Wednesday, 10 November 2010

November Nasturtiums

This afternoon I did something that I really hate to do! It was all because of the weather forecast which had made it very clear that today was going to be one of the few fine days we can expect in the coming week or more. Even though it was decidedly cold, the sunshine lured me out into the garden to tidy it up for the winter, knowing that, from tomorrow onwards, deep 'lows' will swoop over the British Isles, bringing with them high winds and heavy rain.

There was quite a bit of tidying to do - I call it 'putting the garden to bed for the winter'. The smaller, shady area at the side of the house, the part that I look out onto from my dining room where I mostly work, was so overgrown that it was impossible to make out the path from the main part of the garden to the dining room French doors! A large and healthy looking antirrhinum has seeded itself right in front of the doors and the nasturtiums seem to love this less sunny area and were threatening, triffid-like, to take over! They had thrown out long shoots everywhere, up the drainpipes and behind the shed, rooted themselves in the gravel path, entangled themselves in the honeysuckle and even climbed the jasmine's trellis almost to the height of the bedroom windowsills. Simply trying to walk through what was once a path, one risked getting caught and tripped up by their interwoven stems, hiding under huge leaves as big as saucers!

So really, something had to be done, they had to come out! But the trouble was that they were still in flower! On recent afternoons when it has seemed to get dark so very early, I loved to look out on these splashes of scarlet and orange that seemed to light up the view from my French doors. It was almost as if someone had lit candles along the path and hung them from the walls!

That apart, I have a real aversion to uprooting plants that are flowering and nearly always manage to avoid it. The life cycle of a plant is too similar to that of  human to make it easy to casually destroy one that is blooming its heart out! But today it had to be done. So to lessen the feeling of waste, I picked the flowers that hadn't started to fade and here they are in a vase -

They won't last long indoors - flowers that have been exposed to low temperatures never do - but I think it's a lot better than putting them straight into the compost bag!

The apples are waiting for the blackbirds to get hungry! They've feasted on them the past two winters and they're welcome to them as they are pretty tasteless. There are a few roses, mountain cornflowers and marigolds blooming as well - that's one in the distance to the left of the path where the apples are. The seasons seem to be behaving really strangely!

Who would have thought I'd be picking nasturtiums well into November!


Jean said...

Judy, I agree that it is tough to pull-up or cut-back blooming plants. Dang...I still have roses blooming! The weather is strange everywhere.

You sure do have an eye for framing a a great shot. Love the blooms and apples along the path!

Thanks for your support dear friend!

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Jean - great to see you back! And thank you for your comments! I did move the apples a bit later on so that I could walk down the path to my garage! But I don't much like overly tidy gardens so I've left most of them out (but where I can walk round them!)for the blackbirds.

Country Mouse Studio said...

Nasturtiums are so easily killed by cold weather too, we've had some good frosts so the only thing left is a geranium close to the house

Judy Adamson said...

We've had some sharp frosts too, Carole, but I think that side of my house where the nasturtiums thrive must be sheltered from it to some extent. Maybe I should move some of my more tender plants round there for the winter? Though in fact, I don't think I lost anything last winter in spite of the weather. I thought I had but they all came back to life eventually!

Ron Mylar said...

You can submit your queries and answers in the Adamson's art and design blog. This is November Nasturtiums.