Delayed Autumn Chores

It’s hard to believe that it’s the middle of October already! The Summer seemed to last for ages, probably due to the constant rain, and now we’re having some sunny days it’s difficult to find time to squash all the chores in. I’m resisting the urge to tidy the garden up too much as there are still quite a few butterflies and bees relying on the nectar. The bumble bees are looking a little tired now and it’s taking them longer to warm up – maybe I should suggest that they do some extra star jumps before starting work for the day?


The Agastache is still performing really well and has even started to send up new shoots with the recent sunshine.

Even the Lavender is looking happier – it’s hated the wet soil beneath it’s feet this year…

Beds To Clear

… although, judging by how much the herbs have grown you wouldn’t know this. If you look at the photo above you will notice that I have cleared one bed already. This had the sad remains of the sweet peas and courgette plant. There are also some asparagus crowns that did spectacularly poorly so I’m hoping that next year they will show a little more appreciation in the spears department! I gave them a good stern talking to whilst tucking them up in a duvet of mulch. There’s a ground frost in the mornings now so it won’t be long before all these flowers are gone.

Still going strong

39 thoughts on “Delayed Autumn Chores

    • I’m sure that the asparagus will positively ignore my requests and do what it wants to in the end πŸ˜‰ I seem to have a lot of lilacs and purples in the garden at the moment… not planned but they look pretty.

  1. My lavender is perking up too, but your agastache looks much better than mine! I think it is through for the year. It is my favorite new plant this year, will definitely be planting more next spring!

    • The tops of the agastache are starting to turn brown but I am surprised at the sudden flurry of new growth at the bottom. It’s the first time I’ve grown this plant too so I’ll definitely be growing it next year too!

    • Thanks Karin – the views are the only reason we bought the house! I’ve started to build the insect hotel but I need to gather loads more material or else they’ll be sleeping on the floor!

  2. At least while the sun is shining it’s good to be outdoors and the chores don’t seem so bad! And I’m sure having a lovely garden like yours makes it all seem worthwhile – I’m considering moving to an apartment with nothing more than a balcony, maybe I could just about manage keeping that tidy!

    • Ha ha! I wondered if I had taken on too much when designing the garden this year but then I hear myself chunter that there isn’t enough space! I should be called The Contrary Gardener πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for giving me reassurance… it’s all quite new to me, and on top of the wettest year for over a hundred years, it’s nice to know that these plants can take a while to find their feet. I’ve read that the spears should be left unharvested for 3 years to develop the crowns… torture!

  3. Here, in semi-arid Colorado, Autmn clean-up is much resisted. Since we have so few pests and diseases, there’s more benefit to leaving it all alone, sheltering helpful insects and holding what little moisture falls through the winter. Had we your rains…

    • You must have such a challenge with all the heat and lack of rain! We grumble about the weather over here but the rain makes everything look lovely and green (even though as Brits we can look pale and miserable!! LOL) πŸ™‚

  4. Your herbs look very happy with that lovely view they have across the countryside ;-)… and those marigolds (are they marigolds?) are still looking beautiful too. Raised beds are such a good invention. Wish I had some!

    • They are marigolds… they’ve only just started to look good in the last 6 weeks. We had raised beds because the clay soil around here is so heavy and I’ve also always fancied a more formal kitchen garden.

  5. As I was scrolling through the pictures, the one of the raised beds with the landscape in the background came up and I let out an audible sigh at the loveliness of it…your space looks so beautiful!!

    • Thank you so much for your kind comments! The rest of the garden is a disaster – even the rabbits don’t venture near it. I aim to start small and work my way up but time and money are always factors in theses things.

  6. It shames me when I realize that you are the kind of caretaker my garden truly deserves. You know the names of most all you plant, whereas I simply point to things and say, “That tall purple guy over there with the sharp prickly bits sticking out.” I’m like a derelict parent who can only refer to her children by height and hair color. You’re my horticultural hero. πŸ˜‰

    • Too funny! My first draft had me “mulching the brains out of the asparagus” so if your garden deserves a tyranical spade twirler then I’m your gal LOL! I only know a few plant names and have to look the remaining ones up…. your comments always make me smile!

  7. Your garden takes my breath away. It’s so spacious, gracious and tidy! I’ve always admired those planting beds. Its nice to see the blooms hanging in there.

    I loved the duvet analogy as well. Nicely done, PJ.

    • Thanks Alys πŸ™‚ I’m sure that I get help from the fairies as it’s so much more magical than I expected! I need to get a pumpkin in there – and who knows? maybe an inflatable ghost or two! There’s not many people who drive by and it would probably just spook me anyway!

      • Well, no sense in scaring yourself, PJ! Do plant some pumpkins though, and learn from my mistakes this year. Better to sow directly in the garden and protect from frost then to start them indoors. They were legging and hard to transplant. The direct sow method works best.

        Have fun!

  8. PJ Girl, I’ll echo some of the above comments; your views are spectacular! Your garden is lovely through every season. I have spent lots of time in the garden the past couple of weeks tidying it up for winter, enjoying every minute of it. (I love it as long as it isn’t lashing!) I added a few more asparagus this season, and only 3 have sprouted. Added to our four that survived from last year, and we might, just might, have a meal in years to come! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Dana – you have pretty great views in Ireland too! The hills that face us remind me of sleeping giants we live in the woodland area and it’s really special – a well kept secret!
      I’ll be interested how your asparagus does in the future as I just presumed it was another thing I can’t grow (rather like honeysuckle and gooseberries for some reason).
      How are your pumpkins doing now?

      • I brought the pumpkins inside. I love the different shapes and sizes! But they are so green! with maybe a slight hint of orange (maybe?). I’m still waiting πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Claire – yes, definitely go and chat to them. They need to know that they have to perform well to earn their bed & breakfast. I can imagine that you don’t have problems with yours and I bet they taste fabulous!

  9. Hi PJ, I always admire your garden pictures, seems so idyllic and peaceful. I’ve wanted a garden gate with and arbor forever, with perhaps grape or a pink climbing rose. Yours looks perfect for that. Is that a screened porch just past your garden gate? That’s also on my wish list….as you can imagine my wish list is long. Hope your scolding of the Asparagus pays off…I toss mine in a shallow frypan with a wee bit of water for 3-4 minutes and add fresh squeezed lemon….yum!

    • There is viburnum planted next to the arbour but it will take a little time to get established. It should look great in about 3 years time once the hedge has filled out and the landscaping is eventually completed.
      Behind this you can see the back of the house that has an oak framed garden room. It is an extension to the home with a log burning stove, underfloor heating and a comfy sofa. We wanted to enjoy the views all year round so designed this ourselves. I’m hoping to take some more photos of the inside of the house over Winter as a record of progress (or lack of…). My wishlist is long too!
      Mmm, the asparagus sounds lovely cooked that way Boomdee x

      • I’m going to so look forward to your progress pics inside and I hope you’ll consider sharing your garden room too, sounds like heaven, fireplace and infloor heating…great idea! πŸ™‚

  10. Your herb garden is looking so good so quickly. We cut our lavenders down a month ago as the flowers turned brown and some have started flowering again. Strange! I wish our agastache were still in flower like yours – I love them.

  11. Hi PJ, I too am reluctant to clean up some areas of the garden. I like leaving the seeds and berries for the birds and for the flowers to re-seed themselves as they see fit. I also like the architecture of plants like sedum when the snow starts to fly. I had Agastache in the garden for the first time this summer and have become a huge fan. Mine still has a few blossoms as well.

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