of caterpillars and comedians

My allotment is pretty well sorted out for its winter rest after I planted some garlic today. There are winter brassicas, leeks, spinach and Japanese salads still to come and the  top dressing of the empty beds is progressing well. As I am feeling virtuous about the state of cultivations, I have been catching up with friends and garden visiting since last week-in the real world. I am still waaaaaay behind  thanking the generous kindness of the blog world-please accept this as a thank you for your continuing visits and comments-all of which are enjoyed as much as a lovely slice of chocolate cake.

I spent Monday morning at The Courts,  admiring the still bountiful perennial borders, and especially noticing the contrast in leaf texture, shape and colour and  the incredible burnt toffee scent of a  Katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum). The air was motionless  after a cold night and the perfume was hanging heavily in the air. Delicious.The lawn border  looks good, with the topiary newly clipped.

The cooler nights are beginning to lead to leaf colour changes , and we were disappointed to find the dahlia beds at Avebury Manor on Sunday had been blackened by frost. My garden has escaped so far, but it felt cold earlier this evening and I cut a last bunch of dahlias for the house, complete with attendant insect friends; the ubiquitous earwigs-why do they love dahlias so?-a couple of ladybirds and this fellow..

…it is a caterpillar of a tiger moth of some sort, pound coin for scale. The caterpillar is conveniently placed on the programme for Bath University Gardening Club, venue for an excellent talk last night by James Alexander Sinclair about planting English country gardens that has had me thinking about focal points all day. It was the funniest talk I have heard for ages. (Ever  since I was privileged to hear Hugh Dennis at a Data Centre awards dinner….I just wish I could repeat some of the jokes-but I expect they are copyright and anyway, far too rude for this genteel (ahem) blog.) It was a joyous evening, complete with the excellent company of fellow bloggers. Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing?


2 thoughts on “of caterpillars and comedians

  1. The frost got the squash and achocha leaves in the veg plot on Wednesday night… so I guess this is winter.

    I hadn’t heard of The Courts – my sort of borders, all billowing big plants with topiary peeping out – lovely!

    Lucky you, would love to go to a Hugh Dennis gig.

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