Garden Views-10-October 2019

October began with the same weather pattern as the end of September, so quite mild but wet and windy, with a rare sunny respite on the second.

This meant continued great conditions for Waxcap mushrooms in our meadows, and a couple of species also growing in our terrace garden amongst the Asters… Several new species found this year, and more numbers than ever before. A range from the meadows picked on October 3rd, below. These really are a very special autumnal visual treat…

There’s always still a lot of flower interest in the garden in early October, though we do begin our significant pre winter cut back early in the month, since the weather is often against us, and in what looks like being a rain-every-day-month, the asters are already looking a little soggy …

In spite of having to wait until October 20 th to get a dry day, autumn colour developed wonderfully through the month, and with no early frost to knock back the Saxifrage fortunei, this October was a real delight albeit it in fairly brief sunny interludes…

Towards the end of the month, and after we’d gone about 4 weeks without a dry day, we chanced arranging a last “pop up ”  NGS garden open day for the last Saturday in October, only to find that the forecast changed and the day before saw the wettest 24 hour period this year, with 69 mm rain falling. At least weather forecasts give advance warning and a few hours spent clearing out chevron channels and the central channel on our access track avoided significant erosion. To the week, this was the same time as storm Callum hit in 2018. Years ago we anticipated such damaging intense rainfall events with climate change, and started on creating a drainage system for our track. Years of effort are now paying dividends.

Sunday itself dawned bright and clear, for a lovely if chilly day, and was enjoyed by all who came. We still had more crops of colourful waxcap mushrooms in our hay meadows.

October had a further sting in its tail when the winds picked up and swung to the South East for a very chilly blast with a couple of slight frosts before milder damp conditions saw out Halloween.

A major attraction for the last week of the month was the large crop of Earthtongue mushrooms which graced our mossy croquet lawn. In future, I’ll raise the blade height for our lawnmower in mid autumn to be able to enjoy these nationally rare fungi, and other species which enjoy the conditions here.

The month ended with a rainfall total of 224.65 mm, so surprisingly similar to last October’s wet 233 mm, but with a PV reading of just 186.96 KWH  (234 KWH for 2018), reflected that it had been one of the gloomier Octobers here.