Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Autumn Blessings At Barleycorn

Betula Youngii, Silver Birch Tree

I can hardly contain the deep-seated joy I feel, for we are now into early Autumn, with all the blessings this contrasting season brings. Even on a dull day, with a grey sky and no sunshine, this silver birch tree appears to be on fire with its brilliant, orange foliage.
Hosta Sieboldiana

Let's see how many tones we can find in the foliage of the hosta...pale, mid and dark green; greenish-yellow, pale yellow and yellow tinged with brown. What's not to marvel at, considering the hosta is a shade of glaucus blue when it is 'in season'?

Cupid's Dart, Catananche Caerulea

Late flowering plants, such as Cupid's Dart, are such a boon in the garden, for they continue to feed the insects, which, in turn, feed the birds. And how boring our gardens would be without the presence of wildlife, which gives purpose and meaning to the plants, and daily interest to the wildlife gardener.

Hydrangea Petiolaris

The front of our house has some yellow brick, called rustic straw-thatch. In Summer the climbing hydrangea is in contrast to it with its green foliage and clusters of pretty cream-coloured blossoms. In Autumn, however, the golden colours of the leaves merge with the brick to give it the appearance of a living wall.

Japanese Anemone Anthers

When I planted our Japanese anemones, I never imagined how well they would establish themselves and multiply over the years. Although I have pleasure admiring their beauty, their main purpose is their anthers which act as a magnet to a multitude of insects at a time when a lot of plants in our nectar borders are spent.

We have a potentilla hedge bordering the front garden, and several individual specimens within our island beds. They are in bloom from June till October, producing a surfeit of flowers and providing shelter to our garden in our windswept landscape. But, in Autumn, the tiny green leaves turn to shades of gold, red, russet, orange and brown as they don their amazing Autumnal techni-coloured coat.
Japanese Anemones

In Spring, after months of the dark days of Winter, we gardeners rejoice at the first sightings of snowdrops. So, too, in Autumn, when the frenzy of the flowering plants has all but disappeared, we rejoice in the flowers which are hardy enough to cope with the early Autumn chills.

Sorbus Cashmiriana, white Rowan Berries

Rowan trees grow particularly well in remote parts of Scotland. In Autumn flocks of fieldfares, as well as garden birds in general, feast on their orange and red berries. In contrast, the Cashmiriana Rowan has white berries while those on the Joseph Rock Rowan are yellow. I love all my rowan trees, but appreciate their beauty most when they are wearing their Autumnal coats.

Hoverfly On White Japanese Anemone

Since we are still in early Autumn here, we have yet to look forward to those 'seasons of mist' days Keats wrote about. That said, we certainly have ample evidence of the 'mellow fruitfulness' in the garden.

Hips On The Rosa Moyesii Geranium Rose

Unlike the plump tomato-like hips on our Rosa Rugosa rose hedge, the blood-red hips on the Rosa Moyseii Geranium rose are elongated and flagon-shaped and give a spectacular display for weeks on end.

Deep Pink Japanese Anemones

Autumn sunlight can produce wonderful surprises, showing off the underside of this Japanese Anemone to perfection. I enjoy observing how the blooms follow the sun 's journey each day, as if trying to thrive for as long as possible.

Autumn foliage On Geranium Macrorrhizum

Family and friends, who visit our garden regularly, are aware of how many species of geranium I grow, for I have yet to find a duff geranium. They more than pay their way, being disease resistant, requiring little maintenance and producing months of repeat-flowering in different hues. Apart from being good ground-cover plants, the Macrorrhizum Geranium's leaves, when crushed, have a distinct aroma similar to blackcurrants, and change into shades of scarlet, bright yellow and russet-brown at this time of year.

Annual Sweet Peas

Over a pyramidal trellis I grow an everlasting sweet pea, which is pretty to look at but which has little, if any, scent. To counteract this, I grow highly-scented annual sweet peas on the other side of the main stem so that the bees, insects, moths and butterflies can feast on their rich source of nectar.

Annual Ladybird Poppy

Contrasting with the lacy, dark green leaves of a rockery geranium, the longevity of the Ladybird Poppies is a particular joy as they help to prolong the season of flowering plants. If I am further blessed, and the frosts stay away, it will continue to bloom in late October. Poppies, to me, are sights for sore eyes. I have already gathered some seed to share with friends who appreciate their beauty as much as I do.

Raspberry Foliage

When I was younger I grew row upon row of raspberry canes. Nowadays I confine myself to a few pots as they are easier to control and create less work. Even on their leaves, I marvel at the many differing hues...from emerald green, through shades of orange and red, to russet.

Willow Warbler On Teasel
One Autumn visitor - a bringer of pleasure - is the Willow Warbler. As well as enjoying hearing the songs of Robin and Wren's churring back in the garden, the Willow Warbler has a magical tune of his own. He is the Tit Willow in the Mikado. I love the yellow stripe above his eye, his yellow-tinged breast and his grey-green back. He flies in to eat spiders, insects, fruit and berries. I caught this little one drinking from the water cupped between the teasel leaves.

Roly Poly Bales

This year I managed to observe, and video, the farmer, who owns the field adjacent to Barleycorn, garnering his barley harvest. After ten weeks of wall-to-wall rain, we had two weeks of drying sunny weather during which all the local farmers gathered their harvests. Whereas I cultivate the garden for pleasure, the cultivation of the farmers' is their livelihood. There were almost audible sighs of relief all round when the weather changed in time for the harvests.

Barleycorn Pond

As ever, the two ponds continue to offer entertainment. Nearly the end of September and we still have many lilies with beautiful leaves in their Autumn colours. On sunny days the frogs give a chorus or two; there is still the red-lettered day when we spy a dragon-fly and the birds still come to bathe and drink and gorge themselves on the insects flitting around the stems of the marginal plants.

Michaelmas Daisies

Apart from the cheerful, pastel shade of mauve, these asters are well worth growing as they are another rich source of nectar at the 'end' of the season. I find bees, hoverflies, insects and the last of the butterflies almost 'glued' to their centres, so desperate are they to survive another day.

Annual Cornfield Poppies

The seering vermillion of these little darlings keep my spirits up as I look forward to Autumn coming into full swing. How can I not feel blessed to be surrounded by such beauty which lifts my spirits and feeds my soul?
Click to enlarge any of the photographs you particularly like and see the most amazing detail.
If the videos 'stick' move the cursor along the red line, and they will flow. If you prefer, you can watch them on YouTube.
All good things around us
Are sent from heaven above,
Then thank the Lord,
Oh, thank the Lord,
For all His love.


Anonymous said...

That little hedgehog is proof (if it were needed!) that your garden is magical! Exquisite pictures and music to match.

It is at this time of year that I miss home most - the fields and hedges of County Down, and the long autumn walks. I think this year will be better though, as I've a project to do in the woods at Hermitage of Braid - so that's at least one bit of contact with nature for the next eight weeks :) I paid a visit to the Botanic Gardens on Saturday evening - I was a bit disappointed they'd mown the wildflower garden and switched off the streams - I was hoping to photograph some seedheads - but the herbaceous borders still looked a treat.

Miranda Bell said...

2 visits from me in one week eh!! Some truly wonderful shots and how true that all good things around us are sent from heaven above... have a good week - off to trim our hedges - not too much - just enough to stop them getting too heavy with snow over the winter!!

A wildlife gardener said...

A warm welcome to our little corner of paradise :)

* Dear Kitty...how lovely to see you again :)

I feel the longing in your heart for your own people and your own country...and I'm so glad you will have that magical contact with Nature over the next 8 weeks :)

I, too, was disappointed the seeds were gone...I hoped they might seel some to the public! Their meadow is my dream garden...and I had it the first few years we were here... :)

* Hello again, dear Miranda...I am twice-blessed to have your company this week :)

We've been trimming hedges...and lots of trees too, as it was getting so dark in some parts of the garden. We always have to look ahead to the next surprise Mother Nature brings :)

Sorrow said...

All those wonderful colors, waiting for the last bits of summer to fade.
Abundance and radiant light..
thank you!

ConsciousGardener said...

Your blog is delightful and the photography amazing. I hopped over from Sunita's blog and am glad I did!

kari and kijsa said...

Hostas are one of our favorite plants! What a blessing to see your beautiful photography!

Have a blessed day!

smiles, kari & kijsa


Your beautiful gardens always leave me nearly speechless. I can imagine wandering around your grounds and seeing the beauty, smelling the aromas, hearing the buzzing and bird calls, and feeling the wind.

Thank you for sharing all this and more with us

Mike said...

Those are all beautiful.

A wildlife gardener said...

* How lovely of you to visit me, dear Sorrow...and thank you for all your encouraging comments :)

* Welcome, Conscious Gardener...lovely to meet you ...and thanks for saying such lovely things :)

* Dear Kari & Kijsa, I am all the better for your visit...hostas are stunning plants, I agree :)

* Dear Coneflower...lovely to have your company around the garden :)

* Nice to meet you, Mike...glad you enjoyed the tour :)

linda may said...

Dear WF oh how I love my visits to your beautiful blog.
I had a lovely day today for my 29th wedding anniversary and a visit to the Japanese Gardens in Cowra (in the rain!). I will post about it tonight if you want to come and have a look at the garden pics.

linda may said...

Opps That was supposed to read WG, sorry.

Cheryl said...

Indeed my friend, wildlife in the garden is so important. My space would be so much less without the bees, butterflies and birds.

You autumnal garden is beautiful, I am sure it feeds your soul and spirit......a blessing for the wildlife that surrounds you......

In my little corner of the SE the weather has been so dry. We have not had any significant rain for three months now and my garden has suffered. We never know what Mother Nature will hand us....we have to learn to cope with it......

Our farmers (sheep and cattle) have no meadow grass for the animals....they will have to buy in....not something they do lightly.
I have not mowed the grass for months.....I pray for rain....

Dawn said...

Wow! The Cupid's Dart and Rowan Berries look as if they are in a Magical Faerie Garden to me. Beautiful! And your rose-hips are some of the prettiest I've ever seen.

I love your videos. Very clever to put your hay-making video to Gloria music. Just think how amazed the people from the Pre-Industrial Age would be if they could have seen these modern machines in action.


Jeanne said...

So beautiful
I love you
God bless you and yours

A wildlife gardener said...

Welcome, Everyone, to our little corner of paradise :)

* Dear Linda...always a pleasure to have your company :)

I will pop over to see your post :)

* Dear Cheryl, we have had a north-south divide this summer as far as the weather is concerned...you with drought and us with too much rain. Having said that, our farmers were fortunate to gather their harvests during a few dry days. I hope you will have rain soon...

* Enjoying your presence, as always, dear Dawn :)

You say such lovely things to me...I liked the Gloria accompaniment as I see it as thanking God for a dry harvest after all our rain this summer :)

* Thanks you so much, dear Jeanne...for your friendship and your love :)

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to the Japanese anemones establishing themselves in my garden after planting them this year.

joey said...

Thank you for this beautiful 'technicolor' post, WG. Surrounded by the intense beauty at Barleycorn, you are indeed blessed. I have an abundance of Japanese anemones that the bees adore but am especially 'smitten' with your beautiful poppies. Autumn Blessings, dear friend!

~Sheila~ said...

Where to begin. I adore Mr(s) Tiggywinkle, and my sister, who loves hedgehogs very much, will be green with envy when I tell her they visit you.
The michaelmas daisies are a favourite since childhood, when my mother grew 'hedges' of them behind the garden shed.
The video of the fields being harvested and rolled, was excellent.
I guess I'm saying I loved it all. Once again, thank you for sharing it with us..!

Barbara said...

I was especially wondering how the farmer did their "harvest" on the field....and I was "relieved"...they do it the same way as ours :-). It's the first year now that our neighbour does it with the big machines and tractor. Before it just was the meadow for cows, shep and horses. Seeing your beautiful pictures I can hardly believe that you unfortunately had such a lot of rainy days. Everything is blooming so lush (maybe it's because of the rain?).
Warm regards,

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

I have always loved seeing the hay bales in the fields. I guess it is the feeling of a harvest of plenty. Your poppies are beautiful as all your fall flowers and foliage are.

Bimbimbie said...

You've reminded me how much I used to love the UK harvest time of year - especially when the farmers were able to burn their stuble and the sky would glow bright red from the fires*!*

SandyCarlson said...

Your colors are beautiful. So are the flowers. Gorgeous.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hello - I popped in from Joey's blog and I'm very glad I did - I've had a lovely time reading your posts and admiring the beautiful photos!

I planted Japanese anemones for the first time this year and have been delighted with how well they've done and how many flowers they are still producing.

Thanks for a great blog.

A wildlife gardener said...

A warm welcome, One and All, to our little corner of paradise :)

* A warm welcome to you, Mother Nature's Garden...the Japanese anemones are so elegant and well worth establishing for their longevity...ours have been out for a few months now :)

* Dear Joey, you and I love the same kinds of plants..poppies being favourites of both of us :)

* Dear Sheila, each year a friendly hedgie makes a nest in our wildlife garden...usually from spent crocosmia leaves. Thanks for all your encouraging words to me :)

* It is interesting to see how crops are harvested in different countries, Barbara...but, they must have a really difficult job in Switzerland with all the hills. It's amazing our farmers managed a dry harvest after all the rain we had during our chilly and wet summer :)

* Welocme, Morning Glories In Round Rock...lovely to have your company :)

I, too, love to look on the harvest fields..and feel sad when the bales are taken away, as we are then into the darker, colder weather and winter looms ahead...

* Great to see you again, Bimbimbie...I, remember the harvest fires though we now have geese flying in to garner fallen seed amongst the stubble :)

* Dear Sandy, you and I both love colourful trees and colourful flowers in our gardens :)

* Lovely to meet you, Nutty Gnome...great name, by the way :)

I am so glad you stopped by...good to hear we both share a common love for the Japanese anemones in our gardens... :)

SandyCarlson said...

The colors and the lighting in these take my breath away. These are amazing. Those anemones really tickled my fancy. And the round bales...Everything!

A wildlife gardener said...

* I feel so honoured you came back to make another comment...thanks so much, dear Sandy :)

linda may said...

G'Day Wildlife Gardener, I have left an award for your blog over at mine. Love Ya.

A wildlife gardener said...

* Thank you very much, dear Linda...I feel honoured :)

Jeanne said...

Beautiful and magnificent are all you post.
Thanks for your visits your kindness and your love
God's most richest blessings
Love Jeanne♥

A wildlife gardener said...

* Thank you, dear Jeanne...you raise me up :)

Kathleen said...

I love those giant rolls of hay. I don't know why? They just appeal to me so much more than the rectangular bales I see more often here. I forgot to say in my last comment how pretty it is at Barleycorn but then it always is. No matter the season.

Kathleen said...

I had to come back since for some crazy reason, I watched the videos after I commented! That is some tractor your neighboring farmer has to pick up four of those giant hay rolls at once! He also zips right along at a much faster speed than I imagined while baling. Interesting.
That little hedgehog is too cute.

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