It's a very satisfying feeling at the end of an exhausting week with all my clients' gardens with their grass cut and many of the seasonal jobs well underway too... and after completing our own grass late afternoon and finally coming in just as it was starting to get dark for a very welcome mug of tea and a Mars Bar :-)
After a good soak in the bath this evening, I must admit I felt a bit like a child wandering out into our garden clad in pyjamas and fleece top, in search of our resident Hedgehog and any other wildlife that happened to be lurking... well it didn't take long before I could hear that typical snorting and sniffling noise that the hedgehog makes before I found him or her foraging for a welcome snack! Earlier this week I found it's hiding place amongst my hardy geraniums - a well woven nest about the size of a rugby ball made of thin layers of vegetation and dry leaves normally - the dying leaves of Crocosmia are also a favorite - as they arch over they provide a natural canopy of protection over the winter months... so do take care when clearing beds for the winter, not disturb a very welcome garden resident! There really is something magical seeing this little creature wandering in the garden and the woodland... something that always causes me to smile at the end of an exhausting day - it makes all the hard work worth it really!
Over the past week I've loved seeing the quantity of butterflies in our garden and in the surrounding fields and species that I've not spotted before either, which is always great to see. The late flowering Asters seem to be a real favorite with them, as well as flowering Ivy, Sedums and the Sunflowers which are just going over now... quite amazing for this time of year when so much normally would be frosted.
Butterflies: photo 1 - Brown Argus, photos 2 & 3 Common Blue, photos 4, 5 & 6 is a Small Copper.
Last weekend we had the second of our two annual plant swaps in a nearby village - organised for the Sunday morning of the weekend when the clocks change - that way they can never be forgotten.... this one is always the easiest to get to what with gaining an hour! No money ever changes hands - just the chance to meet up with like minded people and take plants that you have excess of in your own garden and you end up coming away with a whole array of things you've not got - just great!
On a seasonal note - I'd be interested to hear of other people's experiences but we have had the most amazing crops of fruit and nuts this year - I've never seen so many walnuts on our one tree, the acorn numbers have been more than ever as well as the brambles, apples and I could go on...
Hope you all have an enjoyable rest of the weekend....