Glimpses of the Garden

We have had little opportunity to work in the garden for a week or two now, though a few more spring bulbs have been plunged beneath the cold sticky clay in snatched moments.

Birch leaves in November

Busy weekends and quickening light mean that days can pass at the minute with barely more than a glimpse of the garden, but the plants seem so far unharmed by the first frosts, gently subsiding into winter’s reaching grasp. The silver birch continues to hold on to some of its leaves, which gleam green and gold against the deep blue sky when the sun shines.

Silver birch in early November sunshine

While most of our young acers lost their leaves quickly and quietly some weeks ago, Acer palmatum ‘Butterfly’ holds tight to its small delicately-cut leaves, which are a rich shade of ruby.

Red foliage of Acer palmatum 'Butterfly' in November

Clumps of Stipa tenuissima still dance in the cool November sun, a pleasing froth softly whispering at the front of the border.

Stipa tenuissima in November sun

Stipa tenuissima seedheads in November sun

In the unheated greenhouse, sowings of winter salads are slowly emerging; pots of young and tender plants are huddled together for warmth, and the peppers continue to bear fruit.

Unknown chilli pepper

On a plant that was somehow left unlabelled, I assumed that the first orange fruit was likely to be a sweet pepper as it was similar in size to the still green fruit nearby on a labelled sweet pepper plant – and substantially larger than the Habanero chillies, which have also begun to turn colour.

Unknown chilli and tiny Habanero chilli

However, I cut a tiny sliver of its flesh when preparing our salad and put it to my lips, which were promptly set blazing, so it’s definitely another hot chilli.  I’m not sure which variety, as I only remember sowing Habanero chilli and sweet peppers in the spring – but it was a difficult time for us so anything is possible.

I am determined to make better (any!) notes next year.

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17 thoughts on “Glimpses of the Garden

    • Thanks, we bought it several years ago at a Malvern show and it was soon dug up again and shunted around in a pot for a few years, but it seems to have settled in well.

  1. You are so right about the glimpses – at this time of year it is often hard to have the daylight once other things are seen to, and it just takes a few busy days for the garden to be compeltely overlooked, so even the occasional glimpse becomes very welcome. Good luck experimenting with the chillies – I was given some seeds this year but I felt itchy just holding the packets and decided not to risk sowing them as I have had some unpleasant experiences with chillies!

  2. For me at this time there is much less that has to be done in the garden, so things are more relaxed. I have more time to read and plan. I also find keeping records of varieties a challenge, I am generally not an organized person when it comes to things. like that.

    • It’s good to have a chance to ponder and relax, and leave the garden to its own gentle devices, at this time of year. I am full of good intentions of keeping better garden records, but so far they still elude me…

  3. They may only be glimpses but they are certainly very pleasurable! The blue sky behind the birch looks more like an Italian sky than Welsh! Christina

    • Thanks Christina, I’m still getting lots of pleasure from the garden even if mostly from such fleeting glimpses. We have had some lovely blue skies (and some not so lovely hailstorms, to keep us on our toes).

    • Thanks Kate, the garden still makes me smile.
      I’m not sure what to do with the chillis yet, my husband accused me of trying to poison him when I threw the entirety of the first green Habanero in to a cauliflower side dish 🙂 Will have to be a bit more restrained with these!

  4. I think the sight of yellowed birch leaves against clear blue autumn sky is one of the most beautiful things about Autumn. I’m glad you shared your glimpse, because I am missing my birches right now! Just as well you tested that “pepper” before adding it to your salad, could have been an “interesting” experience.

    • Our birch leaves were slow turning yellow this year, but suddenly turned and fell in the past week.
      Yes, would have been very interesting salads indeed! I’m still using up that chilli at the minute, cooking very small quantities at a time: it has some serious punch.

  5. I love the sun on your birch, the acer and grass look nice too, I try but don’t always note things down but I do keep all lables which helps remind me, Frances

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