My autumn garden – 29th of October

The leaves that are still on trees have been raining down on us over the past few days, the frost has left them unable to cling on any longer, but these photos are of my garden as it was on the 29th of October when the acers were at their most vibrant. A last loud hurrah before they have a rest.


acers , physocarpus, viburnum, liquidambar

Below is a much smaller acer, a pieris and a conical evergreen which I love but can’t remember what it’s called, I’m really not very good with all those conifers. The blue/green one in the foreground is a creeping juniper I think.


The mystery tree below which I bought for all of two quid at Hill House of Tarvit plant sale a few years ago is great – but still a mystery. It has lovely glossy berries and its leaves look a bit cotoneaster-ish, but it’s definitely a tree not a shrub. The heather has been looking a bit scruffy until now, it is great for autumn colour though.

mystery tree, my garden

The bright yellow-ish conifers in the background are those ones that you can buy from supermarkets for about £1 when they’re just a foot or so tall. These ones are now five years old and although they were all the same size when I planted them two of them have had to be cut back because of frost or perhaps wind burn damage, but they’re still growing well and they have a lovely lemony scent when you brush against them.


Well, it was nice for me to be able to remind myself what the garden looked like just a few weeks ago. I hope you enjoyed it too.

My Garden in June

Garden 4

My garden is really beginning to fill out, it’s hard to believe that just over two years ago there was nothing here but grass and one wee apple tree. The hardest thing has been cutting away the turf but it’s worth it to get the planting space.

Garden 7

If all goes to plan that fence will be entirely hidden by plants of various sorts. The lupins you can see all came from a £1.50 packet of seeds, I got about 30 plants out of it – or more and ended up giving some away. I’m so glad I grew my own as the garden centres charge about £8 for one plant and they flower within a couple of months of germination. We’ve had strong winds over the last few days though and it has flattened some of the lupins, I must get some metal rods to bend into shape to use as plant supports for next year.

foxgloves 2 + acer

Above you can see that foxgloves have planted themselves around the acer. I’m really not ruthless enough where plants are concerned, I should have weeded them out but they seem so happy there.

Garden 6

The plant above is …. wait for it – edelweiss. I know, it’s not the sort of flower that you would think a song would be written about. Most of it is quite grey looking, but maybe if you are stuck in a long hard alpine winter then it looks wonderful – a harbinger of spring perhaps.

plant 3

I have quite a lot of houseleeks/sempervivums in various parts of the garden but I asked Jack to drill a hole in this old fondue pot and put some plants in it, they seem to be doing well.

It’s turning out to be a good garden for roses and this one below is one of my favourites. I still haven’t found its plant label so I have no idea what it’s called. Its buds are red then it changes to lots of different colours orange, peach and pink as it matures, ending up a pale yellow. It’s a beauty whatever it is.

roses 2

I’m taking notes of the things that I’ll have to do in the garden when the autumn comes, such as which plants will need to be moved then because they’re getting congested already. If I don’t take notes I’ll forget!

The Making of a Garden in Fife

Apple tree

The wee apple tree in the photo above was the only plant which was in our new garden, it’s just about to blossom. As you can see if you look behind it, I’ve been busy planting already. I’ve added climbing roses, clematis, honeysuckle, deutzia, lady’s mantle, foxgloves, honesty and more.


The border above is along one side of the garden and that is the bit which is quite claggy and dampish, so I’ve planted a fish-tail fern as well as several ordinary ferns, astilbes, snakeshead fritillaries, viburnum, pieris, skimmia and various other things which I can’t think of at the moment!

planting acers

Above you can see an acer on the left, that is one of the few plants which I managed to take from my old garden. I’ve planted a pear tree next to it. This island bed is going to be extended eventually. The concrete blocks in the background were the foundations of a wooden summerhouse which the old owners took with them. Unfortunately they’re quite well cemented in and I don’t know what to do wth that area now, I don’t really see the need for a summerhouse when you have a sun-room.

Taking a last walk around my old garden was really quite emotional, for me it was far worse than looking around the house for the last time. The garden and the birds it attracted had given me so much more pleasure than the house did, I’m not a big fan of housework!

planting a cheery tree and acer.

Above you can see the makings of another island bed with a different kind of acer in it and also a cherry tree. I really do miss the lovely old stone wall which was at the back of the old garden, and that needed almost no maintenance. It’s going to take us ages to paint this fence with wood preservative, it’s a lot of fencing, it’ll be like painting the Forth Bridge.

planting acers

Above is a view of the utility side of the house, where the bins are kept and there is also a raised bed which the previous people made. There were a few sad looking strawberry plants in it but I’ve added more compost and also planted some herbs, rosemary, chives, thyme and also some shallots. I plan to add more veggies and make another raised bed there for spinach and various other things. There are two wee Japanese maples in the foreground, along with heucheras, these are the only plants which I’m a wee bit worried about. I think they might not like the location so I’m keeping an eye on them. I took these photos a couple of weeks ago and everything else seems to look quite healthy, especially the raspberry and Tayberry bushes, I think I’ll plant some more fruit bushes.

So as you can see, I’ve got my work cut out for me, and I’m going to be busy cutting out more of that grass, especially as there are loads of thistles coming up through it. Honestly, where is Eeyore when you need him!

Spring Garden Again

Today the weather has been horrible as the east coast of Scotland has been enveloped in sea mist or as they call it here ‘haar’. So while the rest of Britain has been enjoying lovely warm sunshine I’ve been shivering the whole day and watching the mist tumble past the window.

Yesterday it was beautiful, almost like summer and thankfully I took some photographs of my garden whilst the sun was shining. This one is of one of my pieris shrubs, I think this one is called Forest Flame. The tall white flower is Honesty but most people only know of the lovely silvery seed heads which this flower will turn into in a few weeks time. It always seems magical to me and the great thing is that the flowers seed themselves around the garden. Sadly the purple ones don’t seem to be so prolific so there are always fewer of them.

honesty + pieris

I love Acers and I’m really lucky that they thrive easily in my garden, despite being so close to the North Sea. The high wall protects them from the wind which burns the delicate leaves in more exposed situations. As you can see I took this photo before getting around to snipping off last year’s old lily stems. It’s looking tidier now.


Another acer which is looking a bit floppy at the moment because the leaves are still unfurling. Primulas, forget-me-nots and aquilegia are planted underneath it. All plants which happily come back year after year.

acer + primula

And this is the same acer from another angle. To the left is a clump of cranesbill geraniums and the small silvery standard tree is a willow. I’m not sure about that one because the rest of the garden looks so natural and standards are so unnatural and contrived looking, but I love the velvety foliage and catkins.

acer + honesty

That’s just a few of the photos which I took yesterday so I’ll be doing another garden post in a few days time.