Nasturtiums and winter jasmine – surely not.

The garden is happy but perhaps confused. I wanted to bring in some flowers the other day and found this charming combination of nasturtiums and winter jasmine. I also found some late blooms on the centaurea and and yet the hydrangeas have their autumn seed heads.

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We still have cistus in bloom and below them autumn crocus are merrily flowering.DSCN6718DSCN6729

Then we have the winter iris stylosa – I usually start looking for a few flowers on this in mid-December and sometimes find blooms for the Christmas table and then throughout January and February. They are already blooming in three separate sites in the garden.

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And late blooms have appeared on the  summer-flowering non-clinging clematis Durandii.

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A few feet away a primrose is feeling the air, while between these two Rosa Papa Meilland is throwing up yet another bloom.

DSCN6726DSCN6688Raspberries are still fruiting – they are autumn raspberries, but they are usually long gone before November. DSCN6737 This is looking like autumn. DSCN6656DSCN6710…but what are the runner beans doing flowering at this time of year, and why can I hear the buzz of lawn mowers even as I write? And how come we had lunch in the garden in the UK on November 1st?

At least my general failure in the greenhouse has been redeemed by the late hot spell, and my magnificent sweet pepper is finally turning red. DSCN6751

Autumn – so soon?

The last few days have been strange and sad, as we try to accept the death of a dear friend. It is difficult to settle to tasks, but I find hard labour is as good a way to consume time as anything else. So I have been clearing the path, closely supervised by a young robin (who refuses to stay in shot). Though you can just about spot him/her taking time out for a bath (in the second photo).

IMG_0516DSCN6298 - Version 2The yellow (Japanese) quinces are all over the path and with my nose to the ground, they smell delicious. This scent, along with that of the lemon balm (a welcome weed in our garden) is very comforting.

In the nearby playing field, it looks as though autumn base already arrived. IMG_0514 While this Rhododendron Yakushimanum is convinced it is spring.DSCN6299 And the roses (Octavia Hill, Papa Meilland and Wollerton Old Hall) are making the most of the end of summer.DSCN6306 DSCN6308 DSCN6305 Meanwhile this fairy-like fuchsia (magellanica molinae)  has taken over the path.DSCN6304 - Version 3And two of the three martin’s nests are on their third brood – I don’t remember seeing quite such big piles of droppings in past years – with the house painters due in a week’s time. I expect nature will sort things out without any help from us.

(Apologies to photographers (you know who you are) for the rough and ready snaps)