slowed down now, there is plenty to keep us occupied in the house, along with much to plan and research for next year. The bareroot season has begun, and while the earth remains warm and pliable this would be the ideal time for planting new trees and hedges. We are formulating another project for the garden…


14 thoughts on “Inbetween Days

  1. I’m envious of your log store, it looks very smart and blends in very well. I know what you mean about the frost. We still haven’t had any and whilst plants are still blooming I don’t see the point in tidying them up but another part of me wants to get the gardens put to bed for winter. What will be, will be.

    • Thanks, my husband whips these structures up, each one faster and tidier than the one before. This one needed boarded sides due to its exposed position to the wind and rain, but still looks very smart. Now we need to fill it!
      It seems perverse to be half-wishing for frosts, as soon as the garden is blackened I’m sure I’ll wish there was still some colour to enjoy, and I’m still hoping the buds on the cardoon will burst into flower before the frosts come… How contrary.

  2. I’d like a log store like yours – only to sit in when it’s too windy or rainy to be properly outside – like a little sentry box.

    We don’t have frosts much here – the sea keeps them at bay . . . but I still haven’t got used to being in allotment-less and am trying not to be inspired by your garlic . . . there really is no room . . . not even in pots . . .

    • heh, and the birds, thought they would tug them all over the place. That’s my excuse when the row of garlic ends up meandering across the plot later on…

  3. If King of the Hill runs out of things to build at your place, I’m sure I could keep him busy for a while, I am becoming a great admirer of his work! Lovely to have a “proper” garden to watch through the winter – but mainly I want to know what your new project is going to be…

    • Ah, he is in great demand, made a potting bench for my parents and now making a woodstore for his mum.
      I think you’ll like the project, though the idea is blatantly lifted from elsewhere 🙂 As soon as we have finished investigating and make a start I’ll reveal all…

  4. Like you I’m looking forward to a decent frost. The upside is that my Dahlia ‘Bishop of Aukland’ is still flowering along with the Nicotiana sylvestris. I even have a self seeded Verbascum chaixii ‘Album’ (it seeds everywhere in my garden) that has just started to flower! Perhaps Summer is going to go straight into Winter again this year?

    • We missed our chance to plant Dahlias this year, will be more organised in the spring, I do like the Bishops. Our N. sylvestris are still big rosettes of leaves with no flowers – the seedlings were left in small pots for too long before we had garden to put them into so the frosts will take them out before they flower!
      Hope that our V. chaixii are as happy as that and self-sow (gently!) around here – must be lovely to see in flower at the minute. I am still enjoying an Eryngium planum in electric blue at the front of our border.

  5. I planted Solent Wight a few weeks ago and there are no shoots at all yet!! The Vallelado are coming through though, planted at the same time. I’m impressed at the 100% germination you have on yours, I’ve got less than 50% so far.

    • Our Solent Wight is still in the kitchen, waiting a few more weeks till I plant it. I’m impressed with the Sprint germination, too. First time I’ve grown this variety.

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