Mishmash of seasons – spectacular light, weirdly blue skies, lizards, temperatures around 27 degrees, ripe quinces…..warmest October since 1945, when records began. (And the second warmest October was last year…)
A magic slice of summer, no frosts yet at all. But of course there is a downside – there are daffodils with leaves a foot high, and lilac bushes with not only leaf buds but four actual flowers….in NOVEMBER?? This has got to be bad news for next spring. Rather scary. We’ll see.
Nothing dramatically different, it seems – apart from the hedges.
Same 5 trees, same two flowerbeds…
Two more interesting facts about the gardens this month though. First, it seems we were justified in sticking out for replacing the dying section of the privet hedge with a mixed, woodland type of hedge. It has taken 4 years to thicken up – but just look at the difference between the boring, monolithic privet and the new planting, which includes yew, holly, field maple, spindle and hawthorn.
Second point of interest – the foxes have suddenly gone crazy! In the last couple of weeks they have dug up over 20 holes. Some are deep channels, others have been abandoned part way through, for no very obvious reason. The grass is now a total mess. Just look at the chalk this one has excavated – I wish I could catch them at it, must be quite a sight.
Literally. Up/down the Downs, near Ditchling in Sussex. Three times recently. The first outing was on a glorious English summer afternoon. The ‘hedge’ in the top small picture is interesting – it is the outer flank of the right hand side of a giant V, planted to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 (some sources say the Diamond Jubilee, 1897). Over 3,000 trees were put in – larch, birch, scots pine, sycamore, beech…. Still spectacular, over 130 (or possibly 120!) years later. The picture below was taken (with some difficulty) towards the inside bottom of the V. The most dramatic photos, of course, are to be taken from the road below – but, except as the crow flies, or the human tumbles, that was miles away!
I think I do get it now. These are two mature trees by the side of the path up to the South Downs Way in Sussex. The rather spectacular root system is exposed on one side – and the roots not only intermingle, they do clearly directly connect.
Back to the book– bought the Christmas before last but never finished!