Gardener's Diary Post

October 2017

Blankets of Leaves.

‘The garden is closed and most of the small works have been brought in for storage. Just about all of the larger pieces have been wrapped up in situ so that all is ready now for the coming wintry months. The sudden shift in how everything appears in its new coating brings a real change to the appearance and feel of the garden.

There are plenty of small jobs renovating works which become apparent at the same time – most of them straightforward enough. A repair to the gate posts at the Goose Hut, the top rail of Picturesque has been brought in for repainting, the gnomon of the Four Seasons sundial needs reset – these and many other similar pieces need attention. It is a list which will be taken care of over the coming weeks.

For now, after everything is covered there is an additional blanket of leaves – clearing these becomes a regular task – in winds and blustery squally showers much of the yellowed canopy drops, but enough clings on to still colour the skyline and wait for the first frosts.

One much threatened storm passes through without much damage, the only notable loss an alder tree by aqueduct. Here, as elsewhere, the sky turns a peculiar shade of orange, and all is oddly silent.

The water source on the hill clogs up with silt but has been cleared and is running again – at least it gives a chance to clean out the Temple pond when the water level has fallen. The burns and streams are cleared as much as possible of leaves and branches to keep the system running freely.

The rosa rugosa hedge around theKailyard perimeter has been cut back.

The grass has been cut for hopefully the last time – now it is just a question of keeping the lawned areas and grass pathways tidied of leaf fall. The damaged and muddied sections of pathways can now get a chance to recover before being resurfaced and reseeded in the spring.

Planning for winter jobs continues and readying for next year.

Bonfires at the beginning and the end of the month clear away much of the collected debris.

There is a tangled sense of conclusion and continuity.

As drifting lines of geese tie themselves in and out of knots in the air…’

George Gilliland, October 2017