Sunday 7 November 2010

Sunday safari

Autumn gives way to winter,
native hops need to be cut to the ground. A job waiting in the wings. The list is long.

Chrysanthemum 'fireworks' is just coming into bloom. I am only just beginning to truly understand this autumn plant. They seem to withstand any amount of cold and frost. Their blooms are such a bonus at this time of year. Note to self: I must plant more.
The scent wafts from Viburnum tinus. A must have evergreen for those of us who cherish our bees. No wonder it was in all old gardens from the sixteenth century and earlier.
I planted several Arum italicum in the Spring. It dies down in the summer. It has just started to show itself, dotted along the woodland walk. It will add much needed interest during the short winter days.
I am aware of the changes around me. I walk the garden each day, happy to share the season with all that surrounds. The garden is hushed, there is a quietness that comes with the approach of winter. A much needed quietness.
Robins are ever near. They remind me of what is to come. I share my winters with Robin......he follows me around the garden. I always give him food away from the other birds.
The old buck is doing well. He is plump and ready to face whatever winter throws his way. We have experienced a period of peace during the summer and autumn. I fear this may be coming to an end. When food is scarce he will use my plants as fodder..........but I now know, from experience, the garden will survive. He will frustrate me for sure but I think I am learning to live with this particular rabbit. There is something just a little too cute about this old timer.
My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.
Abram L. Urban
Happy Sunday safari.


  1. Lovely as always Cheryl especially the robin photo - the contrast of the red stems with the red breast - brilliant! Do hope the old buck will survive and not eat too many of your preciaous plants this winter. Love the quote too.


  2. Hi Jane, thank you. Each year, winter becomes more of a challenge with the rabbits. I am hoping I can relax a little more this time and hold onto the thought that there will be a garden at the end of the coldest season..ha!

  3. I love your first picture, and the chrysanthemum looks fantastic! I've not come across this variety before - I always had the impression they disappeared at the first sign of frost. I wish the old buck an easy winter - he looks velvet soft!

  4. Hi Dan, I always believed the frosts would take them. I can only speak from experience. We have had some harsh frosts and yet still they bloom. I do not know if this is usual with 'mums', as I am not really a fan of them. I think I might be changing my mind!

  5. Hi Cheryl, That buck is mighty cute - live and let live! That's what I'm trying to do with my resident vole rodents - yuck! That Arum italicum is appealing - I've heard it can be invasive, but it probably wouldn't be here as it's so dry plus the clay soil might help too. It's hard to believe your viburnum is blooming now - one of my favorite plants for sure, and that wee robin is totally cute too!

  6. Hi Amy, I have planted the Arum in a woodland setting. The soil is quite damp there most of the time. Time will tell if it is invasive. Part of me would like it to be, as I love the spathes and berries it produces.

    Viburnum tinus is an autumn/winter bloomer....the main reason I planted them. I do love some winter interest and flowers for any bees that might be around.

  7. Hi Cheryl,

    Lovely photos, dissapointed with the slight drop in temperature over the past few days and the next week is to be the same... Boo. Typical.

    My 'mums are still flowering, although they are sheltered by the house so perhaps protected from frosts. I'm no fan of them either, but certainly add some cheer to our front door!

  8. Hi Liz, slight drop in temperature did you say?
    It was 16C here last week, today it did not get above 8C. We had a ground frost this morning and it's damp, so it is feeling really cold.
    We are sitting in front of a log fire......the first of many no doubt.

  9. Hi Cheryl...I love the never ending story of you and the rabbit...sort of like Peter rabbit in Mr.MCGregor's garden. : }
    It is hard to put our gardens to bed for the winter,but like us they need a rest to!!
    Have a good week!!

  10. Dear Cheryl,
    I thought of you and your gardens today while I was outside sunning, catching some vitamin d!, being with the birds and a few bugs.
    Mr. Rabbit seems so very sure of himself. I like that. I like the way you and him have an understanding...he understands that when he is hungry all bets are off!
    "Hello" to Mr. Robin, such a charming bird. I do believe you and he are friends. Seeing your flock of birds in your clear sky mades me think of all the migrators that are going south right now.
    I wish them safe travels.
    I too need to cut back the hops. I was hoping a few more "seeds" would be eaten before I cut it back. I just might wait until mid-winter.
    Always a delight to be with you. Always wonderful to walk the gardens with you.
    Happy Sunday Safari dear friend.

  11. HI Grammie, indeed, we all need the period of quiet that winter brings. Time to rest, time to think, time to dream.

    I do have a relationship with this rabbit. We know each other well now. I would not go so far as to say we are friends but we do have respect for each other.

  12. Dear Sherry,

    Mr Rabbit has cast his spell over me. It is strange how things just happen. I visit the copse each day, he is always there, watching, waiting.

    The robin knows me well. I never encouraged him, he chose me. They are such friendly birds.

    Birds arrive each day in small numbers. Many will stay in our area, and spend the winter.
    I love to watch them fly over the garden, and wonder just how far they have travelled. I am honoured to be a part of it all.

    Happy Sunday safari my friend......

  13. I can see why you've come to a truce with Mr. Rabbit, Cheryl. He looks like a granddad who has survived many winters. Wouldn't it be nice if you had a little part of the garden just for him...and he only ate from that part. Now that would be the perfect co-existence!

    Your chrysanthemum blooms are so pretty, glazed with frost. We've had a killing frost here; even the plants that were a little sheltered have all died back. But I'm working on that new flowerbed--I hope to get a load of compost this week, then I'll have the winter to dream and plan this new garden area. I'll be looking at your sketch and thinking of the plants I want to fill it out.

  14. That is one handsome old buck bunny. I am amazed that he is not afraid of Nella. Of course he might be about as big as Nella. Your garden still looks lively with those late bloomers. Here I can't say anything is blooming. There might be a stray mum bloom. I willhave to get out today and see what is happening. That little robin is so sweet. Our robins are so much larger. There is a troup of them eating the hackberries now. They have to fight the house sparrows for a drink of water or bath. Happy Sunday Safari on Monday.

  15. Hi Cheryl,

    I'm not sure if it's as cold here... At least I don't need the heating on 24/7 anyway. One year I will go away for my birthday so it's at least moderately warm. So depressing sometimes, especially if it's blanket grey!

    Oh and guess what? My Cosmos have finally flowered. Bitter sweet.

  16. Rose, the old buck lives in the copse with his family...ha! This area is fenced off. I wanted it to be a haven for wildlife, which it most certainly is. Nella is not allowed in this area, she would disturb birds etc. The rabbits know they have a safe haven there but they take advantage of me and enter the garden. They know the risks, Nella has nearly caught the old timer on several occasions.

    How exciting, a new border. It will be such fun to see how you choose to plant.
    Something to look forward to next year.

    Have a lovely week Rose

  17. Hi Lisa, the old buck is without doubt frightened of Nella. She has nearly caught him on several occasions. I have a feeling that she will be his demise....

    The garden is looking okay......heavy rain today, well icy rain actually. It is bitterly cold...winter is upon us.

  18. The robin is so sweet and so is Mr. Rabbit! Maybe you should write a children's book? I pray Nella never catches Mr. Rabbit! If that ever happens please don't tell us!
    I have to laugh a bit that you can't ride a bicycle? It's really hard to believe. But I will believe if you say so! lol Have you ever tried riding one on training wheels to start out with? I'm serious!
    Have a great day! (((huggs)))

  19. What a really lovely quote at the end of your post Cheryl, so fitting that at first I thought they were your own words...but of course they were really...

    Beautiful photos again, so nice to see we both had a Robin to admire but yours of course is extra special because he has chosen to live with you. I have one in my garden too but I haven't managed a photo lately.

    The old Rabbit does look like he belongs there and that he has reached some sort of understanding with you, I hope he doesn't misbehave too badly during the Winter!

    I have Viburnum tinus in my garden and find it one of the most rewarding plants I have, it looks wonderful for such a large part of the year and is so cheering on miserable days. Speaking of which it has been wet all day today and cold, only 5 degrees :(

    Thank you so much for your very kind offer, I will email you during the next few days.

  20. Sandy, it is hard to know that Nella may catch the rabbit. Sadly that is her job. If I did not have Nella (my wonderful companion) I would not have a garden for the birds bees and butterflies. Rabbits are a serious problem here and they are very destructive. I am very fond of the old guy....don't worry too much, he is very wise and knowing.

    Everyone laughs about me and my bike riding episodes. I have never tried with training wheels.... to be truthful I believe I am little long in the tooth to bother now. I walk every day with Nella and garden this acre of land, so at least I know I am fit. Thanks for the suggestion are kind.

  21. Thank you Jan for your kind comment.
    I always feel so very honoured when any creature chooses to share this space with me. Of course it really belongs to them, I only tend the plot. It is their home. I think people who garden sometimes forget that.

    It has been bitterly cold here. It rained ice at one point today. I am sitting in front of a log fire with my laptop.

    Have a good week and I hope the sun shines at some point.

  22. I loved them all, but what a great photograph of your robin.

  23. Your mum is such a lovely color. The only ones that do well for me are the yellow ones. I am always surprised by how different your robins are from ours. Looks to me as though Bunny is glaring at you, wondering why you are disturbing him in HIS garden. I wonder how many winters he has survived.

  24. Hello Cheryl - have enjoyed this safari so much. Superb snapshots of your garden - the robin is a picture post card and love the contrast of plants in their aspects of bloom and decay. The buck looks right at home!

    p.s. very interested in the Arum Italicum - something to consider for my woody plot

  25. Hi Jenny, I saw some yellow mums at a nursery today and I was really tempted to buy them. I did manage to restrain myself.....

  26. Hi Laura, I can most certainly recommend the Arum italicum. The spathes are beautiful in the spring and the red berries of autumn are stunning. Mine were what I am not sure.

  27. you are never to old to learn anything! now i want you to tell someone (anyone) that you want a bicycle with training wheels for Christmas! YES Cheryl, (or better yet go and get one as soon as you can before the snow flies so you can learn) it's easy with having the wheels on the bike until you can maintain your balance. That is how 99% of children learn anyway.

    On a different subject all the garden centers here are saying now is the time to plant the Chrysanthemums. They are a special flower aren't they?

    try this link:

    or oooooh,
    check this one out! no training wheels needed, even a place for Nella

    all i did was type in "adult bicycles with training wheels"

  28. What a beautiful blog you have.... actually, what beautiful Gardens you have! :-)

  29. Such beautiful surroundings Cheryl. I am encased in red and yellow right now. I've had two days of rain and the 3 months of non stop hot summer sun have escaped my memory somehow!! HOW?? Tomrrow the sun will be out again but the leaves have blanketed the yard and it is a whole new world out there! Visit me if you get a chance at Sunny Side Up! Old buck is very handsome. Is he a wild one then?