Life in the Highlands

Hello and thank you for looking at my Blog...i hope you enjoy my site. I'm pretty new to this but hope to keep it all updated with the progress of my garden. I've really enjoyed being able to start everything from scratch and the hard work has been worthwhile. I hope you enjoy seeing my progress too! Feel free to leave comments it's always nice to get feedback.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Winters on it's Way

Garden is really slowing down now and autumn has taken a hold. We've had quite a few nights of frost shown up clearly by some of the shrubs which have taken on that reddish tinge after being frosted. The leaves are starting to drop and the rest of them are a turning as the nights are really dark. Daylight is fading fast by 5.30 and virtually dark not long after. Found this interesting site which gives the Sunrise and Sunset Times in UK ...being a little bit further North we lose a bit more daylight than our English cousins.

I'm still picking rasps and blackberries. The rasp canes are now starting to change colour so i reckon by the end of the month they will need cutting back. The blackberries are doing fine and still producing well. I noticed today that my gooseberries and currants have dropped their leaves so will need to give them a prune.

Apples are starting to ripen now and starting to get more and a few wind falls but lovely apples and nice to be able to pick and eat off the tree.

Picked a few brussel sprouts today as they looked like they needed to be picked. I planted Maximus F1 variety but they seem ok. It was a fight to get them off the stem as they are all packed so tightly and don't yield very well. Just picked a few and have a few little holes in them from the beasties but on the whole not bad.
They've not had the hard frost as yet but just been lightly frosted. They are still tasty but just not as sweet until they've had their first hard frosts on them.

The Broccoli is still cropping so i'm picking this as and when i need it....had some earlier in the week and it was delicious. Another F1 variety Marathon. Unfortunately the caterpillers got the original heads so i took a chance and cut them off and they have produced more of the smaller heads which are really nice.
The cabbages that I cut down due to the caterpiller problem are now producing smaller heads so looking forward to harvesting my first one probably in a couple of weeks time.

In the Ornamental garden there's still colour in some of the plants. My Japanese Flowering Quince is quite confused and started to produce more flowers probably due to the mildish weather for the time of year. So at the moment it's got fruit and flowers on it. My poppies are in flower still and seeding well. Meant to collect the seed but haven't bothered so i'm sure i'll have lots of little plants come the spring.

The lawn is growing significantly slower and I managed to get my autumn feed and weed on the grass and that's made a big difference the grass is really green. It will require another cut but it's been so wet this last week it will have to wait until a day or two without rain and then i'll just top it ready for winter. Hopefully it won't need much more after this. The worms are really active just now in the lawn and there's a few worm casts. People get really upset by these but i don't, i'm really pleased to have a good worm population and see this as a benefit. Casts are easily swept off before mowing and don't really do any harm and aerate the soil for the little roots.

I managed to finish off another border and got this planted up and it's looking quite good. I also managed to find a few plants that had self seeded in the front garden. I found various types of Lavender, Aquilegia Vulgaris and the biggest surprise of all was Crocosmia. Not sure if it's Emily Mackenzie or Lucifer as i have two types but i've a little crop of small bulblets and managed to thin them out and replant the surplus.

I was also delighted to see that several 'cuttings' had taken. These were just bits i had stuck in the ground whilst pruning. So far i've found a honeysuckle, buddliea, redcurrant and my biggest surprise Rose Gertrude Jekyll, although don't think this will come true but it'll be interesting to see what does come of it.

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