If you want autumn colour in England, then Stourhead in Wiltshire is the place to be as today’s guest picture from my sister Mary shows. (She went with her friend Venetia and you can see more pictures of the garden if you want on Venetia’s blog.)
We can’t quite match a Greek temple in our garden but the azaleas and spirea are doing their best to come up with some colourful foliage to see the gardening year out.
They brightened up a moist and misty morning where there was so much humidity that it was sometimes hard to tell whether it was actually raining or not.
There were paler colours to be seen as well.
Mrs Tootlepedal was intent on reducing the amount of colour in one part of the garden at least and spent time digging up the dahlias in one of the front beds. I helped out by putting them through the shredder and also sieved some compost that could be put on the bed when the dahlias had gone.
Mrs Tootlepedal distributed some tulips on top of the compost then dug the compost in, planted the bulbs in their places and finally raked the whole bed over neatly.
Now we wait.
Meanwhile, I watched the birds. Goldfinches were lurking and looming around the feeder.
Then there was a moment of calm….
…before the greenfinches took over the looming and lurking duties.
There was a bit of argy bargy as to whose perch it was.
It was still rather grey after lunch but there seemed for a while that there might be a possibility that the clouds could lift so Mrs Tootlepedal suggested driving up to the White Yett and walking up the track to the monument.
We got to the monument….
…and Mrs Tootlepedal sat and enjoyed the view.
This was a little too exciting for me so I looked at the wall behind the monument…..
…and at the base of the monument itself.
As good as any view.
The walk up and down the three quarter mile track was more enjoyable than you might think. It was comfortably warm for the time of year and the wind was caressing rather than buffeting and there is something very peaceful and other worldly about walking with a fifty metre field of vision.
There were plenty of things to see beside the track.
When we got back down to the road, I was just looking at the very strong colour of the tussocky grass that covers a lot of the moor at the moment…
…when we were passed by a car which stopped at the top of the hill in front of us. People got out and looked about and then to our surprise, several hounds ran across the road….
…and disappeared down the hill towards the Little Tarras valley. It was a hound trail in action and we thought the hounds were doing very well to follow the trail in such damp and misty conditions.
I took the chance to take a picture of one of my favourite little gates…
…and then we too headed back down the hill to the town.
I persuaded Mrs Tootlepedal to let me make a diversion to Skippers Bridge before we went home because any day now may see the last of the autumn colour.
It hasn’t gone yet though.
I parked beside the bridge and walked onto it, looking north….
And then we went home for a slice of Melanie’s apple cake and a cup of tea. I sieved another bit of compost while the tea was brewing. Mrs Tootlepedal has more bulb planting in mind.
After I had drunk my tea, I went back out and picked some raspberries and found that I had enough to make a pot and a half of jam. There may be some chilly weather coming at the end of next week so I need to get the most out of the garden both as far as fruit and photographs go over the next few days.
The flower of the day is the fuchsia which seems to have more flowers on it every day…
…and the flying bird is a tiny coal tit sneaking surreptitiously between the greenfinches and the goldfinches.