Gardening Rituals …

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.
Edwin Way Teale

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It’s a busy old time of year.  Now that I have finished all the winter preserving it is time to  get the garden into shape.  It is sad to see the garden slowly withering away but there are annual rituals to perform that will bring it back to life next year.

Just as at Christmas time families do the same things every year, so this applies to gardeners too.    It seems the most natural thing to start to prepare the garden against the onset of winter; to plants bulbs for a fine spring display; to collect seeds from dying plants to save in envelopes; taking cuttings from favourite plants – just in case.

The third stage of the gardening year has begun.  Decisions have been made – bulbs have been bought – planning what goes with what and where they will be planted for the best effect.

Thought has gone into what needs to be cut back – what needs to be moved or split up – what needs to be removed altogether.  It is an ongoing  thing – and when winter finally comes we can breathe again and relax a little – knowing there is little else we can do but sit back and wait.

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And whilst the weather still holds we work our way through our list of jobs to be done moving round the garden on automatic pilot – because we know the rituals by now, every year the same but slightly different – each year you learn a little more – put right your mistakes – and learn a little more again. 

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I found these Chrysanthemums at our local nursery – buckets of colour in beautiful shades of autumn I chose these marmalade colours but could have had russet or bright pink or deep purple – beautiful – then I wondered why on earth haven’t  I grown some in my garden – my grandfather used to grow prize-winning ones – they were his pride and joy – although we rarely saw the blooms as they were all covered in brown paper bags – to keep the earwigs at bay.  Chrysanthemums associated with garage flowers or those short  bush types only found in garden centres.  They just don’t seem to be fashionable any more.  Such a pity I think.

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How are you getting on with your autumn rituals?

Comments

  1. We are slowly retreating indoors more, which I like. I'm even thinking of lighting some candles this evening :-)
    In three weeks time we have autumn break; that is usually the time in which we prepare the garden for winter. xxx

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  2. One of my autumn rituals is looking for a sheaf of mop-headed chrysanthemums as described in Mrs Miniver Comes Home. I haven't succeeded yet.

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  3. Your garden will be even more colourful with all that harvested seed. I've been splitting and moving things around. It's still so warm, which is lovely, but my victims have been wilting even despite copious watering. They recover at night so I'm hoping that's a good sign.

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  4. A lovely post and wonderful pictures. I like chrysanthemums, and if I had the space would grow some. They went out of fashion as it was found that dahlias were easier to grow.
    Like you I've been busy tidying up and thinking about next year. Flighty xx

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  5. The drying flowers with their seeds sprinkled out on the what is quite a dramatic effect. Mums are a favorite here, too; I have a couple that grew quite large and stood in the of the sprinkler, so we dug them up and divided them and moved them and now they seem lost amonst other plants. None the less, mums provide dramatic fall color in the garden and are so easy to grow. I am about done with tomaotes. I froze some yesterday and few more to go then I am done. Have a wonderful weekend, Elaine.

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  6. So much to do in the garden.. but can't with my trapped nerve.. it's so frustrating as I was doing so well getting the garden prepared for Winter :(

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  7. Oh Elaine - your autumn rituals make me realize I need to get mine started...haven't ordered my spring bulbs yet...that is on the list of things to do first. Those chrysanthemums are gorgeous...I don't grow them well in my garden but always buy some in the fall for decorating. Thanks for sharing your seed gathering and reminding me there is still much to be done! Have a super day.

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  8. You have lots of seed ready for next year, that is great isn't it! I like the tall old fashioned chrysanthemums, especially in the autumny colours. xx

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  9. Love the photos with your ripe seeds - they look like botanical prints.
    All of our hedges, shrubs, lavender etc are now cut ready for the winter, just a few loose ends still to be completed and then the garden is ready to face whatever natures throws at us during the coming months.

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  10. Such a pity indeed! I think chrysanthemums are beautiful in their overall display of color! And any plant that is going to burst into pure color this time of year is a GIFT!!! I love the photos you captured of your seed collecting!!! I have yet to get all of my seeds as I am waiting for the back to be finished up. But I have been making notes of things to change and move and things to cut back....rituals indeed and learning all the while! A lovely weekend to you dear friend! Nicole xoxo

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  11. I'm holding off for as long as I can, biting it in bits and pieces...the beans have come down, along with the sunflowers they tried to overtake. It's a sad time of year...but then again, we all need a rest.

    Jen

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  12. Log chopping, hedge cutting, debris clearing, weed pulling, veg' storing. Yup, it's all happening here too.

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  13. Spring here but everything keeps on growing during our mild winters. I love the colour of that chrysanthemum - I can almost smell it.

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  14. Dear elaine,
    You have named them all. I was only walking around my small inner garden yesterday, telling myself, what had to be cut back.. fertilizer to be put down.. Only difference is.. its still warm here and flowers are enjoying the milder weather, with some rain here and there. I start near mid october. I have bought some new bulbs this year. I need to split my daffodils.
    Nice post.
    Happy weekend.
    val x

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  15. Like you I have been gathering seed and taking cuttings, although I seem to take cuttings throughout the summer these days. If only I could find time to plant some bulbs! I do like to see Chrysanthemums, I used to have them but they seem to have disappeared.xxx

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  16. We've been tidying the garden and clearing out the greenhouse, spring bulbs have been planted some of the plants like geums and hardy geraniums have been split and moved around, Some seeds have been collected and the beetroot has been pickled. We are ready now for what autumn and then winter will bring:)

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  17. Such a shame to grow lovely chrysanthemums and then cover them with paper bags! Dave

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  18. I have had various colours of potted chrysanthemums this year which bought with the intention of planting them out when they had finished flowering some are already growing out of the miniature phase.

    Soon to commence seed catalogue browsing ritual.

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  19. We have had some wonderful skies here too. I love your photos of the seeds so original. With moving my autumn rituals have not been achieved this year. Sarah x

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  20. Hi Elaine,

    Beautiful images of the seeds...........I love honesty seed heads..

    I confess, I am no lover of Chrysanthemums. My father loved them....pots used to line the pathway. Saying that, I never used to like Dahlias........love them now, tastes change :) One day I may have pots full of Mums lining the pathway !!!

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  21. My father grew a lot of chrysanthemums and dahlias but I have always been so wary of the earwigs they attract that I never could myself. I'm fine with spiders and pretty much every other creepy crawly thing but show me an earwig and I come over all goosebumpy. Silly isn't it?

    Lovely to see you harvesting your own seeds. I kept back lots of my favourite marigold seeds last year, the varety I favour as a dye plant, but I needn't have worried, the darn things self-seeded everywhere and I'm fighting back a tide of marigolds that threatens to engulf the dye garden!

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  22. What a lovely autumnal post! The quote you've used at the beginning says it all, doesn't it? Perfect photos, too!

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  23. I wish I had my seeds gathered as you do! I usually allow them to scatter naturally or gather seeds in my hand and have a fling. We got snow in the garden overnight. Only the Shasta Daisies and Dianthus may survive for a few days.

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  24. My mum has always grown crysanths. Although I like the flowers Elaine there is something about the smell of the leaves that puts me off them. A shame as they are brilliant for late flowering colour. Only just reluctantly accepting that autumn has arrived. Bulbs have been ordered but there's still much to.

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  25. I am so busy in the fall, it's ridiculous. I rush home from work to get as much as possible before it gets dark. I have loads of transplanting to do and some redesigning. I love those marmalade chrysanthemums. :)

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  26. What lovely seed collecting photos. Something I need to start thinking about - seed collecting.

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  27. Wonderful colours! Wish we were that well organised...

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