I realise not everyone has a folly in their garden, but as my garden in Keswick does feature a folly it seemed a good idea to reveal it from underneath the fast-growing vines, brambles and hedging plants that have overwhelmed that corner of the garden. This is a containment and control plan for the autumn rather than a particular idea or feature; a pond would be fun but more work than I want to take on at the moment. I also have a hedgehog hide in the garden, even so, I was being very careful in case of sleeping hedgehogs in the tangle. Also revealed, another mythic beast, I’ve taken him to the shed for winter. Fantastic autumn colours all around as I work.
The result is a resurgence in the wildlife interest in the garden: more birds at my feeders; the hedgehogs - wherever they are - didn't show themselves.
The tree fern (Dicksonia antarctica) in my patio garden in Hammersmith, West London, is now up to the height of my face. Clearly it is happy with where it has been for more than 25 years.
The junior hedgehog is a welcome new sighting; the butterflies seem to be confused by the unusually mild weather. Meanwhile, First Fruits on one of the apple trees I planted three summers ago. The Fiesta varietal has yielded tasty crisp fruits that I'm enjoying direct from the tree. So far no flowers on the Ellison’s Orange tree that I also planted in Spring 2021, so no fruits. And everything keeps on growing.
Show time for one of the Lobivia cactus plants in my loggia garden in Marseille. They’ve had no attention through the summer heat at least 35°C with no signifnicant rain between the end of June and eary September. Now it’s flowering time, with my feeding them plus the September rains simulating the flooding in the desert.
Sprinkling Fairy Dust on the roots of a damson tree as I plant it in Keswick; the box is labelled “Rooting fertiliser”. Geologically, this part of Keswick is elevated on a drumlin, a hard piece of rock that resisted the erosion of the glaciers; consequently, there’s lots of fertile topsoil but also plenty of small rocks left behind by the glacier or brought down by the meltwater. So it took a while to dig the hole. But it wasn’t long before the Cumbrian weather watered in the new arrival and its leaves perked up in response.
This tree is the Farleigh variety that has been cultivated in England since the early 19th century and is known for its hardiness and heavy crops of fruit. The local Westmorland damson has been recovered from near-extinction and is popular in the many orchards in the Lyth Valley in former Westmorland. However, Westmorland damson is not widely available from commercial nurseries.