What a day!

Today has been a day of total perfection: the light was pure and clear, with a pale golden glow like a glass of wine. I have spent all day in the garden, with three wheelbarrow loads for the burn pile to show for my efforts but remarkably little difference showing in the garden.

I love echinacea and I am stupidly proud of the fact that I grew these from seed. I love the way the petals curve back from the cone and way they hold their heads to the sun. I am going to have a go at taking root cuttings from this one.

The cosmos has been flowering its heart out for weeks and weeks. I spent a happy half hour deadheading a dozen plants in the hope of keeping them going until the frosts. This year lots of cosmos had self seeded in the cutting garden (posh name for a big bed in the field). I suppose I had better not be too thorough with the deadheading if I want it to the same again, which I do. It is so exciting to find little seedlings busy pushing up in spring without any assistance from the supposed gardener.I love this combination of sedum and persicaria. The sedum is so happy here I can just break bits off, plant them shallowly and in no time at all they are bulking up into a lovely solid presence. The persicaria was a gift from fellow blogger and now local friend bodran. Thanks so much, I love it! For about three weeks the brilliant red of a crocosmia Lucifer behind it fights the pink of the persicaria before the crocosmia goes over and offers its blackish seedheads instead. Sometime I might move one or the other of the plants but just now I am so pleased to have a full and flowering bed from something which was a building site only six months ago that I am persuading myself that a bit of surprise clashing here and there just wakes it up.

Out in the field the mixed native hedge planted last autumn is looking settled in, in a small, new kind of way. The hips on the rosa rugosa are a lovely sight with their bright red against the clear green of the foliage. The greens of the foliage in the garden and the surrounding countryside have slowly deepened over the summer so that by the end of August they have dulled and darkened, but the leaves on the rosa rugosas in the hedge are still as bright and clear as if it were May.

In the new vegetable bed in the field the squash are still flowering away. Everything is late because of how cold it was here earlier in the summer so the race is on for the squash to ripen before it gets too cold. I have two hardening on the kitchen windowsill.

And the walnut tree is full of nuts, as good a crop as the plums this year.

Zoe did come and she is lovely, hugely knowledgeable and very kind about the garden on the ground as opposed to the one in my head. Gardeners are such nice people. It must be all that nurturing!


  1. It has indeed been a golden day to-day here in Wales.

    Your echinacea grown from seed are something to be proud of, they look good, and I am green with envy that your cosmos self seeds - mine never does, I think I must weed the seedlings out - note to self don't over weed next year (lol)

    Another lovely post Elizabeth - always such a treat to visit your blog.

  2. Lucky you to have a walnut tree, I love them, they seem so ancient and British but I know they aren't... have you read Roger Deakin's 'Wildwood', he writes about the wild walnut forests in Kazakhstan... lovely.

  3. I had forgotten what walnuts look like in their green pods! When I was a girl there was a huge walnut tree in our garden. Your photo as brought back images hidden in my mind for over four decades....

  4. We have just begun to get acorns on our oak trees. We can not see them fall but can hear them and find them on the ground. We have never had squirrels before, hope we have some now.

  5. It sounds like the perfect day. I think I could use one of those.

  6. Go ahead and be proud of growing those beautiful Purple Coneflowers from seed - I'm impressed!
    We too have non-stop Cosmos and I'm so happy at all the volunteers in the big bed on the driveway. Thanks for the reminder not to deadhead all of them!
    We aren't yet allowed to burn over here. We've had some rain, but the danger of forest fire is still set at 'extreme' on the sign at the entrance to our rural community. The burn pile will just get bigger and bigger and we'll have a real bonfire at Hallowe'en!

  7. What a great update. I too have a native hedge. Planted just five years ago it is thick and full and an absolute delight.

  8. beautiful trip around your garden Elizabeth and the photographs capture that golden light. We only managed one squash out of so many planted, but the torrential summer saw off many of our veg plants. Still, lots to eat nonetheless and we still have peas and runner beans to come as I sowed them banking on a late summer! x

  9. Loved the tour of your garden and am pleased that I have many of those plants blooming (or about to bloom) in my little plot too. Except for the vegetables, as there simply isn't room!
    Great shots!

  10. I am always impressed and relaxed by a tour around your garden, Elizabeth, but you do fill me with shame when I view the straggling postage stamp wilderness here. Still the rain has meant that the willow tree (free with an apple from Woolworths) and some bog Iris I rescued from some roadworked swamp are doing well and the lawn grows as if there is no tomorrow - we have a wonderful crop of pears but flowers are nowhere to be seen except a few straggling nasturtiums and lobelia. The geraniums are already waiting for next year.

  11. A lovely Autumnal tour. Cosmea just seems to flower for ever and is so sturdy. When the sedum comes into flower, I know Autumn is on the way. Must start to tidy up the garden.

  12. I so wish I could do gardening. I suspect what I lack is the regular perserverence it really needs. My approach seems to be to let everything get out of hand, then spend a frenzied weekend slashing and burning only for the whole thing to start all over again.

    Your pictures are just gorgeous, and your writing just glows with the love you feel for your garden.

    (((Hmmm - not a gardener, therefore not a very nice person? Perhaps. Mind you, I've just got an allotment, so things might change...)))

  13. Wonderful post I never knew that that was what echinacea looked like!

  14. Beautiful photographs of a beautiful garden.

  15. I like that little persicaria, too, the leaves go nice colours. Your garden is shaming, and an honour indeed (as well as brave of you) that Zoe approves. I STILL need a large kick up to get going on mine.

  16. Hasn't it been wonderful to have a taste of summer at long, long last. Whilst I would love to meet you and Zoe it's not going to be at my house... or rather, in my garden!

  17. Glorious garden; amazing pictures.If only I could do half as well. (Then, of course, the dog's don't really help as much as I would like.)

    And, yes; there are some of us who keep coming back to read your responses to the notes you have received.

  18. We've planted edible and native hedging all around the garden and it's grown so much and attracting all the birds in - I love the Rosa Rugosa too and the big chubby vibrant rosehips.

    So pleased you met Zoe.

    take care

  19. I love sedum too but up here in North Yorkshire it never really gets into full flower before it begins to fade. When I lived further south it used to attract wonderful butterfly life but not up here. Lovely gardening post - I do agree that gardeners are such nice people.

  20. Your echinacea are wonderful Elizabeth, I wonder would they grow here, so often I see things I like the look of only to realise it would stand no chance here - we do manage crocosmia though! I'm only a beginner gardener and get so disillusioned sometimes, but reading about gardens such as yours inspires me to carry on!

  21. I remember a walnut tree at junior school and one of the girls would get black fingers for weeks from peeling the walnuts for her mum. Lovely blog.

  22. oh this is a beautiful autumn, isn't it? and now i want a pale glass of wine...distilled like sunshine.

  23. Gardeners are lovely because we keep our hands dirty instead of our deeds!
    I love your wonderful pictures, what was that you said about a scruffy, weed-infested garden?

    What a fantastic few days it's been, gardener was here this morning and we've started to dig up overgrown clumps of daisies and such.

    My walnut tree is about 25 years old and still doesn't provide fruits. Instead the leaves are covered in galls. Any ideas? And don't tell me to beat it (or the dog) And i certainly won't beat a woman either.

  24. This lovely spell of late summer weather been pure bliss. I am of to the allotment again as soon as the fog lifts. Your echinaceas look beautiful. All plants grown from seed are more special so you should be proud of them ! Wish my cosmos would self seed - I have three plants at the allotment and only one has flowered so far. The others have buds but will probably be too late. Same happened last year :( Enjoy the sunshine.

  25. So many lovely comments! thank you.
    Karen - I am pleased to find that my lack of weeding can be presented as something entirely intentional.
    Sue - husband is reading Wildwood. I bought it for my father last year and am still waiting to get my hands on it myself.
    Sara - walnuts are beautiful aren't they, and somehow surprising! They are so green and solid looking.
    QMM - I love acorns. We haven't really got many now but you are making feel like going out for a walk and an acorn hunt.

  26. Although I've not met Zoe, I thought she'd be exactly as you described :)

    Let's hope September yields some more golden days - they're precious.

  27. This last week of idyllic weather has been such bliss. Friends and I spent saturday walking round the reservoir and yesterday was spent gardening ALL DAY. Bliss. I was devastated when I woke to grey skies today. Come back blue skies and sun, please, just for a little bit more!

  28. JIll - hope you get a perfect day of your own!
    Pondside - love the phrase "volunteers" for the self sowers!
    SS - big hedge in five years? I am seriously encouraged.
    Pip - yes, we have beans by the ton. Chutney world here.
    Maggie - thanks so glad you like it.
    Fennie - I like the idea that you are both impressed and relaxed! That sounds great.
    Tiggy - I love sedum too.
    Brown Dog - I was wondering why gardeners are nice people which is not the same as non-gardeners not being! Know loads of absolutely lovely non-gardeners! Mind you, you can't call yourself a non-gardener once you have an allotment.

  29. Tattie - isn't echinacea wonderful? I love it.
    thanks AMKT - the photos are actually flattering of the garden but don't tell anyone.
    Milla - garden is definitely not shaming. I just only photograph the good bits.
    Chris - you will have to come over here then!

  30. Beautiful photographs E - I love your blog header.

    I'm enjoying these early autumn mornings - the fruitfulness and the quality of light, the spiders' webs and dampness. Each season is special.

  31. Elizabeth, you are too kind!

    I came away with garden envy, such a beautiful restful place, it healed my soul, and so in sympathy with its surroundings.

    If you get the chance, you must go and do as I did, and spend a week there in Elizabeth's holiday cottage; promise you won't regret it.

  32. Super blog - I love the echinacea too and I didn't know it was so pretty. Great weather for gardeners just now.


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