Rather apt, at the moment, what with Covid, fuel for vehicles, HGV drivers and the emerging energy crisis
The event in Codger's case is the unwelcome embrace of some miscellaneous virus that got to him before the flu jab needle. In fact that injection was scheduled for this week - we played safe and delayed it whilst we cough and splutter
The upshot of all this that our planned edition of the blog is held over until the head clears a bit and we can write something approximating to senseHowever, a brainwave - why not do a quick photo-tour of the garden? As you would expect, the colours are lovely in the autumn
The leaves, above, are those of the Witch Hazel - always good value at this time of year. They will be followed by those unusual spaghetti-like flowers - perhaps tagliatelle-like would be a better description
Here on the right you can see a chrysanthemum coming into its own. I'm told that they are coming back into fashionOne of the attractions of roses is their ability to surprise. You think the show is over that then you suddenly spot another bloom shining out on a dull day
Working from memory this one (left) is Celebration - another David Austin rose.
Perhaps we should venture forth and pay a last visit to the David Austin nursery - a convenient drive for us but sadly, because of lockdown, off our radar this yearSpeaking of nurseries I bought this clematis from the clearance section recently. Getting it home, I found that the labels had got jumbled
I think it is Clematis Pilei - if that is the correct spelling. The label says Comtesse de Bouchaud but I'm not sure about that
It is said that autumn is a good time to plant clematis so, as soon as the chest clears and the sun shines, that's what we'll be doingDo you recognise this one on the left?
Yes, it's a sunflower. I wrote in a recent blog how I never sow them as a deliberate act
They must self-seed as every year they reappear and grow tall - something like ten feet
I tend to leave the seed heads as winter feed for the birds. Plenty for them to go at here!
On the subject of wildlife I conducted a little experiment this year ...
One of the principles of organic gardening is that with patient management a wildlife balance can be achieved in the garden that avoids the use of harmful chemicals
The theory sounds great. But the practice can be trying when contending with an aphid attack. My French beans suffered such an assault - I think the inevitable black fly on the broad beans transferred their attention to their Gallic cousins
I decided to leave Nature to sort itself out - and I was fascinated to see what happened. The blackfly seems happy on just one or two plants so I left them to munch away. The rest of the crop produced prolifically - so I picked the unaffected pods, witness the sample you see above. And just today, whilst taking these photos, I saw that ladybirds were enjoying the blackfly
The purple-podded beans have been great - loads of beans and loads of flavour! (In case you missed an earlier blog, don't be put off by the colour - purple beans turn green as you cook them.)
Despite some losses due to blight, we have done well with tomatoes, too - as you can see on the left
It was worth growing the yellow variety just to create the display in the fruit bowl. The variety is Golden Sunrise - it did well against an outside wall
A bit of a plug next. Codger's Nursery is building up a good stock of perennials, many of which look really colourful in the autumn. A good example is this display of asters. We have both blues and purples. Let me know if you are interested - it's good to see them whilst they are in flower