It's certainly been starting to feel a lot more like Autumn this week, although the temperature is still oddly mild for the time of year.
The week began brilliantly with a knit n natter meet up of some of the Sockalongers from the Winwick Mum Sockalong Facebook group at Black Sheep Wools (it's very handy having a lovely yarn shop with a cafe just down the road!). I really enjoyed meeting in real life some of the people that I have struck up virtual friendships with over the last couple of months - and it was wonderful to discover that they are just as nice in real life! We'll be meeting up again in January (date still to be arranged) if you'd like to join us next time. In the meantime, I'm going to be at The Wool Stop in Bristol on Saturday 21 November from 11am-4pm for a sock clinic and book signing, so do come along and say hello if you're in the area!
We've had some strong winds over the last couple of days which have brought down a lot of leaves from the trees. I do love crunching through woodland leaves and thoroughly enjoyed meandering through these trees with the dog this morning. The dog raced around, kicking up the leaves as he shot past, and I was able to breathe in that wonderful leafy smell. Gorgeous!
I've always got a bit of a soft spot for trees that look as if they have feet. Perhaps they need them to anchor themselves into the ground just here!
Out of the woods, we walked past a small group of wild rose trees. There are still rosehips on trees, although they're probably past their best by now and only fit for the birds to eat. It's two years ago now that I made rosehip syrup from the rosehips on these trees - doesn't the time fly!
Oak trees hang onto their leaves for the longest time, only shedding them just before the new leaves come out. I admired the way this tree had leaves turning from green to brown on the same branches and wondered what made some leaves change colour faster than others on the same tree.
Back home, our sycamore tree doesn't wait to shed it's leaves. They are everywhere! They're stuck in the twigs at the base of the tree, covering up any other plants that might be there in the border.
They're stuck under the hedge on the drive, and in the gutters and down the path ... you would never know that I'd brushed all of these clear of leaves only two days ago!
In the garden, the plants don't seem to know that it's Autumn at all. The mild weather has seen the plants flowering long after their season should have finished, and up until this week I've even seen bees and butterflies around. It makes me worry what's going to happen if we have a sudden cold snap and these insects aren't ready for the winter. This is Hydrangea quercifolia or oak leaved hydrangea. It's one of my favourite plants in the garden, I love the lacy flowers and big jurassic-looking leaves.
This fuchsia is Fuchsia microphylla. The tiny flowers don't look like fuchsia flowers at all, do they? I grew this plant from a cutting on one of my first gardening courses, and I'm very fond of it. Every year it dies back and I always hold my breath with it until I see the shoots emerging from the bottom to let me know that it's safe and well.
This year, our hydrangea didn't know whether to be blue or pink. It's usually blue because of our slightly acidic soil here, but this year it couldn't make up it's mind. And it's still flowering in the middle of November. It seems a shame to cut all of these plants back - and I do worry that if I do and there are still insects around then I will be cutting off a food supply. Another week or so and I expect that Winter will be approaching and our mild temperatures will be plummeting, and it will be time to do the cutting back in the garden that I haven't done so far.
We're expecting more strong winds and heavy rain in the UK over the next few days as Hurricane Abigail hits our shores. No doubt there will be more leaves to sweep up afterwards - but if you're in one of the areas most likely to be affected, do keep safe and leave the leaves until after the winds have gone!