How 2022 ended at Le Hot

After the long hot summer of 2022, the garden at Le Hot was happy to relax into mellower days.  During September the razzmatazz colours were mostly over, but there was a tranquil beauty to the fading foliage and developing seedheads.  The stork family had all left and the big nest was full of twittering little birds until the main occupants return in early spring.

The perennial beds looking distinctly autumnal after the hot summer in 2022

A 10-day return in early November showed us the full panoply of autumn colour among the leaves, fruit and hips.

A bright leaf of Liquidambar Worplesdon looking like a jewelled brooch on the grass
The glowing berries of Cotoneaster cornubia
The Virginia creeper starting to show its autumn finery on the pagoda
The crab apple espalier looking a delight in autumn with its bright fruits so beloved by the birds

But we were STILL able to pick small bouquets of roses as we harvested the last of the chillies.  

A beautiful bouquet of roses picked from bushes still in flower in November…….

I spent much of my time on this trip excavating the brambly banks of an area of poor soil (a foot of soil over the concrete base of a barn that used to be there). My plan is to use this area to try and develop a sort of ‘prairie meadow’ of wild or prairie-type plants.  The soil in almost every other part of the garden is far too lush for these plants to survive – the grass and nettles take over almost immediately, despite all the yellow rattle I spread around.  Parasitizes the grass and weakens it? I wish.  

I got busy digging out the banks for my ‘prairie meadow’ experiment………..

A chilly visit of 5 days in early December meant that we were able to take some very picturesque photos of Le Hot in the snow.  Not much gardening done, I’m afraid – it was more a question of cosy drinks by the fire, planning for next year’s garden…………………

The snow looks so decorative on the barn steps
The back of the house looking picturesque in the snow

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