It is a long time since I have posted due to other commitments, but this year has certainly been interesting.
We started with a dreadful spring followed by a summer that was better than average, temperature-wise. Autumn has been fairly changeable but certainly not cold. We have had no frosts here yet and probably less than average rainfall.
However, the conditions have obviously been just right to produce a massive harvest of fruit, nuts and berries. The apple trees are groaning under the weight of fruit. I have stashed bags full of blackberries in the freezer. The oak trees are laden with acorns and the horse chestnuts have more conkers than I have ever seen before.
Of course, this is all good news for the animals who are constantly present under the apples trees gorging themselves on windfalls.
The photo above shows a couple of roe deer. The photo below shows a muntjac and even the hares have been getting in on the act along with crows, jackdaws and jays.
The recent rain has also brought out the fungi - various types of inkcaps, parasols, honey fungus, boletes and sulphur tuft. Here are a few photos.
The Hare's Foot Inkcaps are intriguing. They are very delicate, open up like a flower and only last a few hours.
We have been very busy with some long overdue reorganisation of the garden. We have had the pond dredged and tidied up and it is quite transformed with a new bridge and waterfall. The banks of the pond were quite steeply sloping which made it difficult to get close. We have reduced the slopes and hopefully next year I will be able to get better photos of some of the pond life.
It was very frustrating this summer. There were huge numbers of dragonflies but I was unable to get any photos.
We are also planning to create new flowerbeds around the pond but we will not be planting until the spring.
Look out for better pond photos next year!
We have also been reorganising the flowerbeds around the house. They had become rather overgrown and untidy.
We have created a fern garden below the kitchen window in a spot that does not get a lot of sun and is usually quite damp.
We have planted Hellebores for winter colour and hundreds of new spring bulbs. I really cannot wait to see the results next spring. I will be sure to post some photos.
The garden reorganisation does not stop there and we will be working outwards from the house to get the other flowerbeds in better shape next spring.
Let's hope that the winter will be kind to us.