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Early October garden blog


This is as much for my reference as anything else!

I looked back at my garden blog for last October and do feel that there is more in bloom this year.

It has been a worrying week for my OH as he was diagnosed with Shingles last Friday which has left him with considerable pain to his scalp, face and left eye. We are both so pleased that his eyesight has not been compromised and were told that it could have been, if left any longer!

However, a course of anti-viral tablets, together with eye drops and cream are reducing the painful symptoms.

Anyway, back to the gardening!

A couple of weeks ago while I was tying up the Fuchsia ‘Lady Boothby’ to an obelisk, lest she should fall over in the strong wind, I heard a grunting/snuffling sound coming from near the back garden fence. At first I thought it was a dog, in the garden behind ours as has been heard before but this was a weird sound. I carefully pulled a Hebe towards me, then saw a big pile of dry leaves between it and the fence just behind the stems of a large Sedum. Not a great photo but you’ll get the gist of it.

Aha, it must be a Hedgehog, and to more or less confirm that thought, there were Hedgehog droppings on the path a few days later. Well, it can definitely stay in the garden, lovely creatures!

There are a lot of birds coming in daily for the Sunflower hearts, and we are now seeing Pigeons and a Blackbird pecking away at the grapes and the yellow berries on the Pyracanthas.

It’s sad to see the Sunflowers are fading away, but their seeds may well provide a source of food for the birds too.

Cotoneaster berries always seem to be the last to go, perhaps they are an acquired taste for some birds!

It’s just occurred to me that our garden is quite a good eatery for the wildlife, especially as these Crab apples will provide the Blackbirds with food in the Winter months.

The colours in the borders are a mix at this time of year but the yellows shine out on a dull day. These Begonias have been flowering for months now and show no sign of stopping any time soon.

A tall yellow Dahlia has decided to bloom again.

As has this Rose …

The Penstemons had a little rest but have come back with more flowering stems than before.

Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ is bursting with colour and the Zebra grass has the tassels showing now.

Tiny Cyclamens are showing in amongst the Forget-me-not foliage, the Sedums are at their best now and the pink Nerines have opened up for another year.

As gardeners know, we always plan ahead, hence these pots filled with dwarf Narcissus and Iris bulbs.

Not forgetting the cuttings of Choisya, Erysimum, Geum and Penstemon in the greenhouse.

We are forecast to have wet weather for some days from Thursday next week, so the lawn will need to be mown and edged before then. It’s a never-ending story really, but I think we all love our gardens to think of it as a chore.

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Fantastic re the hedgehog. Most of our pyracantha berries are gone same as the cotoneaster. Its our Rowan that is the last to go.

I also have lots of pots planted up ready. Lovely blog and photos.

8 Oct, 2022


Ditto that last comment. Hedgehogs do make loud noises for such small animals. You are lucky to have them. I have never had one in this garden. I love all the berries you have in your garden, the yellow berried Pyracantha especially. We seem to be in a bit of an Indian summer & the plants are blooming on & on. It makes up for being scorched & shrivelled up in August. I wonder how long they will get away with it. This morning the grass was a bit white but I wasn’t sure whether it was dew or frost, I didn’t go to find out at 5am. The birds wait until the berries are just right for eating. Perhaps your Cotoneaster ripens a bit later
where it is situated. Sorry to hear of your hubbies health problem, Shingles is a nasty thing. Glad he is on the road to recovery, best wishes to him.

8 Oct, 2022


So sorry to hear about Michael’s shingles Shirley … very nasty and painful. I hope the treatment soon helps.

You have plenty of lovely colour for the time of year 🙂.

8 Oct, 2022


Love the colour in your garden. Just spent afternoon putting garden to bed but still lots of colour left in the garden.
Hope your husband has a speedy recovery- I’ve had shingles myself and it’s very painful. My hedgehog has made an appearance after a worrying absence so hopefully he’ll hibernate in hedgehog house I put in garden for him/her.

8 Oct, 2022


Looks like your spot is a haven for wildlife, Shirley.'Our' hedgehogs get the leftover catfood at night, so nothing is wasted! Your borders are still very colourful, the berried plants make such a difference at this time of year. I find the birds here aren't very interested in the yellow-berried pyracantha.
Hope your OH is beginning to feel better.

9 Oct, 2022


Thanks Eileen, the yellow berries were always the last to go, the birds preferred the red, then orange, but I only have yellow left so they have no choice!

Josie, many years ago I gardened for an elderly lady where there was a Hedgehog hibernating in her greenhouse. It had built a nest within a cardboard box. Clever little thing! Yesterday the grass had a really heavy dew, in fact, it was still wet at 3pm in places.

Sheila, Michael rates himself 6/10 today so that's an improvement from last week, hooray!

Ams, I have decided this year to not gather up the fallen leaves for leaf mould as it was too much effort last year, for too little gain really! Also, the Penstemons will be left until the Spring to be cut back. I hope your Hedgehog does hibernate in the house you have put out for it.

Ange, 'leftover cat food'? Our cat always used to lick the bowl clean! Yesterday, late afternoon, we saw a Blackbird, a Bluetit and a Pigeon fly in for the Grapes so it won't be long until the vine is stripped. Michael thanks you for your good wishes ... :o)

9 Oct, 2022


Good to hear that your OH is making a good recovery!

The Firethorns around here have tons of berries on them, they are all colours red, orange, yellow. But many of them keep their berries into the spring! Perhaps the birds around here are not interested in them!

We have seen hedgehogs around here quite often but they never come onto the balcony, that I'm aware of at least! A few years ago our youngest grandson, then about 3 or 4, tried to pick one up from the grassy patch alongside the balcony. His mother came screaming along telling him not to touch it! 😂

9 Oct, 2022


I love your Autumn Garden,Shirley.I think we all seem to have lots of colour,this year especially..So far,all my Pyracantha's are still intact,but so many berries this year,like yours. The Yellow one is always the last to be stripped here too...
How lovely to find your little Hedgehog Hotel in your garden,I am so envious ! a good reason not to tidy up,isn't it? .
So sorry to read about Michael (thank you for your Email ),and pleased he is starting to feel a bit better now.Such a painful thing to have,as I well remember,so I can imagine what he is going through,although mine was around my waist :o(
Luckily Kaftans were in then,,so my sister in law was up to date in the fashion dept,so lent me a couple.Bliss ! Lol.

You are very well organised with cuttings etc,but I have made a start ,potting up some Pelagoniums today, as I need the trough for something idea what yet,but at least it's ready :o) xx

9 Oct, 2022


Thanks David, OH and I ventured out for an hour this morning. First time he's left the house in a week!

It was a good job your grandson didn't pick the Hedgehog up ...

10 Oct, 2022


Sandra, I'm almost tempted to gently move the leaves and see if it a Hedgehog, but that would be foolish!

Kaftans eh? That must have been a long time ago when you had Shingles then ... :o)) x

10 Oct, 2022


Yes, very tempting,but I know you will just let nature do it's thing.. :o)
Yes,Alison was only two ,so 41 years ago,when I faced the world in borrowed Kaftans ! Lol They didn't touch the skin at all,so ideal in a painful situation..I can assure you,I was more than grateful ! :o) x

10 Oct, 2022


Sorry to hear about your OH troubles Shirley_tulip. I wish him quick recovery.
Your October garden still have lots of appeal.

I also leave my few grapes for birds. They love the grapes but unfortunately not very many care about the little red crab apples.

I am ashamed to say I have not started to think about the spring bulbs yet. Your blog reminded me that I should.

Lovely blog.

10 Oct, 2022


Sympathy to all shingles sufferers everywhere, especially your OH! Hang on in there. Hope all is soon well again and that it doesn't linger.
Agree you are lucky to have a hedgehog! We used to have a badger visiting and all I found was an empty hedgehog skin and no sign since. I hope yours is nice and comfy in his/her winter quarters.
Re fallen leaves ours all seem to end up on the paths so do need moving now and then. But I've never moved any off the beds - makes them self mulching... Idleness is no good unless well carried out.
Apart from the shingles this was a lovely cheering blog - loved the little cyclamen especially, as mine have gone to the great cyclamen bed in the sky...they didn't survive me removing the damson tree that got canker some years ago.

10 Oct, 2022


Lovely blog and photo's Shirley, our autumn flowers are all doing well for us and we do deserve them after losing so much of the summer planting, the birds don't seem to be eating, the berries on my pyracantha's and yet they are both smothered,both are the bright orange ones, possibly they will over the winter..I have lots of bulbs to plant some in pots and others in the garden but too many flowers still in bloom so I've been putting off doing them. I had to block the hedgehog run to try and stop them coming in, although I know they come via the garden sheds, it was to try and protect them from Pepper my late sisters dog, she got three the first year she was here, sadly I was not able to save one of them, I'd rather not see them than let her get them....Sorry to read about your husband, shingles is horrible and in the eyes is very dangerous and the worst pain I've ever suffered, I hope the treatment works quickly Shirley, I know from experience how bad he must be feeling...

11 Oct, 2022


Klahanie, thanks for your good wishes to Michael. I'm pleased to say he went out yesterday for a little while, the first time in over a week. Plenty of time yet for the Spring bulbs.

11 Oct, 2022


Stera, the only leaves to be picked up will be the ones on the grass! Those little Cyclamens came from Brian (Bjs) some years ago.

11 Oct, 2022


Sue, that's a real shame about Pepper and her liking for Hedgehogs! I can't believe how many folk have had Shingles, had no idea it was a fairly common illness. Pleased to say Michael's left eye is now fully open, the 10 day course of anti-viral tablets finished yesterday so just the eye clinic on Friday to see how effective the drops and cream have been.

11 Oct, 2022


Hope he gets a good report about his eyes on Friday, Shirley.

Like you I didn't know it was such a widespread illness! A guy work worked in the same dept as my wife at a big supermarket had been the only person I knew of who'd had shingles - apart from an aunt of my wife's in Madrid, Spain.

11 Oct, 2022


Thanks David ... :o)

11 Oct, 2022


Lovely read, lovely pics, Shirley. It’s always really great to have resident hedgehogs isn’t it! They are such a gift.
Your garden is still so alive. Lots of interest and colour too.
I’m pleased to hear your husband is recovering from shingles, it can be such a scary illness - especially when your eyesight can be affected badly. Sending best wishes x

Ps. Sending a PM.

12 Oct, 2022


Thanks Kate ... rain is forecast from 10pm tonight right through to 7pm tomorrow so that should keep the flowers happy!

Off to read your PM now . . .

12 Oct, 2022


Late catching up Shirley as I haven't had my chrome book for quite a while.
You have a lot of colour still and I agree the plants are lasting longer this October and still we are getting mild weather!
In fact yesterday you could have got a sun tan, it was so hot in Cleethorpes!
I planted my Lady Boothby in my raised bed and was hoping it would climb up the trellis, but it has been very slow and wonder now if I should have put it in the garden!
Plus all the rudbeckias and dahlias are hiding it!
I do hope your husband is much better now! xx

14 Oct, 2022


Rose, that's a shame re. Lady Boothby. Mine is planted in a border, with the fence behind it, and faces South. Could you move yours to a similar location?

15 Oct, 2022


I had a look round the garden Shirley and think I could put it in the garden next to one of the arches.
The only problem with this is that I have the Clematis Tangutica on the other side!
The borders have the pyracantha and holly hedge behind it.
Other than that it could go up an obelisk, but if it gets to the top, it will have nowhere to go!

16 Oct, 2022


Rose, the climbing Fuchsia 'Lady Boothby' doesn't actually climb it just makes very long rather fragile branches that need to be tied into some kind of support. It doesn't grow more than about 2m/6ft high. Though like many other plants I suppose that depends on the soil conditions as much as anything else! In a position with lots of good soil & adequate water it will grow higher than that whereas it poorer soil without adequate water it will struggle to get above 3 or 4 feet!

As my Fuchsia 'Lady Boothby' had it main & only stem broken this summer I have now lost it! 😢 None of the cuttings - even after rooting & potting up - survived the summer in our kitchen! 😢

16 Oct, 2022


Shirley, I do remember my Lady Boothby in Willow Cottage went right up a tall arch, but now you have told me that, if I am going to see if I can get an obelisk in my flower border.
I am sorry you lost yours and as there isn't much growth on mine, I wonder if it is too late to do a cutting for you!
I haven't done fuschia cuttings before, but I will have a go if there is a good side shoot to take one off it.
I could keep them in the conservatory!
What do you think?

17 Oct, 2022


I used to get my Fuchsia cuttings to root with all the ease in the world but somewhere along the line I seem to have lost that ability as most of the cuttings I now take die & it's not very often I get them to root any more. 😢

I did find that 'Lady Boothby' rooted quite easily & in fact a number of them rooted for me this summer in a small jar of water. When I potted them up they never really took off & all had died a few weeks later. 😢

I still have 1 or 2 cutting on 'Beacon' "surviving" ("surviving" may be a bit much as "clinging onto life" might be nearer the mark!) still in the kitchen.

At the same time I have a couple of 'Beacon' growing from cuttings I took last year that have grown very well indeed this summer!

18 Oct, 2022


Sorry Balcony, I thought the last message was from Shirley!
I have read about the Lady Boothby and it is supposed to be very hardy and in the right conditions could grow up to 10 feet!
The soil at Willow Cottage was light and sandy and it did really well there, but unfortunately I must have left it there when we moved.
I think the reason mine didn't grow well here as it was in the raised bed and was hoping it would get on to the trellis, but the dahlias and rudbeckias took over and hid it!
So, I will have to put it somewhere else, just don't know where at the moment!

19 Oct, 2022


Hope you find the right spot, Rose! It's a Fuchsia I very much like & I was very angry at myself for breaking it - though a little mollified when I thought of all the plants I could get from the numerous cutting I was able to take! Unfortunately that wasn't to be as they all died after a few weeks of being potted up! 😪😪 So I no longer have a plant of 'Lady Boothby' on the balcony any longer! 😪

I shall have to see if I can but a plant somewhere next spring.

19 Oct, 2022


Rose, these comments all got a bit confusing, didn't they? Good reading about Balcony's Fuchsias though!

I shall post a photo of mine for you in a minute ... just to show that it has now reached the top of the six foot high fencing! PM on the way to you ... :o)

21 Oct, 2022


Sorry about your fuschia Balcony!
Thanks Shirley, it looks quite impressive!

23 Oct, 2022


Thanks Rose, it has had so much heavy rain today that I wonder if it's still upright!

23 Oct, 2022

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