The International Steam Pages

Our Cup Runneth Over
Resting on Your Laurels

This page is part of a series of garden blogs from 2016. Click here for the index.

To be honest, with the joint demands of endless watering and equally endless steam rallies, routine maintenance got neglected through July and August 2016. Fortunately our grass stopped growing and next door the hay field got its annual cut so for a few days they looked more similar than usual. Of course, if you stood down the bottom by the roadside it might not have been apparent, it's called resting on your laurels.

I think all of Yuehong's friends live in an urban environment, she regularly makes them envious by posting pictures of her garden.

Now it was my turn to show off with the new flower bed. Every year I collect a representative selection of African marigold seeds which get thrown in some third hand compost to germinate and every year they turn up trumps as long as I remember to put the slug bait down.

We had no space for the begonias so they got shoved on the garage roof where eventually they looked quite good. Down below there were dahlias and more dahlias, not all were successful by any means but you couldn't tell.

Ordinarily, our rockery heathers are rather dull, but this year they were excellent. It helps, of course, if the pictures are taken soon after sunrise at 06.30.

I'm not sure what happened to September, but we did a lot of travelling and I didn't take a single picture at home. As we got to the middle of October, the plants refused to accept lower temperatures and shorter days. The fuchsias had recovered from an attack of the dreaded fungus and were at their peak.

The dahlias at the back were the equal of those in the front, but the colour of the acer reflected the season.

Put in context, there's a different kind of colour now. Like the others our original fuchsia which we inherited is only now going well.

This is end of season reality, tender plants queued up for repotting and heading for the greenhouse, so many that some of the fuchsias are left out to take their chances in the depths of winter. The plastic bags are about half the horse manure collected recently which is dug into the empty beds as they become available. 

I don't want the honeysuckle covering the garage roof and rooting in it, so I have given it a way out, that will look interesting in 2017. This was the last day of summer, behind only the permanent residents and the dahlias remain. The latter will have the whip cracked soon as I have to dry them out so they successfully sit out the winter in the garage.

Actually, apart from the new flower bed, it had not been a great summer for the garden, there wasn't enough sun although since we wait for it to appear to wield the cameras, you wouldn't guess. Penang calls, there we have an entirely different kind of garden, one which needs no assistance from us but where we burn even more energy. The pictures below were taken on the last day of October, it looks like we'll have some November rose blooms before we go.

Rob and Yuehong Dickinson