I've published no blogs for a long time but hoping to get back to it soon. This is a post I prepared in late October so it definitely isn't current but it had one or two interesting pictures so rather than bin it I thought I would put it out. Imagine you are back in late Autumn.
I was pulling out of a garden drive recently when I saw these odd looking black things poking out of the ground. They were growing in thin grass on a
sloping patch of well drained ground. I had no idea what they were so I took a couple of snaps and put them on ispot ( Run by the Open University and Opal, the Open Science Laboratory
They are a species of Geoglossum. Geo - earth, glossum - Greek for tongue, therefore Earth Tongue. There was something a bit sinister about them.
This sticky bun is a Brown Roll Rim ( Paxillus involutus). No one really knows why it only grows near dead hands.
This most delicate of fungi was growing in a large patch in thin grass.and if you could adjust the scale it had something of an Ewok village about it. It is a species of Coprinus growing
A neat effect with a variegated Ivy on an avenue of Lombardy Polars in a north Oxfordshire garden.
We had a great day out in mid October to the garden at Bryan's
Ground. This is the garden of the two people who run the quarterly garden journal Hortus, David Wheeler and Simon Dorrel. It is situated in the hills around Presteigne which is north west of Leominster in Herefordshire. The garden is in England but its lower boundary runs along the border with Wales. It is very easy to fall in love with the countryside of Herefordshie as you twist your way along its roads. It is a rolling country side made softer by the lack of stone walls so dominant back at my north Cotswold home.
It was a gloomy day with the drizzle just easing off as we arrived at the garden.
It was very much the back end of the gardening season but I knew it was a garden with plenty of interesting design elements and there was the hope of some good autumn colour in the arboretum below the house.
First stop of course was for a cup of tea and a piece of cake so past the display of found objects and a display of halved watering cans and a show of Sedums that looked remarkably good for the time of year, to get our tickets, pot of tea and sizable slice of cake. You can never have too much or too large a slice of cake and despite what they say you can have your cake and eat it too.
There is a dolls house quality to this collection of pieces. Its like looking into cluttered rooms full of things you wonder why you keep.
Simple is often best.
We had already had a glimpse of the garden as we made our way from the car park to the 'ticket office'. This wavy edged canal was exciting. It was spotted with raindrop rings as I got the camera out but was perfectly smooth by the time I was ready to snap and the sun had come out all in a matter of seconds.
The same canal seen from the house.
This gorgeous building overlooks the garden
A set of candle flames. Hawthorn if I remember correctly.
There is a growing collection of Hydrangeas in the arboretum. No labels, so you tell me which one this is.
Yellow hearts of Cercidiphyllum japonicum. They smell of burnt sugar when they have fallen to the ground.
Down by the lake
An Eastern influenced greenhouse interior.
'Its not bondage it's jewellery,'
The bigger picture.
So what have we got here? From the left; a bit of chain, one old oil can, the bit of metal that the mole has to dislodge if you are to catch him in your trap, looks like a metal roman numeral from a clock, a cast metal thingy with its top broken off, another old oil can of superior quality, one of those things that stops leaves going down you drainpipe, a spanner , a gargoyles arm and belly button.
So this is where they go to die.
They don't make them like this any more if they ever did - maybe it was made by a Boy Scout trying to get his Meccano badge.
A bit of atmosphere..........
The sun gets low toward the end of a great day out.
This is one of my favourite Hostas. 'Praying Hands'. It doesn't always put on such brilliant autumn colour but this time it did.
Animal, vegetable or mineral?
A bit reptilian, a bit sluggish.
It is a seed pod of Decaisnea fargesii. A hardy shrub from Asia bearing clusters of these blue seed pods and surprisingly little seen. . I have never touched a dead mans fingers but the size, colour and the gentle give to the skin when touched, for me , gives authenticity to the common name for this shrub, Dead Mans Fingers.