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Autumn Days


I forgot how inspiring and magical they were.

That last photo was the Horniman Avenue. Currently I blow all the leaves off it (and get as many out of the beds at the side as possible) between 7:30 and 9am. I love being warmed up by the friendly chugging petrol engine on my back on those foggy mornings.

Yes, that’s where I’ve been. Working hard and learning a lot. And using all the machinery, which is lots and lots of fun. Each day working there really is better than the last. I need to stop boasting about what a satisfying job I’ve got myself into.

Hawthorn hedge before:

Hawthorn hedge after:

Hedge trimmers aren’t as dangerous as they look. Nothing is as dangerous as it looks, and I always recieve thorough training. Actually, about 2 months back was my most serious tool-related injury where I nicked my little finger on the blade of some secateurs. Often we’re complacent with the non-electricals. I have respect for the machinery.

I adore mowing. Currently I have no photos of the first 2 lawn areas I successfully mowed on my own. Should take some. Edging’s great too; surprise surprise working in a large public space has taught me appreciate good lawn maintenance.

I’m sure I’ll be tackling strimming soon. Oooh. Um… to round of a power tools rave, the jet washer is also big and ear-protectory and anti-vibration-glovey. I s’pose the best thing about this equipment is it gets jobs done fast. We have so much…. too much… to do, and efficiency is key. But so are fag breaks.

I got a lot of lovely seedlings when weeding this Japanese-style display area in front of the museum entrance, including anemones, lamium and muscari.:

I enjoyed thoroughly watering the nursery, particularly discovering the new 3,000 sedum plugs in the polytunnel destined for green-roofing the newly-built animal house. There will be llamas. :D And I couldn’t resist snapping the gorgeous spectrums in these hazel leaves:

And since it’s still mycology season, more mushrooms! And you couldn’t get much more different than these two. Firstly, a delicate, unidentified duo:

And secondly, being the largest fungus I’ve seen this year, the massive, rude, bulbous cracked yellow boletes:

We cleared a massive ornamental grape vine yesterday, which took 5 hours – and that was just one side of the fence! The other side there’s a 30ft drop wich the rampant plant has scaled.

Under that mass of vine were some fantastic shrubs that probably hadn’t been visible for at least a year (apparently this vine had been growing for 5). I was surprised to see they were in such health.

I fell in love with Phyllostachys nigra:

which is the black bamboo behind the vine’s ornate autumn foliage. It felt awesome to free such a dazzling ebony specimen from a thich canopy that was bending into arcs the geometrically straight canes.

Um… and another photo that was nice (but not as nice as that one):

was of a young mahonia and quite a mature spindle. I like the way the fog condensed on its leaves.

From yesterday’s work I got a free Phormium ‘Pink Stripe’ which is currently in an overnight soak.

The first planting in the educational fibres and dyes garden might actually go ahead tomorrow, since we had some bananas in the nursery saved from last year’s African garden… here they were last year in fact:

Okay, so we’re only using Musa basjoo when we should be using M. textilis, but it illustrates the facts well enough. And anyone who can tell the difference won’t need no education!

And finally, on the subject of fibres, I must suggest the fibre uses of the Chusan/windmill palm, Trachycarpus fortunei, and the amount of seedlings that have carpeted a locus around the huge wooly parent trees we cleared the vine from.
Here are their fructescences:

I don’t like the fact that there is less daylight now though. ):

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Were those mushrooms really that lilacy colour, or is it the camera's interpretation? They look fab... but try as I might, I can't help feeling melancholy in autumn - its the fading of the light as far as I'm concerned. Lovely here today, could be mid summer.

28 Sep, 2011


Yes, Autumn is certainly magical and you've caught some of her fabulous colour and atmosphere in your pictures. Agree with you both tho' - the fading light is sad and putting back the clocks is just too depressing. Making the most of glorious sunlight today, however.

28 Sep, 2011


Great blog Tralamander, we can hear in your words how much you are loving your new job!!
Pictures are great, I'm not technically minded when it comes to gardening - but you make it all sound great :)
I love Autumn colours too. I live by a river and all the trees are turning now. It looks amazing.
Keep learning and loving :)

28 Sep, 2011


Enjoyed your blog as well. Here in Wales it feels like summer is coming back - it was so nice and warm today, I didn't feel like working. Instead wanted to grab my camera and go for a walk... I like the beginings of autumn, looking forward to clock changing - as it means I will be working only until 5 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. I live in the valley now - which means days are shorter on my side of the hill - as the sun is hiding behind the hill still shining there, but not here:( but all those beautifull sunsets... well - guess we cannot have everything we want, lol
Lovely pictures - thanks for sharing:)

28 Sep, 2011


Thanks so much for your kind words, all of you. I've greatly enjoyed your stories as well. I hope you all enjoy this last blast of summer!

Bamboo, those mushrooms are set off by the grass quite well - they were more greyish white than they appear in the photo. :)

29 Sep, 2011


Last blast of summer! Its roasting in here, I woke up late today and I'm absolutely boiling. I wouldn't mind, but I'd already put away all the fans etc., I can see I'll be needing them before the end of the day. Its 24 degC in my lounge at 12.04 pm, lord knows what it is outside...

29 Sep, 2011


It might be creeping up to 30C at the weekend, Bamboo. I'm loving it, but UK plants are so confused, bless 'em! :D

30 Sep, 2011

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