Fall, leaves, fall...

 Just starting to change colour.
Berberis Leaves

Fall, leaves, fall... March in my garden is rather mellow, with a calm anticipation of the autumnal things to come. Isolated leaves are already fluttering down off their trees, the nights are getting cooler, the summer perennials finished, ready for trimming.

Tuesday 12th March

The beginning of autumn is a lovely time - there's absolutely no rush to collect the pine-cones, or to get the firewood in. Winter is ages away! It's the perfect time to start thinking thoughtful gardening thoughts.

I love the rose flower colours in autumn. They're richer in the softer light. And somehow they are more sharply appreciated than usual, showing off their blooms before the weather gets too wintry. I notice lots more little things in autumn. Pots on the patio need rethinking, blue Aconitums have seeded everywhere and the bees adore then, the little blue convolvulus flowers have that precious hand-painted look.

 Possibly English Elegance? Not sure.
Unknown Recycled David Austin Rose

But I desperately need to take part in some large scale garden manoeuvres, too. For example, the white hydrangeas in the Island Bed need shifting. They haven't grown well in here, and I have a better, moister, and slightly shadier place in mind. Right. I'm off to find the shovel. No time like the present.

 So pretty, though the flowers are quite small.
Pale Blue Convolvulus


Hmm... I petered out a bit. Two large hydrangeas, both with huge numbers of short stubby stems, sit in my wheelbarrow on top of the weeds, while I've been sitting inside couch-cycling from Paris to Nice.

Paris to Nice!

It's been rather rainy over there on the pretty little country lanes, and the deciduous trees are still bare of leaves. It's spring, of course. Explanation for the puzzled reader - I am not whirring my legs around on an exercycle, just lounging in front of the TV watching highlights of a cycle race.

Wednesday 13th March

OK. So what am I doing not gardening? Waiting for the vet to ring with Rusty the dog's blood test results. It's just a follow-up, to see that his arthritis drugs are 'suitable'. He has also been put on some 'joint health' medication (just like the Head Gardener). We two hobbling oldish crocks can compare our pills regime. One painful step away from comparing surgeons? Aargh!

 Snoozing on the house lawn.
Rusty the Dog
‘Fall, leaves, fall...’
-Emily Bronte poem.

I'm determined to continue my mellow autumnal gardening, taking care of the littlest and the biggest things with equal care. Each plant has his or her (?) own needs, and expectations. It's such a poetic time to be a gardener. Fall, leaves, fall - Die, flowers, away. Lengthen night and shorten day...

Later, Afternoon Tea Time...

Or, rather, afternoon coffee, which tastes soooooooo good after five hours of work in the house gardens. I've carted off four barrowfuls of stuff to the fence-line. I've trimmed and raked up mess. A few leaves fluttered down and landed on my head - nice, gentle reminders of what's to come, as far as my rake goes.

+5 +5Tiger the tortoiseshell has been gardening with me, and extremely cat-talkative she has been, too. I know it's basically one of her 'feed-me' moods, but she is such a lovely communicator. Big Fluff-Fluff, dribbling and purring loudly, is now trying to sit on me and my computer keyboard at the same time (he is not quite this big). He is a cat overflowing with love - this is very nice, since I rather successfully watered him half an hour ago when shifting the hose.

 Blooming again.
Yellow Daylilies

Right. Rusty the dog has hidden all his tennis balls from me, and needs some exercise, so we are off for a short walk down the road. A lovely way to finish an outdoors day. And his blood tests are fine, too.

Please Excuse Me

I won't be in my garden much until the weekend - dear thing, joy of my life, please excuse my absence. The gardener becomes the musician, with extra choir rehearsals, pianist's duties, and chamber music sessions.


I'm also doing some choral jazz arrangements in my spare time (thanks, Sibelius). Doo bah doo bah - dah dah dot, etc., with appropriate articulation. My choir is called Jazzamatazz, and it's just started up for a new year of jazzy fun.

Saturday 16th March

Yippee! Finally the gardening me is back. It's so easy to fall back into place - it's as if I never been away! I've spent this afternoon wandering downstream along the water race, weeding, trimming yet more Shasta daisies, dead-heading dahlias and roses, and autumn daydreaming. I have some exciting rose news - the Precious Platinums (recycled from a friend's garden) are just magnificent, and I found two other roses never before sighted in flower. Wow! Such beautiful colours, happy and healthy in their new country home.

 A beauty!
Precious Platinum Red Rose

I need to make just one decision, and fairly soon. Where exactly are my chunky dug-out hydrangeas going? They are incredibly heavy things, and for the moment are sprawled in the paddling pool.

+5Thanks to young Minimus my grey cottage cat for providing very lively and very squeaky cat company. I left her sprawled on the glass-house garden bench surrounded by my hand tools. Oops. Better go get them in.