Friday, October 31, 2008


Happy Halloween. The Celtic festival of Samhain, all the boundarys blur between the land of the living and the dead.
The origins are blurred between pagan and christian,and the meaning between countrys of the world.
The Jack O Lanterns look spectacular with the tea lights illuminating them on this All Hallows Eve..
Trick or Treaters will come around, and the carved pumpkins will light up the windowsill..
Light on the darkest night of the year.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


A photo from Hil's house from the other night.A Hedgehog snuffling amongst the garden plants and mushrooms.
I hope one day to attract them to my garden using bowls of milk and plates of dog food.Mrs Tiggywinkle has probably gone to find some comfy dry leaves to fall asleep under, to dream through the winter of the warmth of spring.
It has been cold, and wet, and the temperature has been in single figures.Its felt freezing although it has not been below zero for many nights.
Hedgehogs are such amiable garden spirits, and they eat slugs and snails for gardeners.
Its Halloween tomorrow..

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

First Frosts

A quick post on the go.It has been freezing over the past few days.I have been spending time away from the house and garden.
The first frosts of the year have blackened the plants in the garden.A few hardy plants are holding on in there.
This is the last Lady Emma Hamilton Rose of the year.All the remaining buds have died or wilted in the cold October air.
Its nearly Halloween..

Monday, October 27, 2008

Autumn Night And Day

A gorgeous Phalaenopsis Orchid from Hils last night. I showed Tom (Cats son) how to make a Jack O Lantern.
We made two lanterns for Halloween, in between eating a roast beef dinner.
I went to the allotment today for a while.I pulled the Runner Bean frame down, turned the soil, and pulled up a few vegetables for dinner later..
Baby Parnips, two Leeks, Radishes, Cabbages, and some Chantonay Carrots from the garden.
The Strawberry bed needs to be dug and the wood I claimed today to make some edges for it.
The sun was shining, but it was quite chilly.All the trees are showing autumnal hues, with fiery colours of red, orange, and yellow. A perfect Autumns day on my week off from work.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Roses And Time

The Lady Emma Hamilton with its last flowering Rose. The wind and rain has decimated the other Roses before they could be photographed.
Last night at 2am the clocks went back an hour, another sign of the changing seasons. The end of British Summer time.
The time for the post will be in Greenwich Mean Time. It will stay like that untill March of next year.
The only difficulty is reminding yourself to reset every clock in the house. Time is everywhere. I have a silver mantel clock, a kitchen wall clock, the microwave has a clock, the mobile phone, and finally the Computer. The PC reset itself with no assistance from me.
The sun is shining today and I got up before midday with the light streaming through the curtains. The LEH is still a thing of beauty and this is maybe the twentieth bloom on the plant. I hope it can sleep over the winter and rebloom anew with fresh vigour next year.
Today I hope to make some Jack O Lanterns at Hils for Halloween, only five days away.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lilac Spirits

I waited two days to take the photo of the gorgeous pale lilac flowers of the Cape Primrose. It has flowered from a rosette of hairy leaves, almost like African Violets.
Hils originally gave me this plant, and this year I split the plant into two. Both rosettes are growing well in pots, and sitting in the front room.
The flowers have an ethereal beauty like lilac ghosts or spirits. I guess its nearly Halloween.
The insides of these spirits remind me of Cadburys cream eggs (chocolate eggs with sweet white and yellow cream inside when you bite into them).
I read today that a sunny September, and slight frost in October has made our native trees change colour at the same time as the exotics like the Japanese Maples.
Their is beauty all over the Uk wherever trees are growing. A daily changing canvas of natural beauty, for us all to behold and enjoy.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Spring Plans

Today is my first day off of ten days.The garden and allotment can be tidied up and made ready for spring.My camera batterys have totally flattened again.They are rechargeable but I think my camera and photography habits drains them quicker than most people.
I will plant my spring bulbs over the next ten days once I have cleared the dying back plants. The garden is looking barer by the day.
Tulips, Daffodils, and Hyacinths are all ready to be planted.Ones from this year that have been stored, and new ones I bought from the flower shows.
Still yet to flower are the Chrysanthenums that Hils bought me.They have spectacular crimson and white patterned flowers.Their are masses of buds so hopefully I wil have new camera batterys for when they burst into autumn flower.
The Hellebore Nigras are hidden under other plants but hopefully they will flower again.Christmas Roses.
The Viburnum Tinus looks nearly the same as when I moved in with masses of small fragrant white flowers, pink flower buds, and the blue berrys all on the same plant.It has grown huge again and needs trimming back.
The flower is the St Johns Wort which looks like a golden star, with fireworks exploding outwards from the centre of the flower.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Angelic Orchid

A quick post today.I have been working a lot of shifts so my gardening has been limited.The dark closes in early now and the sun comes up later.
I seem to be sleeping a lot too!I am planning on Sunday to carve out some Pumpkins to make Jack o lanterns for hallowen.
My favourite day in October, when the spirits are out, and that celtic myth says was the day when the earthly and spirit world were closest together.
Photographed is an angelic Orchid from the Autumn flower show.I love Orchids but cannot get mine to flower.I have had two succumb (Jewel Orchid, and the Chinese ground Orchid), and my Phalaenopsis just grows new leaves but no flower spike...
I have two Amaryllis growing in the front window so hopefully they may flower for me.
One more day of work for me before a lovely ten days off to relax, and get some gardening done!

Monday, October 20, 2008


The Rose yesterday blown side ways by the wind and rain. It has been a spectacular plant the David Austin Rose.
Even on gloomy days the Apricot Roses seemed to glow against the green of the garden.
The weather has given me the oppurtunity of seeing the Rose from a different angle..

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Firethorn Pomes

Growing in the garden today by the back fence is these red berries of the Pyracanthus.
They started off as small fragrant white flowers, and as they developed I moved the plant to the fence to grow up it and along it.
I have read the red berries are actually called Pomes (like the french for apple), and that Quince, Medlar, Apple, and Plum trees are members of the same family.
I guess the berrys do look apple-ish.I want to see if the birds will eat them.I read that the Pyracanthus is a good wildlife attracting plant.
The flowers for Bees, the thorns for nesting birds, and the berries for wildlife.
I think that there must be plenty of natural food because the garden birds have not been as much to the feeders.As winter draws in im sure they willl return to the garden.
I saw a solitary Great Tit feeding at Hils nut house earlier, and I heard the Robin chastising someone.
I do like the colour of the Firethorn berrys, on a dull grey day.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Light On The Wings

Its finally a day off for me after the noise and chaos of work at the hospital. My camera batterys have gone flat so they are recharging now.
The photo is of one of the few Butterfly photos I took in the garden. This Butterfly had beautiful burnt orange wings with black, white, and yellow colours.
It alighted on the Teasel for a few seconds. The colour patterns are like holograms and change according to the light on the wings.
The Butterflys have gone now, and the Teasels have gone all brown and dried. I think I will use the Teasels as dried flowers in the house.They are so tactile the seed heads, and you can make them vibrate like a comb. I have not seen any Goldfinches feeding on them yet.
I replenished the bird seed on the bird table, and in the black tray on the paving slabs. I saw a few birds flying around the garden. The flowers are nearly finished, and a lot of leaves are getting discoloured before they will fall to the floor.
My weekend will be spent tidying the garden up and weeding the allotment beds that have plants growing in them. I wander if the Broadbeans have germinated yet.
More photos soon once the batterys have been recharged.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lilac Splashes

These Geraniums have had a second flush of growth along with the Roses. They have flower buds like Poppies that burst open into these fruity lilac coloured flowers.
These were visited by the Bees lots during the summer.The little splashes of purple are nice colour in a garden that is returning to its green state.
These were originally in the garden, remnants from planting years ago.
The ghostly gardener (who built the raised beds and planted the Viburnum Tinus years ago) would approve.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The Lady Emma Hamilton Rose continues to flower in the garden. Not wanting to be outdone by any of the other flowers it grew a four foot stem with ten Rose buds on it.
The scent is lovely and strong, and the Apricot coloured Rose glows in the grey days of October.
The garden is slowly slowing down, ready for its winter slumber.
I want more Roses for next years garden, these photos will inspire me over the winter.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Natures Art

More Autumn leaves that I photographed the other day. I have finished my nights, but am back on days tomorrow.
The changing colours of the trees are always beautiful. Natural art.
will do some longer posts on Wedneday on my day off.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ying Yang

I took my camera to work last night so I could photograph some autumn leaves on the way back home.
The Horse Chestnut tree is ablaze with colour, and contrasts to the green leaves along side it.
I think of Ying and Yang as I look at the photo now. Its a mild, sleepy Sunday today.
Its amazing how trees changing colour can make you go wow look at the colours!They have done it for thousands of years, but it can still dazzle the human eye.
On a sunny day these leaves sparkled, and danced in the breeze, showing off their leaves jewel like colours.
They still radiate today even on a grey day...

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Flowering on my coffee table today is this electric blue coloured African Violet.I have two plants that were bought in flower this year.
The second one has frilly double pink flowers but is not reblooming again yet.
This blue flowered one has reflowered for me.I managed before to get an African Violet to flower for ten months continuously.
The leaves are soft and velvet like, with soft downy hairs on them.
I am on night shifts so the posts will be short untill im back in daylight hours.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Autumn Jobs At The Plot

Todays post is from the allotment yesterday. The sun was shining, and I took Cat up to bring the baby Cabbage Excel that I have been growing in the garden. The Excels are all year round and can be grown for the Summer, or over the winter too. I did not know what to have growing overwinter. I thought if all the soil was left bare it would be weed heaven by the spring.
We cleared the borage roots and dead French Beans from one bed, then turned the soil over. It was lovely like Chocolate Brownie mix. The years growing, regular turning, and adding manure have stopped the clay soil from sticking together.
Mr Saddiqs neglected soil has capped off, that is the clay particles have stuck together so the soil has no drainage. The water just sits above the capped layer making the soil very sticky and it drowns plant roots.
I plan to use my excess garden compost to add to the vegetable beds up at the allotment.
Cat planted five rows of Broadbeans Aquadulce, that I bought from Wilkos. At the flower shows these Broadbean seeds had been totally sold out. It can be grown over winter and harvested in June.
The top photo shows a Strawberry in October, the second flush of fruit on Mr Saddiqs neglected bed.
The bottom photo shows me turning the soil over where the potatoes grew. The Broad beans are here now.
The Runner Bean canes have started to fall apart, as the combination of wind and rain broke the twine that made them a great A frame.
The roots will be left in, and dug into the soil to release the nitrogen that the roots fix into the soil.
My Brussel Sprouts are now forming in the middle left hand corner. Above them the late planted Parsnips are growing. The courgettes are now in the compost pile chucked on the black plastic.It will hopefully suppress weeds as the two compost bins are totally full.This can be broken down by natural processes then added to the beds.
I harvested the most giant sized Carrots and Radish yesterday. I suspect they were left in the ground a little too long. This year has been so educational in the horticultural skill of growing fresh Vegetables.
my Autumn projects is to build a raised Strawberry bed to plant with the seven by the Courgette bed, and another eight from Runners off the Garden Strawberrys. I need to get some wood to line the edge of the bed to keep the Strawberrys well drained and growing over the winter. Hopefully they will crop prolifically next year.
I have to dig a shed base too, ready for some heavy slabs and sand so I can actually store my tools that are up at the allotment hidden away.
I enjoyed planting the winter Cabbage plants and getting my fingers into the soil. It was pure therapy for me after my bitter sweet post yesterday.
Im back on nights for four night shifts, then back on days staight afterwards.It will be a week before I can get back upto the plot.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Great Expectations

Its cold outside today. That is the first time I have felt it as I walked around the garden. The garden reminds me of a house where a long party has gone on for months. Streamers adorn the curtains, food lies crushed on the floor underfoot. Bottles and glasses lay strewn around the house....
The flowers are fading like this baby Echinacea, with the dying leaves of other plants behind it. Everything has finished flowering or is horizontal after strong winds and rain. Leaves are changing colour on the other plants, and showing signs of aging, the end of the growing season.
A Robin is singing in the privet hedge, but unseen by me. The sun is shining and the sky is blue, but it is still cold.
Autumn is heralding changes in the trees, the weather, and the garden. Time soon to plan for spring. I have all my Tulips, Daffodils, and other spring bulbs to plant..
The Purple Cone Flower stands out in my Autumn garden, along with the Dahlias that are still flowering.
The Chrysanthenums might flower yet. Like the three wise men they sit in pots by the back door, and have flower buds on them. Can they flower before the frost gets them?
After the myriad colours and scents of a first summer in this garden I must start planning for next year, and i have great expectations (with all my flower seed catalogues to peruse).

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Autumn Fire

A little bit of Autumn colour today from the garden.It is the red leaves of the Photinia Red Robin.
The real Robin was sat on the fence post today plumping up his breast in a stand off with a House Sparrow.
The rain drops make it look like clear mercury, trickling across the leafs surface.
It rained heavily this afternoon.I keep looking outside and making mental checklists off jobs that need doing.
I want to make a Calender from selected photos of the past ten months.I think I will do a prize draw on here for lucky readers to win a little piece of Snappys gardens blog.
I will start my selection process of getting photos from each month of the year.Stay tuned :)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Flower From Summer Past

I have saved this beautiful Dahlia photo for a cold Autumn day. When things are slowing down in the garden, and the nights are drawing in closer its good to look at some brightly coloured flowers to cheer us up.
I have found a love for Dahlias this year in the wanderful range of colours and shapes.
Even as Autumn wows us with the trees changing colours there is a sense of sadness at the summer passing away.
The days seem greyer, wetter, and windier. Maybe the lessening hours of daylight make the body and mind wish for summer.
The colours of the flowers we have photographed can fill our hearts with happy memories of the colours of summer just past.
I took the photo at the Autumn flower show in the Flower competition tent...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pats Rose

A quick Sunday night post. I have been away from the garden and the computer for a few days.The Beautiful pink Rose was from Pats garden on Saturday.
The weather was cold, and it was windy.We were in Wakefield town centre earlier for a civil partnership ceremony, before going back to Pat and Celias...
The Rose is a symbol of love, and these are beautiful fragrant pink ones flushed with white and yellow.
I went to Silkstone Golf Club in the evening for a dinner which was yummy.
Its a new week tomorrow for blogging, gardening, and doing the allotment.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


My motif flower is the gorgeous Astrantia Major that adorn the top of the blog.These four flowers are the second blooms from my planted perennial root.
It means I hope they should come back more vigerous next year. The rain has down beaten the flowers but i lifted them up to photograph them today.
A strange weather day, alternating between sunshine and torrential rain. Sometimes only five minutes apart!
I'm waiting for the trees on the way to work to change their leaf colour. The Horse Chestnut trees have started to turn slightly yellow and brown, they are the trend setters!
Autumn is called Fall in the USA. They seem to have magnificent tree's throughout the states that blaze with glory in the autumn.
I know New England is famed for its Fall colours, but other states have gems as well. Anywhere that has masses of trees in a natural environment. Msn did a thing with 19 places to see spectacular fall colour.
Whats your favourite Autumn/Fall place to visit for trees changing colour with their leafs fireworks?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Red Devil

The Rose Red Devil in flower from a few days ago. All the Roses have repeat flowered again, even Fred Loads who was squashed under a collapsed African grow bag.
The rain is pouring down outside, and its windy. A usual British weather combination is wet and windy.
The centre of the Rose glows surrounded by the red petals.It has a slight fragrance to it.
Hopefully next years Roses will be even more spectacular.