An October Garden

Schizostylis coccinea 2015 117

There seems to be a lot of pink in the garden at the moment. Not a colour you normally associate with autumn but welcome nonetheless. Grouped together are Schizostylis (easy to say when you’ve had too much grape juice), antirrhinums and geraniums.

Chrysanthemum Innocence 2015 119

This is Chrysanthemum ‘Innocence’. All I need now are nerines and colchicums.

Melianthus major 2015 131

My ‘honey bush’ (Melianthus Major) has once again come into flower, alas too late to be a nectar source for insects. A South African plant, it is natively pollinated by birds, who drink the sticky sweet nectar which is produced in such quantity that it overflows out of the flower head and runs down the stem. Although a hardy perennial, the leaves are knocked back by the winter weather so it has to be cut to the ground every year. Despite being a fast grower (5ft in one season) it never puts on enough growth to produce flowers earlier than October, but it makes a lovely foliage plant and is dead easy to grow from seed.

Park oct 2015 001


I spent a very pleasant day today planting wildflowers in the local park. The park has an old pitch-and-putt area that had been turned over to woodland and meadow, but it’s mainly long grass, with not much in the way of flowering plants. So, to increase plant diversity and encourage butterflies and bees, I managed to squeeze some funds out of the local council to purchase some native perennial plants and bluebells. I met up with a small group of friends and a couple of park rangers and spent the day clearing away patches of grass and planting 300 plug plants and 500 bluebell bulbs. The weather was perfect, clear blue sky and warm sunshine. We stopped for coffee and some rather lurid green and black Halloween fairy cakes.

Virginia creeper berries oct 2015 009

Swedish whitebeam berries oct 2015 020

Guelder rose berries oct 2015 003

Dog rose berries oct 2015 006

Blackthorn berries oct 2015 009

Berberis berries

Callicarpa bodinieri berries

Pidge and pyracantha berries oct 2015 023a

Later on I took a walk around the park collecting autumn leaves for a future project and took these photos of berries. The purple ones however are in my garden, as is the pyracantha with woodpigeon. The pigeon is one half of Bert n’ Ernie, two regular visitors to the garden who have been gorging themselves on the berries this month.

Hedhehog house

We have another hedgehog visiting our garden – this time a young one by the looks of it (the last hedgehog I reported in A July Garden disappeared all of a sudden after visiting the back door nightly for food). Hoping that it might hibernate in the garden I constructed this box out of old bits of wood from the garage. The tunnel entrance prevents Houdini the cat from next door squeezing its way in, and the clear plastic lid allows me to see inside without having to take the top off. I put a generous quantity of dried leaves inside and placed it behind a large shrub in the garden. Now it’s up to Medge #2 to find it and call it home.

hedhehog house in situ

Frames of reference

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