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Saturday, 31 October 2015

Still blooming through Halloween ...

We've come to stay with my parents in South Tyrone. My mum's a Halloween baby, and we're helping her celebrate with a birthday weekend to wrap up Emi's half term holidays. One of the many amazing things to impress us over here in Ireland is how her garden is blooming late into the autumn.

I am deeply envious. I garden on not-very-wonderful London clay, where I have to work really, really hard to get the good things to flourish. The weeds seem to do just fine for some unfathomable reason, but I struggle to produce all the wonderful colours that seem to appear almost effortlessly over here.





Normally for the Harvest Thanksgiving Festival at the beginning of October we struggle to find enough blooms to decorate the church, but this year ... well, everyone was a little bit spoilt for choice.



These wonderful hot pokers are sheltered from the wind by the shrubs growing around them, and, with the benefit of my mum's home-made leaf/ grass-cuttings compost, they seem to be thriving.


My favourites are these wonderful oriental poppies. They're perennial, and they put on such a spectacular show of glorious red throughout the summer season.


My mother has already dug up her begonias, and they're all spread out on a low shelf in her glasshouse to dry out before she stores the tubers away for the cold winter months. Frost and begonias are a bad combination. I pulled this magnificent blossom out of the compost bucket. Isn't it amazing? It's faded a little bit, and might be said to be a perfect example of wabi-sabi, but it's still a beauty.



The leaves here are wonderful. My parents' house is surrounded by beech trees, which have the most wonderful ombre with the colours blending from yellow to russet to deep brown. 



And the weird thing is that there's still a really good drill of sweet-pea flowering away. This afternoon in the glorious autumn sunshine it looked as though we were in the middle of July. The only slight disappointment is that the flowers don't smell of much. Still they're a lovely surprise as you come round the corner of the house to the vegetable garden.


These little violas have reseeded across the vegetable patch where the summer vegetables have been dug out.


Emi and his Grandma have been busy this afternoon carving his pumpkin. They've saved the seed and are planning a pumpkin patch for next year to give them a bumper crop for Halloween.  I have to admit that the planning and anticipation of what is to come is one of the best bits of the whole gardening process. Ah, next year ... .



Whatever you're doing I wish you a safe and happy Halloween.



All the best,

Happy Halloween!

Bonny x


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