One day of sun (a not-at-all wordless Wednesday)


Yesterday was lovely. It was mild, it was still and – shhhhh – the sun shone. To celebrate I took a quick turn round the garden, and I was surprised by how much is still in flower. Oh, there are the hangers on: the now-tatty cosmos still with a few white flowers, the dahlia still blooming away, the salvia ‘hot lips’ whose flowers are now almost entirely white. But some things have suddenly appeared which are a sign that we are in deep autumn, and heading towards winter.

The Viburnum is always the first, and sometimes it starts flowering really early, almost in late summer. Not this year, though; it’s getting into its stride now:


and the scent is lovely. It’s up at the top of the garden, near where logs are chopped, and its fragrance seems to merge with the sweet resinous smell of the cedar logs. (No clothes moths up there, then… OK, that’s partly the absence of clothes – hang on, no nude log chopping here, rather the absence of stored clothes. Oh, I’m just getting more complicated. Leave it… but cedar is a good moth-repellant.)

The yellow jasmine hedge is gearing up for the seasonal show too,


and though I used to regret that this had no scent, I’m now convinced that it’s just as well. If it did, it would be overwhelming.

All the mushrooms in the meadow have gone, and I have a lovely show of autumn crocuses in the meadow proper instead (they were along one edge earlier). I’m becoming used to the fact that they are clearly migratory, as there were none last year – or any year – where I now have a substantial clump:


They’ve been flowering for a couple of weeks now, quite happily. (I marked their position with a large stake as P would be quite capable of hitting them with the mower when he’s in the zone – he’s mowed crocuses before, and other things like, agh, spotted heath orchids. No further comment necessary.) And then yesterday I spotted another collection,

crocus 2

which I swear I’d not seen before, this year or any year. Mind you, they were making themselves rather obvious in the sun, glorying in the warmth and light. I felt much the same myself!

The bottom garden is in more shadow at this time of year, but I couldn’t miss the cherry. Poor old thing, it really is on its last legs – we took a substantial branch off it recently in case it fell off and smashed through the roof of the chapel house next door – but it soldiers on. I have certainly no intention whatsoever of doing anything about it until it is absolutely necessary, because every winter, generally around Christmas, it does this:


It’s stunning. Keep your fingers crossed that it lives on for a few more years!


15 Comments Add yours

  1. Pauline says:

    Your Crocus are so beautiful, they look stunning in the sunlight! Your old cherry is too, is it the variety that flowers on and off all winter, Prunus subhirtella autumnalis?

    1. kate says:

      Thanks for the clue about the cherry, and yes it does keep going, on and off – it stops, you think ‘that’s it’, and then it does it again. So I do think it’s an autumnalis, but it’s not as lavishly covered as the subhirtellas I’ve googled – plus it’s huge, but that’s just age. It’s taller than the two-storey cottage on the other side of the road from it, probably taller than my house too except the slope of the ground makes the comparison difficult. Generally the blossom is out of reach, but this year it’s much lower down as well. Crocuses are always in reach and have to be protected from the Dog, happily this not true of cherry blossom. Yet.

  2. pbmgarden says:

    The sun makes such a difference doesn’t it? Your blooms are cheerful. Crocus always seem so wonderful fall or spring.

    1. kate says:

      So welcome, indeed – really improves everything. Even the weeding (but it could be worse, I could be under feet and feet of snow)…

  3. croftgarden says:

    Lovely, I can almost smell the viburnum. I put my migrating crocuses down to my normal absent minded muddle over where I planted bulbs (we also have the disappearing label syndrome), but they obviously go walk-about or it could be more mischief perpetrated by the label thieves.

    1. kate says:

      Well, my crosses walk so I don’t see why yours should want to stay in one place. I must say I can’t remember having walking crocuses before, so maybe this is something confined to the Celtic Fringe (I can just hear my mother saying ‘Celtic bollocks’, but I think there may be something in it…)

      1. croftgarden says:

        Until I came to live here I’d have agreed with your mother. However, I’d not risk offending the wee folk who live here too and although I’m absent minded and often pre-occupied (multi-dimensional multi-tasking) I’m convinced my plants move around.

        1. kate says:

          Mine are definitely moving. I found a garden plan which noted the position of a clump. Just the one – about 2 metres away from where they are now. Maybe there’s an unexpected link with fungi?

        2. croftgarden says:

          This conversation is becoming wonderfully surreal and I need to get a grip or the women in white coats will be appearing!

        3. kate says:

          There’ve been here already. Will send them your way…

        4. croftgarden says:

          Yes why not, they might like a mince pie.

  4. Anna says:

    That clump of crocuses is rather glorious Kate. Your cherry does look very much like my autumn flowering cherry which is in full flow now (perhaps earlier than usual) and then usually goes on to have another burst in spring. It was the first tree we planted in the garden and I think that it has gone past its sell by date but it has a indefinite stay of execution 🙂

    1. kate says:

      Mine has a bit of a flurry in spring, but I wouldn’t call it a burst. Just a bit. I’ve been asking the neighbours about the tree to see if anyone can remember when it was put in, but nope – it’s always been there. Mr Tree Surgeon Man said he thought it might be about 60, which means it’s probably well over its date. (That’s why he took a huge branch off it a couple of years ago, just in case.) Our cherries should clearly join up in some sort of survivors’ club!

  5. wellywoman says:

    Scent is such a pleasure at any time of year but I think I appreciate it more in winter when is so little else to grab my attention. I think I admire plants that want to put on a scented show at this time of year when I’d be more than happy to hibernate. Fingers crossed for your cherry – it’s a stunner.

    1. kate says:

      The cherry has even more blossom on it now – I do hope this isn’t some sort of final flurry, but part of me thinks it’ll still be here long after me.
      You’re so right about scent – night is another time I really notice it, and the same could apply there. Think nicotiana on a warm summer night – one where you can’t see the plants, but where you can most emphatically smell them. sigh…

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