Swan song.

With winter due to arrive (properly) this week, I took a tour around my little garden in the weak winter sunshine today ~ this little garden has changed so much this year; gone is the former occupants rather formal garden, to be replaced by my own style of growing as much food as you can, while looking after Mother Nature by not using chemicals.

To me, having learnt the basics when there were hardly any chemicals, this is still the natural way.

You feed the soil, encourage helpful insects, lay lashings of compost from the heap to nourish the soil and the worms, rather than apply chemicals… the result is a garden that will look after it’s self, with just a little help.

Mentioning compost I can never have enough!

All home made with the help of wriggly worms ~ nothing from the kitchen or garden ever goes to waste; it goes in the compost bin at the bottom of the garden, watched over by the fairies… 😉

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I also have my name down for an allotment; fingers crossed that will be this next year.

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I think the nasturtiums will be the first to go when Jack Frost finds them; as usually they have been wonderful this year, all of them self seeded from the year before – they’ve gone into salads all summer and the seeds have been pickled too; the bumblebees love them too as does blackfly! Better them than my beans though! So I’m willing to sacrifice a few to the sticky little buggers!

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Talking of beans, the broad beans are still flowering, though I doubt there’s much about in this cold wind to pollinate them! They too have been wonderful this year; I can never grow enough of them!

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Nearly all the berries on this bush have gone; the blackbirds and the squirrels have been at them already! It does look pretty – especially with the light on it. This one is staying 🙂

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Thought I dare say it will be stripped soon, it’s charm lifts the spirits.

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Even the nasturtiums are heading for it – they won’t get there though, but the forsythia will cradle them from ole Jack hopefully…. I do love them so.

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Already the double feverfew is feeling the chill; bright and upright until this morning, I bet she has a headache…

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Some see Welsh Poppies as weeds and don’t want them in their gardens, which is sad – they are beautiful and the bees love their simple flowers, helping to set the seed that gets everywhere! I look forward to meeting the children of this one next spring.

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Winter Jasmine – she does not have the heady perfume of her exotic sister, but her beauty is just as lovely; she reminds me of my Grandmothers, she grew near the gate there, giving a cheery welcome to visitors on even the greyest of winter days.

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This nasturtium lasted all through last winter – but it wasn’t as cold as usual, just wet! She has been beautiful all year, coming into flower early in the spring. An usual colour too; blood red and smaller than usual.

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Around the front, the garden is more formal, and will stay that way, though I do need to soften it. One thing I am grateful for are the number of roses planted before I took over their care. Just two buds remain, clinging on to the memory of last summer.

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The buddlea my Father gave me as a cutting has grow well this year as if in celebration of his return to good health – now the leaves are that winter grey that looks so inviting in the sun.

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Soon the days will be their darkest, their shortest as the year slowly dies, and then the celebrations of re-birth begin once again and the days grow longer – this really is my favourite time of year, when Mother Nature sings her swan song…

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