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Happy gardening!

Monday, 4 October 2010

A blaze of autumn colour in our Brittany garden...

It's at this time of year that you start to notice the gaps where colour and structure perhaps are needed to bring certain areas of the garden together - not so easy to see during the summer months when the garden is full to brimming with interest.  So if you're thinking of re-planting part of your garden or are starting from scratch I thought I'd share some of the pictures I took in our garden in Brittany today in between the showers - do bear in mind that most of the plants and shrubs that survive here will also do well in the south of England as well as a bit further north too - we had temperatures as low as -9 degrees last year and up to about 32 degrees during this last summer and as yet despite frosts in the UK as I understand, we've escaped this so far!

Rosa Compassion has been amazing this year and as you can see providing amazing blooms even into October - the other rose also doing well is Madame Alfred Carriere - also high on my list of recommendations of a repeat very scented semi climbing/rambler rose.  The other perennial that comes into their own at this time of year is the humble Aster - providing essential pollen for bees and butterflies alike and more than popular for many of the insect world too.






























This beautiful Honeysuckle - Lonicera japonica "Halliana" is a semi evergreen which despite the cold temperatures last year still held onto its leaves - it also has a fantastic perfume as well as being a prolific grower - the blackbirds and thrushes love this is a nesting site.
Our woodland is currently a carpet of leaves as you can see - mainly from the cherry trees - the Oaks tend to lose their leaves a lot later - with all the wind and rain this last week leaves seem to be falling rather quicker than normal!

I love this time of year with all the changing leaf colours - spring does seem a while away so I thought I'd take some of the plants that have endured one of the dryest summers we've had yet and are certainly benefitting from all the recent rain.
These two brightly coloured Sedums are great plants for providing colour and are a favorite amongst butterflies and bees again but also doing well in all the hot dry weather too - so plants to consider if you've got an area where the soil dries out more quickly than others - they also prefer a sunny spot!













This brightly coloured chap (or chapess!) I found on the Fennel - the rather stunning Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar.  As well as Fennel they also like Dill - we seem to have had quite a good number of these this year - more than usual and have also seen many more Swallow Tail's too - they are incredible butterflies flying to amazing heights compared to many others here.
I don't think any garden should be without a Crab Apple - this one is Malus "Everest" and provides a wonderful show of blossom in late spring and then these beautiful rosy crab apples in Autumn which last well into the winter - good for Jellies or just leave them for the birds and when it's really cold provides them with some essential feeding - the Song Thrush, Blackbird and Black Caps were amongst those birds feasting on these last winter.  It's not a large tree so suitable for the smaller garden too.
These rather colourful Geraniums / Pelargoniums are in our greenhouse - the bees seem more than happy to go the extra mile to visit these blooms - particualrly the scented leaved Pelargonium.  As frosts become more imminent do bring in any favorites that you have outside in pots - you might even think of taken a few cuttings too.




There are just so many plants in flower at this time of year giving plenty of choice if you're looking for new additions to your own garden for next year.. here are a few more of my favorites.














Last but not least the lovely Walnut - it's going to be another good year for these and we've got a good carpet of already fallen nuts on the ground - do hope the weather dries out a bit to enable us to get these in before they're all gobbled up by the birds, mice and foxes!
Do hope you have a good week and that the weather is being a bit kinder to you than it currently is here... Miranda

24 comments:

Edith Hope said...

Dear Miranda, I do love Walnuts - especially pickled!

The Lonicera 'Halliana' is indeed glorious with a most beautiful scent. I have grown this in the past and may now seek it out again.

Your garden is full of interest for this time of year.

Ginny said...

I do love the fragrance of honeysuckle - but can't grow it in our climate because it is so invasive. I enjoyed seeing your fall blooms - it's my favorite season!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Miranda, I love your photographs! They are very clear and bright, it's just a pleasure to look at them. I have some of these plants too. I will try to overwinter several favorite geraniums in the garage. Have very good October!

shirl said...

Hi again Miranda :-D Thanks for the tour and recommendations. Your garden must be looking wonderful at the moment :-D

I’ve Madame Carrier too. I don’t really do roses but it does have a wonderful blooms. It isn’t flowering so well for me unfortunately. Lol… I only planted it for possible greenflies for Blue tits to feed chicks… serves me right ;-)

Ah… the Asters. I’ve seen them being recommended in a few blogs recently. I only have the small ground covering Spring ones but thinking of looking for others for next year :-D

Ah Miranda, I’m enjoying my sedums now too. Wow… what wonderful shots of the caterpillar. I’ve never seen these. What wonderful colour and interest you have now.

Wishing you a better back ASAP. Best wishes x

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Edith - thankyou - shame you're not nearer or I could give you a piece of the honeysuckle as it roots all over the place and easy to get new plants from! The garden has lots going on although I'm not convinced that the overall look is that great!! Enjoy your week Miranda x

Cheryl said...

HI Miranda, I have never known a year like this one. A cold winter and spring, then a dry summer has left the garden struggling at times. Saying that, I am amazed at just what has survived and done very well.

I have had a good hazel nut, plum, blackberry and crab apple harvest. Sadly the blenheim orange apple tree did not fruit again this year. I certainly miss the fruits from her.

We have torrential rain at the moment and there is no sign of it stopping.......

Meredehuit ♥ said...

Your pictures are beautiful and such a well written post! I will visit again. Thank you for commenting on my post and so nice to "meet" you.

debsgarden said...

Hi Miranda! I am happy to visit your garden again, and I am not disappointed. You have some wonderful blooms. And I love the photos of the caterpillar! This really is a great time of year. After a hot summer, all the plants in my yard seem to he heaving a sigh of relief!

I hope your back is improving steadily — take good care of yourself!

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Beautiful post Miranda, and you're right, you really can see the gaps this time of year! When scrolling through you rpics I was amazed at how many plants we share! Our climates are probably not all that different. So nice to see familiar faces so far away!

ShySongbird said...

So much colourful beauty in your garden, Miranda! It certainly puts mine to shame. Perhaps next year I will be able to do more in mine again!

I'm so envious about those Swallowtails :) and also the Walnuts, I absolutely love them!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Hi! I have been trying to identify my flower plant that has been growing in our place before we moved in. All the picture were nicely shot. Now I am convinced that the plant I want to identify is geranium.

The Early Birder said...

Glorious colours and forms from your autumn garden. You are definitely right about Compassion .. ours is still producing blooms despite the falling temperatures. FAB.

Chris said...

Hello Miranda, I really enjoyed your post, the photos are wonderful, lots of raindrops! Hope you get some late sunshine soon. The caterpillar made me smilee, I must look closely at our fennel :-)

Sorry to hear you have hurt your back, do take care! Backs need looking after so be careful.
Good to hear from you again. Best wishes to you.

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Ginny - a very warm welcome to my blog - I'm so sorry to be so slow in replying to your lovely comments - Honeysuckle is pretty vigourous - a great nesting site for some birds! Take care Miranda

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Tatyana - thanks so much for your comments - so pleased you liked the photos too - it's a shame that Geraniums are more hardy as they take up lots of space in the greenhouse!! Hope you have a good week Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Shirl - thanks so much for popping over - afraid my back is still not good - am over in Cornwall having a short break - at least there's no temptations to do gardening here!

On the rose front - you could try giving your rose a good helping of well-rotted down manure this autumn - they do enjoy a good feed - also Madame A Carriere does well after a good pruning too at this time of year - you could clip a bit now and then a bit in the late spring... having said that you probably know all this - just know this worked for ours' here.

Have a good week Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Cheryl - I'm completely with you on the weather front - it's been completely bizarre this year and you're right it's great to see how well things seem to adapt - some things have suffered but other things have done well... despite all the recent rain we've had it's still on the dry side... and now autumn is really kicking in it's getting a bit colder - I'm convinced with the incredible amount of fruit and nut on the trees this autumn that we're going to be in for another cold winter - time will tell! Mx

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Meredehuit - thanks so much for your kind comments - hope you've been having a good weekend - so glad you enjoyed the post - will try and do another again v. soon Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Debs garden - thanks so much for visiting and sorry it's taken me a while to reply - back mending v. slowly - not fast enough for my liking so am over visiting my family in Cornwall where I can't get too tempted to do stuff in the garden - it's that time of year when there's too much to do - I find it hard doing relatively nothing!! Hope you've had a good weekend - will visit again soon Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Rebecca - it's great to see similar plants doing so well in other people's gardens - the climate in France this year has been totally bizarre - and is much drier at this time of year than I can remember despite the week of rain we had... will try and visit your blog again soon - in the meantime have a good week Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Shysongbird - thankyou for your lovely comments - there are some lovely plants out in the garden but there are plenty of v. scruffy areas in my rather "wild" garden - please don't be under any illusion that I have a spotless garden :-) The wildlife really enjoy it and that's what I try and work on. The Asters are such easy plants to grow and fill out quickly providing good ground cover for a good bit of the year too and lots of colour now. Hope you've had a good weekend and will visit your blog again soon Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Malay-Kadazan Girl - a warm welcome to my blog and v.pleased that you've now identified the plant you were not sure about - Geraniums are great in the garden and relatively easy to grow too - most divide up easily to give you extra plants too! Have a good week - Miranda

Miranda Bell said...

Earlybirder - thanks so much for your kind comments - I just love Compassion - it's been one of those roses which I've continued to grow after having it at my first house in Bristol - Albertine is another that I like which provides good continual flowering too. Hope you've had a good weekend will pop over to your blog again soon - Miranda

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Chris - where does the time go? I can't believe we're into the autumn already... glad you liked the pics and the posting. Our weather's not been bad in France which hasn't helped with resting my back as there's so much to do in clients' gardens at this time of year before it gets too cold. So I've come over to Cornwall for a few days this week where I won't get tempted to garden - just buy plants instead :-) Hope you're enjoying your pond by now... will visit your blog again soon Miranda x