Monday, September 29, 2014

It's Autumn Already? Really?

Despite having an early reminder that autumn is looming when we had a few chilly nights in August we quickly resumed back to summer mode once it warmed up again. And September hasn't been too bad either, with most of the month being on the sunny and dry side.

Curious fish looking at these succulents perched on the edge of their pond...
Most of the garden is still looking lush and exuberant but some plants are already changing leaf colour or are shedding them which are definite reminders that yes it's already autumn, more so than the date on the calendar.

Time has flown by so quick, where has the summer gone? I feel like I've barely featured our garden in the summer months. I haven't even revealed the new jungle veranda yet nor have shown photos of the fernery area of the jungle garden replanted with tree ferns. The thing is I haven't really taken that many photos of the garden (compared to previous years at least) looking at its leafy prime during the summer. Both of us just let ourselves get caught up tending or just enjoying being in the garden, often not remembering to take photos along the way. 

and more...
some were on the ground...
And now autumn is here and some plants are showing signs of of the shift of the season. And with some reluctance we both have to start thinking about preparing the garden for the cooler and colder months ahead.

We don't pack up our garden so quick, rather it's a gradual process and involves plenty of planning. It's not going to be hectic yet but there are things we have to start, like putting on new bubblewrap in the older of the two greenhouses for insulation.

They had to be taken out as we put on new bubblewrap insulation in the greenhouse
Bubblewrap doesn't last long and usually disintegrates due to UV exposure after two to three years hence needs regular replacing. The one that was on previously in this greenhouse started to crumble away last spring hence it had to be removed and last weekend it was finally replaced.

Twinkles tried to help
Voila, new bubblewrap in place!
With new bubblewrap now in place it is now ready to receive more succulents for storage during the winter. The greenhouse did have permanent residents during the summer but more will go in later on and by winter it will be jam packed. We haven't managed to trail in an electrical supply to it like it used to on previous years (it got cut off by the garden fire last year) so it will be heated once again by paraffin. Not keen on this form of heating as it emits soot but better than having no heating at all.

And they moved right back in again

So winter preparation has already begun in the garden. And I better take more photos in the next few days before autumn totally takes hold of the garden.

Mark :-)

36 comments :

  1. Looking good. I have to evict the tomatoes first!

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  2. How can it be time to be preparing for winter already? It seems like it was just spring! You have such a wonderful collection of succulents and it's nice to see them snuggled under their blanket of bubble wrap for the season!

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    1. When your garage conversion is done Peter you'll have lots of fun putting plants in it and caring for them in the winter. It's going to look fab!

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  3. It's easy to get caught up gardening and forget to document it, but enjoying it should always come first :) your plants look like they'll be snuggly and warm in there.

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    1. So true Amy and hopefully they will be snug and warm there :)

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  4. I'm in agreement, how can it be the time of year when we have to start thinking about such things? I'm in denial about it but will have to face reality soon, for the health of the plants. Can't wait to see your big reveals, whenever they happen...

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    1. You might recognise some of those succulents Loree ;) in denial here and will move things gradually which will,also help prolong that summer feeling...

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  5. Mark: I had the same thing happen last summer, when I was so busy traveling that I didn't photograph my own garden even when home. Looking forward to seeing the new stuff ("fernery" -- love that word!)

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    1. I had a day off today Alan and spent some time in the garden, and guess what? I didn't take a single photo once again!

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  6. All those agaves and succulents are beautiful. The best part of a garden is to enjoy it...so I think we all understand forgetting to take pictures of it :)

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    1. Sometimes it's just nice to be in it Lisa :)

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  7. I think that Twinkles looks as if she has found the perfect place for a winter's nap never mind the plants.

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    1. Twinkles not normally allowed there so it was a rare treat for her to be there then Anna :)

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  8. Hi Mark, your old pond area looks terrific! So glad you showed some photos of it.
    I always forget how lucky I am, that we usually don't get frost and if so most of the time it is insignificant. You guys did a great job insulating the greenhouse and I am sure your plants are happy to move it to survive the winter!
    Christina

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    1. Thanks Christina! That greenhouse will be packed for the winter with almost no space to stand in. Hopefully they'll all be happy there.

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  9. It does seem like your summer has come and gone quickly, while we are just heading into ours.
    A bit of silly trivia from Wikipedia - In 1957 two inventors Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes were attempting to create a three-dimensional plastic wallpaper. Although the idea was a failure, they found that what they did make could be used as packing material. I know it can keep me amused popping the bubbles too but I'd never thought about it for insulation.

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    1. I wish they'd invent a more UV/photostable bubblewrap Missy. I suspect it exists but not available for domestic greenhouse use. Have to say I like popping bubblewrap too, just so irresistible doing it, lol!

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  10. Oh no ! That time already ! I was interested to learn how you overwinter your tender stuff. Does the bubble wrap make a real difference to the temperature ? Is it worth doing ? We are determined to get everything through this one, with no casualties !!

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    1. It does Jane, absolutely :) heat just dissipates away with just bare horticultural glass but with the bubblewrap heat retention is so much better, which means you save on heating costs too. Not very pretty I know but they also serve as greenhouse shading in the summer.

      Hopefully no casualties for you too, cross fingers!

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  11. You are forgiven for simply enjoying the garden...a much deserved respite after all you have been through. The bubble wrap looks like a fine idea. I didn't realize it came in such large sheets. Our porch may get that treatment, though it wouldn't be the greatest approach for "curb appeal". Oh well, the plants are more important than making a good impression, right?

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    1. Indeed Ricki although I'm sure you'd appreciate it too when your porch is bubblewrap free. Seriously though it's a cheap but a good way of insulating (but perhaps not for the front of the house).

      This summer was such a blast, one of the highlights is the Portland fling! :)

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  12. Your dedication (and organization) never fail to amaze me.

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  13. Oh my, I feel a bit slovenly...look how tidy everything is ! My winter plans are still in formulation, but I have some time-our first frost is usually sometime in November.

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    1. It's not that tidy on other bits of the garden Kathy, lots of catching up to do still. There's still plenty of time left to get everything done, and like you we don't usually worry till November.

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  14. I'd been wondering if I somehow missed the jungle hut update - are you going to cover that this fall? I can't believe you're already working on winter preparations!

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    1. Will try to Kris, hopefully we'll be able to take photos of it this weekend. The only thing is there are lots of leaf litter now that the garden is going on autumn mode so everywhere is looking less tidy. I'm surprised myself how we haven't taken many photos of the jungle hut once redecoration was all finished.

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  15. OK, if you guys are getting out the bubble wrap it must be autumn... Though it is hard to accept when I am still wandering around in a t-shirt and can happily drink tea sat outside without needing a coat! Look forward to seeing ferns and veranda etc soon...

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    1. The bubblewrap is just a very early part of winter preparation, at least that task is not out of the way. Full on migration of plants will not happen till much later. Had if not for the old insulation disintegrating we would have not replaced it at all. This new insulation should should give us 2-3 years of not doing it again, cross fingers!

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  16. You are organised. No running out to throw tablecloths over everything tender on the first frosty night for you. I always think there is plenty of time and then find that there isn' t. But this glorious September weather fools one into thinking that it will never stop.

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    1. No matter how much or early we prepare we always still end up rushing around when the first lot of heavy frost is forecast. May this warm September and October continue :)

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  17. I thoroughly agree with the planned leisurely approach to winter protection and there is no real rush to repot all those succulents into terra cotta pots (as you threatened.:-)

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  18. Your photos do make me a bit melancholy. Winter is my least favorite time of year, and I never look forward to it even though here in Northern California we're still months away from needing to think about winter protection.

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    1. It's my least favourite season too Gerhard but I just try to focus on the nice bits of it. It's the post Christmas till end of February that I find the trickiest period, when the fever of the festive period is done and spring still seems a long way away..

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