We have our little friend Poppy with us this weekend, and while we were in the garden today I noticed this marigold which has deigned to put in an appearance for the first time this year! People tell me they will grow anywhere - you can't get rid of them. Yesterday I saw an entire row of them growing along the foot of a wall in very poor soil, but will they grow for me? No. I had to cheat and buy a couple of plants in pots to get this measly specimen. I don't know what happened to it's friend which was a lovely rich orange colour. Maybe I am too kind to them and they prefer harsh treatment and poor soil conditions.
I have been cutting things back quite ruthlessly and am determined to 'put the garden to bed' properly this year. My husband has taken four huge bags full of dead bits and foliage, two to the tip and two for shredding. I am now waiting for a bit of rain to soften the soil so I can break it up a bit and do some serious weeding and plant some spring bulbs, but there are still two corners to tackle.
I must buy one or two more Asters, as we have to call them now - they will always be Michaelmas Daisies to me. The bees seem to love this one and it shows no sign of mildew in spite of the very dry conditions. I have watered it now and then but even so the soil is still very dry. I can't tell you which one it is as the labels always get lost even though I push them into the soil right by the plant.
Our Anniversary rose is looking lovely - a present from two of our grandsons. It was this that prompted my start on jungle clearance as I had to make a space for it and one thing led to another. It has lots of lovely buds to open and looks as if it could flower until Christmas.
They look so pretty but best of all is it's blossom in springtime. I planted it four years ago and it is still only about 7ft tall. I might cut 18inches off the top this winter to keep a nice compact shape.
Weather permitting I shall do some more clearing tomorrow and my other little friend - the robin - might come and sing to me as I work. He is so tame and comes almost within arm's reach. At the end of our garden, and in our neighbour's garden, is a horrid conifer hedge which they are planning to have trimmed by about 6 feet - Hooray!! Ideally they would get rid of it and replace it with a nice tall fence, but that would be very expensive. However, the hedge is a tenement for sparrows and blackbirds. The garden has been full of them this year and I see them popping in and out all day long. Much as I dislike the conifers, they provide nesting sites and cover for several different bird species and cats can't get at them. It would be a shame to lose that.