Well, it’s almost November, so winter must be around the corner – though I have to say that the temperatures today gave little indication of up upcoming change in weather.   The plants also haven’t quite sussed that things are changing.  I have a hemerocalis in bud, a few roses out and a clematis that refuses to give up, as well as a few geraniums in flower.   The goldfish too haven’t yet decided that it is time to drop to the bottom of the pool, they still come straight to the surface when you walk by the pond, in hope of some food.  The berries on my pyracantha are a wonderful bright red – who says autumn is a season that lacks interest ???

The main job today was pressure washing the paths.  This is a job I hate doing as it is such a palaver to get everything ready, but when the job is done, the paths do look wonderful.  Once the pressure washer is out, it must be hooked up to both water and electricity and then I get changed into my protective clothing (waterproof trousers and boots) and then we can get going.  I have to admit that getting a water tap in the garage has made things a lot easier than when I had to lay out the hose from the back door.  The main reason for this pressure washing is safety over the winter.  We frequently make the journey between the house and the garage and I would have for anyone to slip and hurt themselves.  I tend to do the job again in spring to remove the effects of the winter and then sometimes  I do it again a couple of weeks before the garden opening in June if I feel that the paths are looking a little scruffy.

The biggest problem with this job is finding the right day to do it.  It has to be at a weekend and it has to be a dry day (electricty and rain are not the best companions, in my opinion) – a combination which is exceedingly hard to find at this time of year.  The forecasters told us that today was the day – tomorrow is going to be very wet :(.  I was meant to be at a dog show, but I have quarantined myself for this weekend.  The dogs have had a sickness bug and the last thing I was to do is pass it on to anyone else.  So, luckily I was free today and able to get on with the job.

The area by the pond is paved with a modern grey stone, which looks a little better when it has been cleaned, but it is the “long walk” which looks best after the procedure.  It is made from York stone and really does suffer from algal growth.  There is an immense sense of satisfaction as the path reveals its true colour from under its dark green covering.  It is also wonderful to see how much the lichen like the York stone.  None grow by the pond, but colonies are becoming very established on the York and add a great deal of character to a simple walk to the garage and back – if you look down and the path is clean enough to reveal them in all their glory.

So now our main paths are ready for the winter.  Now all I have to do is finish clearing and then get on with some planting.  I have cyclamen, daffodils and tulips waiting to go into the ground as well as a lovely young Carpenteria Californica that I was given, but that will have to wait to be planted until its fleecy jacket arrives to protect it from the worst of the winter weather.