Friday, 2 November 2012


No warmth, no cheerfulness, no helpful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member
 No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds – November!
                                                                             Thomas Hood

When north winds do blow...
Madness! With a covering of snow at the end of October, albeit fleetingly, and now on this morning, 2nd November – All Soul’s Day,  the day set aside by the church for praying for souls in purgatory – hailstones bouncing off the ground outside the French windows.

The clocks have gone back and the luxury of that extra hour in bed is almost forgotten as we head towards the dark days before Christmas. Many dread the dark nights and prefer to virtually hibernate until the days begin to lengthen. No longer having to turn out on frosty mornings or de-ice the car before leaving work for home, I can take advantage and appreciate the charm of the shortening days.

Autumn leaves

There is still much to see and enjoy in the autumn garden and the leaf colour has been a joy. I’ve refrained from cutting back many perennial plants to aid wildlife cope with the deprivations of the winter garden but have been using some of the startling red stems of euphorbia fireglow and solidago for example as foliage for autumn flower arrangements. A few stems of honesty, aided and abetted by Chinese lanterns -  courtesy of friend Brenda -  need very few flowers to produce a pleasing splash of colour in the home. (Witness previous pumpkin arrangement).

Autumn colour in Auckland Castle park

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