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