The days are cooler, some actually cold and gardening has almost come to a stand-still, consisting mostly of clearing leaves, neatening borders and fixing up messes made by the chickens. The Marigolds are all but gone with the exception of a few new seedlings which are not going to make it as the days get colder. Our unusual autumn rains have definitely confused the issue as stacks of Nasturtium seedlings have also appeared - these might just survive the winter, I often have Nasturtiums flowering right through the year. But my garden birds are enjoying the cooler days and spend a lot of time at the bird feeders and bird baths. During winter I always step up the amount of feeding as seeds and grubs get fewer and fewer.
Marigold seedlings intent on facing the wrath of winter
Two metal birds standing watch over the newly-planted Kniphofia (Red Hot Pokers)
My Halleria lucida (Tree Fuchsia) recovered nicely from last winter's frost, but will soon be leafless again
My efforts at starting a compost heap has been a total failure. I followed all the guide lines and it grew bigger and bigger, turning into a huge pile of leaves and other necessary materials and no sign of the 'black gold' I was trying to cultivate! The only good that came out of it is that the chickens had a great time scratching it about! Oh my. So this week the whole heap will be spread around the garden as a mulch, hopefully protecting many of the plants' feet against the impending cold.