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Autumn Colours

posted Jan 19, 2016, 12:05 PM by J Norton
After a damp, chill summer, when only the weeds flourished, and most of us gardeners felt mildly discouraged, we appear to be enjoying a long autumn with some splendid colours. Having said that, of course, the next arrival will be a gale from the west followed by torrential rain, but at this moment in time, the leaves are gently turning various shades of gold and brown, and the Virginia creeper is a glorious riot of red scrabbling over the Cotswold stone.

Time for the Great Cut Back before the frosts hit. Shrubs which had so much rain they doubled in size must be trimmed down to avoid root strain when the winds which bring the rain blow. If we are lucky we will get the resultant pile of green stuff burnt before the onslaught of the worse weather.

When it does, it is time for the autumn clean up for the advent of Christmas, already the shops have donned their festive colours, and the inevitable Christmas songs are playing whereever one goes. My granddaughters wrote out the list for Father Christmas shortly after going back to school and persuaded their grandfather to send it up the chimney there and then, which he did...not knowing he was required to memorise the contents. 

The return of Hilda, their fairy who left fairyland under a cloud last year having gone to the aid of the unicorns Norman and Harold and who took many dangerous risks, is required. She will ask the right questions and mobilise the gift-giving workforce of reluctant unicorns, elves and fairies in time for the usual advent calendar.

Hilda's tree has died in the meantime, whether the result of the re-routing of a stream, or just because Hilda was in exile, no one is quite sure. But, a new tree must be chosen, and the herald of a tiny lamppost next to it will be the first sign, followed by the advent (along side the religious one) of her tiny hand-written letters, which is the beginning of the Christmas routine.