Despite the appalling weather this year (and yes, we've had lots more rain since my last post) I have managed to create some colour round the house. I have a number of different colours of pansies around the house, but these are particularly fine and cheerful.
If you're not familiar with this flower, it's an autumn crocus. I bought a couple of bulbs several years ago, I got one flower, then nothing, then one flower again and so on. This year, however, they have been magnificent, flowering for the last couple of weeks.
Sadly the wind and rain have knocked them about a bit, but they do give a great splash of colour. And with absolutely no effort on my part.
In my "summer" tubs I planted a few dahlias, all of which failed to do anything at all, except this one, which has just decided to flower, in October! If we get below zero temperatures this weekend, this flower will be coming indoors in a vase.
All in all, my pots outside the door are doing well. The Rudbeckia are going strong, the lobelia is still flowering, after 3 months and the Tom Thumb nasturtium I planted at the bottom of the rambling rose to cover the bare base and shade its roots from the burning sun (?!) has scrambled up the plant beautifully. Even my sweet peas have been flowering in recent weeks, only 2-3 months late!
Vegetable have not had a good year, I picked the best of the beetroot, which was not very good, most of them are smaller than golf balls. But the carrots are excellent and the parsnips are looking good too. Another good picking of autumn raspberries was also had this week.
My solitary Spartan apple - both this and the Blenheim Orange flowered well but were decimated by the weather, each producing a single fruit only. There's always next year.
With the fine days few and far between and usually coinciding with a day I have to work, it has been difficult getting out to the plot. Working on waterlogged soil is never a good idea either. But I have made a start, these two beds have been dug out and re-bordered. After three years of rain on a sloping plot, the soil in these beds had moved down, as you can just see by the height of the pile on the right compared to further up. In fact, the soil had actually moved one foot out of the far bed and taken over some of the path. So the wooden edges are an attempt to keep it where it should be. Lots more work to do, let's hope for some good weather to do it in...