As for the real 'Autumn Joy' (Sedum x spectabile, please stand up!), mine have approximately 1cm worth of growth on them this year, owing to the way the vers blancs (European chafers) have been munching away at their roots since the spring. Flowering just isn't in your vocabulary when you're that small.
The weather is simply superb, for which I'm very grateful. I used to be a person who enjoyed leaving her garden over the winter. Here it's a different game. There is a small window of opportunity come the spring and then, because we are on a south-facing slope, all hell breaks loose (circa April) and things grow about two feet in a fortnight. Two autumns after arriving here, I know that it will pay me to be on my toes right now.
Meanwhile, I'm making rosehip tea next week: 30 grams of rosehips per litre of water, let to boil for 2 minutes. Or at least that's what the recipe says. This from my French gardening magazine. But since I've become used to this nation's style of making everything seem just a little too easy, I'm going to chop them up. It will be worth it! Did you know that rosehip tea is the best natural immune system booster available, and can help with kidney and bladder problems, as well as stress, nervousness and exhaustion? Not to mention its anti-ageing properties. Bring it on, I say!
It's clear that the ants have aided and abetted this tiny plantlet in self-sowing activities. (Please ignore the holes in the leaves - fortunately I'm not that kind of gardener and I'm ignoring them myself). One tiny tuber (grown from seed) went out in spring - et voila!
I'm sorry now that I didn't stretch the budget to purchasing some autumn-flowering Cyclamen hederifolium tubers this autumn. I thought that the Vine Terrace would be perfect for cyclamen and, it seems, I was right. But there's always next year.
Euphorbia myrsinites was also planted in the shade of the vines when I arrived and I feel like a bit of a heroine for having rescued it and carried it up to the Mirror Garden to rest near Thymus lanuginosus, Thymus vulgaris and the beautiful nest of plaster eggs decorated with dragonflies.
Nerine bowdenii (below)
Planted over my cat's grave in the Iris Garden back in March. Flowering superbly, even if I am a little disappointed that my supermarket bulbs only delivered a rather washy pink, instead of the hot pink I've been anticipating. But - heh! - they are growing!
The sound of the river when you work down there is so relaxing - add some rosehip tea and you're on your way to real rejuvenation. Mix in the noise of a few half-term kids further along the bank, yelling and splashing away while they do the whole 'happy childhood' thing. The symphony of this garden?
All I need down there is maybe a little shelter and a camping stove. Who knows, perhaps I'll just move out of the house. All that damned housework!