Six on Saturday: Overwhelmed in October

As the title of this blog suggests, I am feeling rather overwhelmed by our garden at the moment. We have been here for three and a half years now, and I have done some things that I am pleased with, but the fact of the matter is we inherited an urban garden that was quite heavily landscaped about thirty years ago and has become very overgrown with shrubs and trees. Add to this an enormous trampoline which the kids love, but which has left a large brown patch in the middle of what little lawn we have, and I am starting to feel as though all my efforts are in vain. That in turn becomes a vicious cycle, as I am not gardening as much as I used to.

But hopefully there is a bright light on the horizon. In January, I have signed up for a three month garden design course. I hope that this will give me affordable ideas for redesigning our own garden, as well as potentially becoming the basis for a new career helping other people with their gardens.

And of course, I draw weekly inspiration from the wonderful followers of The Propagator’s Six on Saturday meme who are always up to something new and intriguing in their gardens. So come join me for a rather bedraggled six…

  1. Pink Salvia

I have had this pink salvia in a pot now for about five years. Sometimes it looks as though it has died – as it did in the dry patch this summer (I am terrible at remembering to water pots). But copious amounts of rain seem to have revived it for a last hurrah of the year.

2. Nasturtium

A couple of years ago, my eldest daughter planted a nasturtium seed in a pot at Brownies then promptly left it on its side in the bottom of the car for a couple of weeks. I found it as a tiny seedling and planted in our garden. It flourished and has since self seeded twice, spreading itself rapidly across the front of a bed. I think the flowers look pretty splendid, particularly with raindrops on.

3. Last apples

I finally picked the last of the apples yesterday. We had a bumper crop this year – the conditions were perfect for the blossom in the spring. I now have two large trays of apples in our kitchen and am looking for inspiration. Am thinking a cinnamon and cardamom apple crumble and maybe some Dutch apple cake to freeze.

4. New prairie bed

I have decided to do something a bit different with one of the four raised beds in the front garden. I bought a small selection of perennials and grasses on our recent visit to the Sussex Prairie Garden including a Molinia caerulea ‘Windspiel’, a pinky stemmed Miscanthus ‘Flamingo’ , Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’, Aster ‘Violetta’ and an Echinacea ‘Sussex Prairie Seedling’. I have planted these up and hope for a wonderful display next autumn. In the meantime, I am planning to interplant with bulbs for a spring display.

5. Rainbow chard

These were grown from seed which I picked up at our local Seedy Saturday seed swap and came from a local allotment. They will make a nice addition to a stew.

6. Cosmos and Kale

It could be the name of a new blog, Cosmos and Kale. The kale came from the garden at Charleston and I grew the Cosmos from some seeds that came free with a magazine. They have been going like the clappers for months now, remaining undeterred even when their stems were bent over in high winds, reminding me why this is such a great annual.

There, I feel better already, although perhaps that is just the effect of selecting small snapshots that don’t show the unwieldiness of the garden as a whole. I feel a winter of poring over gardening books is in order to glean inspiration, after all there’s always another year in the garden.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. fredgardener says:

    This nasturtium is lovely with its 2 colours. It makes you want to nibble :Great shot !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I went out this morning wondering how I could possibly find Six items to feature but I end up with too many, albeit some repeats. I used to grow Swiss Chard every year, very successfully. The last two years, I have had no seeds germinating. I will buy some new seed and try again since it is useful in curries as well as being tasty as a side vegetable. Nice Six.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I also love the nasturtium picture! Looks like you have a lot of good things going on in your garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My nasturtiums are almost all self seeded but have kept the butterflies happy. They been swamped with whites laying eggs then munched by caterpillars. Good luck with design plans.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the Nasturtium photo! And good luck with design school.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Keith says:

    I think it is natural to feel a bit overwhelmed at this time of year. You spend all that time and effort creating something beautiful in the garden and then it starts to look soggy and a bit forlorn. I think thats ok though. For me its the daydreaming, ruminating and the idle planning that is the essence of gardening. If it stayed the same all the time it would become boring. It seems like a natural evolution for you into a new life in garden design. I would be really interested to hear about your course in the future and where it takes you. Good luck.

    Like

  7. Lora Hughes says:

    A new course – how marvelous! You’ll have fuel for many a SoS to come. I’m another who likes the nasturtium photo & also think they’re great in the garden. No fuss, self seeding, where you put the white moth caterpillars that want to eat your brassicas & they bounce back from even that. Plus, they taste good, too. I can wait to see the prairie bed. It sounds like it’ll be a small wonder in your garden next year. I think nearly all gardeners get overwhelmed for a whole lot of reasons, so it’s great you shared that – reminds us all that it’s part of gardening.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cosmos and Kale has a good ring to it. The nasturtium is a wonderful colour. Happy garden planning over the winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. tonytomeo says:

    Gee, it seems that we all like the nasturtium!
    Those who don’t enjoy gardening think that the work slows down in autumn, when in fact, depending on what we do in our garden spaces, autumn and winter are just as demanding as spring and summer. I grow many deciduous fruit trees, so the pruning starts as the trees defoliate.

    Like

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