Tuesday, 18 December 2012

If this blog were a plant it’d be called something like Sporadicus occasionalis; appearing after rain or somesuch event that spurs a bit of creative sap!

Somehow I always think of the year as a circle - and now on the bottom right corner, in freefall to the darkest moment - the solstice at the very base, I have the treat of watching the sun rise as I cycle to work every morning.

Sometimes Corsica (100 miles distant as the crow flies) appears, as if mirage; mountains floating on the sea, only to disappear once the sun has been up for a maximum of five minutes. Small private pleasures that seem only mine.

As I start work stunning shadows appear as low sun streams through sudden voids where the oaks have begun to lose their leaves -  summer’s dense uniform green canopies turning into airy vaults of gold and coppery leaves that shimmer as they fall later on windless afternoons.  Acorns are more prosaic, plummeting workmanlike to the ground and narrowly missing me as I weed the parsley in the new potager. On these still chilly mornings mist fills valley after valley, sliced through by dark needles of shadow from brooding cypresses on their ridges.

So much has happened in the last few months, both personally and in the garden, that I can scarcely keep up. Apologies for the lack of bloggage. The Prairie Garden continues to surprise - it continued to look great right until early November, the Perovskia and Miscanthus nepalensis being absolute stalwarts. Curiously enough some of the miscanthus have started to flower again - this relatively little-known kind is rapidly becoming one of my favourite plants.

The arena threw up a huge surprise, literally. Cooler weather in early November started to show the men from the boys so to speak, as it became suddenly glaringly obvious which plants were tropical and which weren’t. The trailing “morning glories” which have provided walls of colour throughout the summer suddenly started to look a bit like tatty net curtains. I’d heard somewhere that they’re closely related to sweet potatoes so dug them up carefully. And what a reward: