A mini spree of warm days and gentle Greek evenings carried us through the last days of summer and well into the first month of autumn, those lovely evenings are closing in by minutes each day and now April is here I’m shocked to find that is dark by 6.30.
Spotted dog and I took a long perambulation down the rivulet linear park one beautiful evening in March, and it was really lovely to see a couple of young fathers out each with a gaggle of small bike riding children.
On the way back we stopped to chat with the pied muscovy who was balancing on the lip of the weir while engaging in some serious chest feather preening.
Then to our delight, mine anyway – I’m not sure that the dog noticed, a platypus appeared, cruising, ducking and diving, and being generally delightful. After first spying it a couple of years ago in a large dark waterhole behind the brewery we always keep an eye out when passing, peering hopefully into the depths. but rarely catch a glimpse.
I was pleased to wake to to a damp morning with autumn rain forecast, it was quite a relief
The older dahlia clumps have been flowering gaily for ages although I’ve noticed the patches are not so vigorous as in previous years. This is probably a combination of overcrowded tubers literally mounding up out of the ground on top of each other and the encroaching growth of nearby shrubs reducing the direct sunlight hours received. There will be a surplus of pretty pink but reliably tough dahlia tubers available later this year.
Cyclamen are the current treasures pushing up their delicate pink and white blooms in various nooks and crannies throughout the garden. Like galanthus in late winter the autumn flowering cyclamen are an annual treat that beg for close inspection.
Sadly labelling hasn’t been as assiduous as it should have so in some cases I’m struggling with identification.
The first colchicums have suddenly appeared, the large varieties rushing to open their soft pink goblets then tipping over like skittles. The Plantsman placed them in bare ground between boulders by the creek but aesthetically they would look more attractive planted amongst light grass to help keep them upright.
I prefer the smaller ones with their lilliputian charm and less untidy when they topple
Malus Golden hornet is struggling
Crinum powelii (?) (it was one of the few plants here when I arrived so that’s the best I can do with identification) is an untidy beast with huge strappy leaves that disintegrate disgracefully as the ethereal softest pink trumpets open atop their chest high stems. Best placed behind something bushy in the garden but gorgeous and long lasting as a cut flower
One of the early autumn flowering crocus, and my personal favourite, Crocus banaticus brought inside to show off its remarkably large iris-like blooms. This crocus likes, actually thrives in, damp conditions so I find it easier to keep alive than many of its beautiful friends who demand a long hot bake over summer
I was very surprised to see this little chap appear unheralded and unlabelled in one of the creek beds, Galanthus peshmenii I presume, but very early. The Plantsman and I had plans to visit it in its native haunts among the limestone rocks of Kastellorizo, a tiny Greek island off the southern coast of Turkey. The labelled clump of its autumn flowering brethren Galanthus reginae-olgae nearby are still fast asleep — that is, assuming some ghastly catastrophe hasn’t befallen them over summer. It probably hasn’t, but I worry til I see those pale green shoots spearing through
One very hot day the Spotted dog noticed the horse’s water trough and found it very agreeable