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China Girl blog 2nd November 2016

Something of the charm of autumn lifts our spirits before the cold sets in; there is a fragmentary beauty about this time year and wisps of colour still remain. Many of the late-flowering salvias are at their best, the tall pink Salvia involucrata, which towers over me like a great flowering tree. Still flowering is Salvia fulgens, with its fluffy-lipped velvet flowers, together with the pineapple Salvia elegance, the leaves of which smell of pineapple. Salvia amistad, blue enigma and african sky are among many which add a touch of elegance against the old yew hedges.

 Above all, late October has been a source of constant pleasure as each day the leaves on the trees color-up, getting deeper and richer, the leaves falling like teardrops, peacefully and quiet.

 The autumn mists rise across the meadow, wrapping the old house in their pearly light.  Work this week has been emptying the many pots in readiness for the tulips, which replace the summer splendour.  If the pots are cracked or broken, they are mended with araldite; bits that are missing are moulded with car-body filler. We try never to throw away our precious containers.

 Life in the house and garden is always busy, preparing for the following season.  Dearest Mother says “to love and to labour is the sum of life. Simple, peaceful and eternal.”