Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Days of Mellow fruitfulness

As summer slowly slips away, the last of the evening light fades all too quickly and dawn seems a long time coming in the early morning.

 As the days grow shorter there is a faded softness in the garden on mild days when the sun shines weakly through the layers of cloud.

Even on a bright day when for some of the time the sky is an unbelievably bright blue, the air holds a hint of freshness which makes you shiver when the still hot sun goes in.

But for the most part, the mellow signs of autumn are now apparent throughout the garden and countryside.

The hedgrows are full of ripening and already spent blackberries

in the garden, the roses are gently fading

the tomatoes are gradually taking on colour, slowly ripening in what meagre sun there is

the crabapples are bright red, just waiting to be picked and made into crabapple jelly

the autumn hues are everywhere

the hydrangeas have lost their bright early summer colours of clear blues and pinks, and instead are turning soft rosy hues tinged with green and lilac like soft faded cotton summer dresses worn and washed too many times

bright berries show vividly against the green leaves as yet untouched by autumn tints

and the grapes ripen darkly on the vine, plump and juicy, with a frosted bloom

a little new colour in the garden cheers me, as the garden in general takes on that neglected and faded worn out autumn appearance

the last flush of white roses still softly scented

and the blooms of the sweet smelling honeysuckle are finally over for the year, now given over to berries

the outdoor peppers, although still abundantly flowering, are in a race against time to grow into peppers large enough to eat

and the tomatoes, although the golden variety are colouring up nicely now, the Oxheart still have a way to go

the first beetroots have been pulled and given away, but plenty more for us

and the remaining spring onions have finally reached a respectable size

the sweetcorn has ripened

the runner beans are coming thick and fast now, having recovered from the set back in early June when I first planted them out to be weakened by intense heat and heavy rain which burnt and shrivelled the leaves

the warmth loving hibiscus has only managed to produce a few flowers this year

a ladybird finds a resting place amongst some reddening berries

On the Gillyflower Home News front

 Bella has successfully passed her GCSEs and got her place in the Sixth Form at school - lots of happy dances and sighs of relief and sipping of bubbly for a few days here in the Gillyflower household.

And a new Blackberry arrived in the post as recognition of all the hard work (rather belated as it was  intended to reward the effort before the result)

To her (and our) delight, she managed to secure a couple of A*s, a generous sprinkling of As, a couple of Bs and a rather unexpected D for Drama, which the school are contesting for all the drama students as the majority got unexpected and exceedingly low grades - so hopefully that will be upgraded!

Poor Logan has had a male doggy operation and, as well as the obvious discomfort and confusion, has sadly had to suffer the indignity of wearing a lampshade type of collar for a week to prevent his licking his wound.

This somewhat curtailed his usual mad chasing of Bessie, but all Logan lovers will be pleased to hear that even by the day after he was trying to behave as normal, and we have had great difficulty in ensuring he has had the prescribed 10 days "rest" as he has tried to rush around like a loony as usual.

On the plus side, he has loved the "recovery" food ( a kind of meaty pate, served every couple of hours for the first few days - oh boy he couldnt get enough of it!)and has spent many happy hours on "Mummys" lap just like old times when he was a little pup and has, quite rightly, been thoroughly spoilt and mollycoddled by everyone.

Well, sorry this has been such a long post, thank you all so much for bearing with me, and thank you for all your comments on my last post.

Once School goes back I shall aim to return to a normal routine of posting more frequent but shorter posts!


  1. Hello Gill:
    Congratulations to Bella on a most impressive set of GCSE results. It is so dispiriting to read news reports of how 'easy' these examinations are when, truth be told, they require a significant amount of hard work on behalf of the student. Well done, indeed!

    Yes, we thought England to have become very autumnal when we visited and must admit that we were pleased to still have some summer sun here in Budapest. Your Hydrangeas look wonderful, however, we do so love those muted shades.

  2. Well done Bella! Such a relief to be through all that!
    Autumn started for me today with the kids' return to school but the weather and garden really have been feeling Autumny for a while now. Fire lighting time I think! Cx

  3. Happy days for Bella, Good Job!
    Poor poor Logan, I remember George they didn't give us a cone for him...I think you have better vet's over there!
    I too am enjoying the shades and turns of fall but your shades and signs are glorious and your grapes...hmmmm blissful I bet the smell is even more heavenly!

  4. Hi Gill, thanks for your message the other day - I was glad to hear Logan is making a good recovery with lots of cuddles and nice food! Love your post about autumn, especially the bit about hydrangeas being like "soft faded cotton summer dresses worn and washed too many times" - beautifully put. And well done to Bella - good to hear her hard work has been rewarded :)
    Jane xx

  5. A lovely autumnal post. Well done to Bella - clever girl! Logan is such a sweetie. I wish him a swift recovery after his 'trauma'. x

  6. Congratulations to your daughter - what a fab bunch of grades! I loved all the photos from the garden - change is most definitely in the air (and socks are on in the evening!) Poor Logan...

  7. Lovely post Gill!
    Firstly congrats to Bella on her excellent results and big hugs to poor Logan!
    Love the crab apples and delicious looking grapes! A beautiful description of the hydrangeas. :) There definitely is a change in the air!
    Vivienne x

  8. What a lovely garden.
    Congrats to Bella too, It must have been so hard to wait so long for the results!

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    Tak for rundvisningen.

  10. Congratulations to Bella on her exceedingly good exam results :o)

    A big hug to Logan..Aaawww...look at him the little sweetie :o)

    And well done you, on taking such fabulous photos that I love looking at, and having such a fandabby blog that I love reading :o)

    Have a great weekend too. xx

  11. What a lovely post. I love hearing about the change in the seasons. I love how you write.

  12. Hi Gilly!! What bounty in your garden, wow, that is wonderful. Great report - D for Drama, love those completely subjective courses they make children do?? So arbitary. Love Posie

  13. A fab tour of your garden. Love those hydrangeas whether they are in full bloom or not, just so pretty.
    Many congrats to Bella on her exam results.
    Lisa x

  14. A lovely post and congrats to Bella, great results.

  15. Autumn is coming far to quickly for my liking, I don't feel that we've had a summer this year. Perhaps I'll feel differently once school starts again next week. Many congratulations again to Bella, brilliant results, and what a lucky girl being rewarded with a new Blackberry. Poor Logan, glad to hear he's feeling better. Archie was such a cry baby when he had his op last year. We did mollycoddle him through it though.

  16. Hi Gill,
    Congratulations and well done to Bella on her excellent results.

    I really enjoyed your autumn post, you captured this transition from summer to autumn so well with such atmospheric words and photos.

    Hope Logan is continuing to make a speedy recovery, one of our dogs had that op, a few years ago, he hasn't looked back, it was definately for the best. xx

  17. Congratulations to Bella on her wonderful GCSE results! So pleased for her and for you! Your autumnal post is beautiful, especially the pretty description of hydrangeas and the way their colours change. You have such a lot of lovely produce in your garden, and I loved seeing the berries and the grapes. Poor Logan...but he will soon be over it, and yes, my dog adored the special post operative dog food too and kept pleading for more...and more!!
    Have a great afternoon, hope it's as sunny there as it is here.
    Helen x

  18. YAY Bella!!! Poor Logan!!
    Your garden is a lovely mix of summer and autumn. Enjoy the last of the tomatoes, and hope you continue the celebrating!

  19. Hi Gill, I'm so sad to see summer fade away! It seems to take so long to get here! Congrats to Bella! I'm so happy for her! I hope she has a wonderful school year! I'm a Logan lover, and I remember when Duke had to have his operation, for him it was serious, I won't get into the detail, except to say he could have gotten cancer if he didn't have the operation. They deserve lots of love! They are such fun!

    It's Labor Day weekend in the U.S., hope you have a wonderful weekend!


  20. Congrats to Bella, what an achievement!
    Your garden is looking so glorious Gilly. It's so nice to "visit" :)

  21. Congratulations to your daughter for passing her exams.

    Love all your pictures x

    Leah x

  22. What a beautiful post Gill. Well done Bella! I bet she is so pleased her hard work has been rewarded with good grades.
    I LOVE that description of the colours of Hydrangeas utterly perfect.
    Looks like your not going hungry this Autumn. Well done you.

  23. Hello've described the baby steps of Autumn's entrance so perfectly...I'm amazed at the fall color you're already experiencing's beautiful. I have to say though that I'm not quite ready for it's arrival just yet as summer has finally just arrived teased us for so long and I'm just not ready for the maple that is inbetween our laundry room and our neighbor's bedroom to lose it's leaves yet, it feels as if they've just arrived! Dear neighbors have no shades and have no intentions of putting any up either...the tree is our only buffer...needless to say, I hope summer stays around for quite a long while yet.
    Congratulations to wonderfully proud you and she must be! And poor Logan, at least he has your lap and the tasty 'pate'...please give him a little 'mollycoddling' from Ginger and I, hope he's back to feeling chipper very soon!
    xo J~

  24. Hi Gill, so sorry I am late to your post. Congratulations to Bella, all her hard work paid off. I am sure she is delighted with the Blackberry. That little Logan is so cute, glad he is on the mend. Your produce looks fabulous. Don't you keep the tomatoes in your greenhouse? Your closeup of the blackberries really fooled me, I thought they were some kind of huge berry and I couldn't believe it! Have a great weekend, love Linda x


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x