Until July 2017, documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say! Meanwhile . . . I've now moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire. Click on the link below to collect the new URL. Don't forget to follow there!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


. . . I'ts just begun.

Blackberry eating sometimes seems the highlight of the hedgerow year.

By the time they wither and become tasteless, we have to agree with nature that winter is on its way.

But, really, this is just the beginning. Seeds are almost ready for a new start. Growth doesn't start with spring, not really - autumn is where it begins.

Humans plant most of their seeds in the spring, when the weather is beginning to warm. Wild Fennel is dropping its sowing its seeds now.

Roses are passed but their hips make great displays

Haws which began as May Blossom earlier in the year are beginning to shrivel and age

And the skins of sloes are wrinkling. (Sloes are Blackthorn fruits.)

I don't know what this plant is called.

It's low growing with densely packed, white umbels. I don't like it at all . . . until the flower vanishes and its seeds are left behind.  Wonderful!

Viper's Bugloss flowers are over and the plant is now transformed into a stick of silver prickles. Tiny seeds are now falling from the cups which have held them while they ripened.

The hedges are fluffy with Old Man's Beard (the seed protections for Traveller's Joy - wild clematis). This year, they are smaller than usual - but just as lovely.

Seed upon seed . . . did you notice?
Grass? Wild Barley? Can't see that it has come from anywhere immediately above. Bird or wind delivered.

And back to ground level.

'Fool, if you think it's over . . . it's just begun' A song sung by Elkie Brooks. She wan't singing about Autumn but . . just look at those seeds fall.

All photos for this post were taken on the afternoon of October 25th 2011.


Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

I still think of September / October as the start of the year rather than the end.

Traditionally the Ancient Celtic new year began at dusk on the 31st October.

Fab. images - I love seedheads and seeds.

elaine rickett said...

One of the good things about writing a blog is that it makes you look more closely at your surroundings and nature. You have captured the end of the season perfectly.

Barbee' said...

I've always been a compulsive seed collector. I'm trying to break that habit. I'm doing better this year.

Helen said...

A life-affirming sentiment, Lucy. I agree whole-heartedly.

Perhaps your mystery plant is something carroty?

Lucy said...

It makes sense, Karen. I shall have to remember to wish people 'Happy New Year' on November 1st.

Elaine - you are absolutely right. I would have no reason to take so many pictures of seeds and leaves if I didn't have the blog - and my walks would be less attentive, my life less rich, because of it.

Barbee - the trouble with seed collecting is that plants nearly always produce more seeds than we could ever need. Have you seen the millions each flower on a foxglove produces. (Let alone each plant!) And they are so very tiny compared with what they grow into!

Hello Helen. Agreed. Likely to be carroty - but there are so many in this family I would have to go on a course to decide between them! (I'm glad I don't have to be an expert to have a blog.)

Toffeeapple said...

Another terrific post Lucy, I do like your walks. I'm with the others on Autumn being the start of the year, I love it.

Roger B. said...

I think your mystery plant may be wild carrot.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I LOVE the seeds of the mystery plant!! I also love fall and nature's seed sowing. Rose hips, imho, are prettier than rose blooms.

Muddy Boot Dreams said...


Love those shots.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Mark Willis said...

Such an eye for detail! You certainly are a Master of the close-up shot. Love the "carroty" one.

Gary said...

Interesting post, sort of about regeneration isn't it? Of course Boom would say winter is the best time. Great photos!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Elephant's Eye said...

My garden year begins in Autumn, when the first rains come, and the plants heave a huge collective sigh of relief. Then we plant, then we grow. The spring flowers are just the garnish on top, the icing on the cupcake, soon to become crumpled paper cases.

PatioPatch said...

the fulfillment of the year is exemplified in your hedgerow tour. Never took any notice of seeded blackberries til this post - now I'll always look. Thanks also for the trip down memory lane

Anna said...

Great photos and post Lucy. I've noticed that the fennel at my allotment is about to scatter its seed but will be happy to have some seedlings for plant sales next year. Now you will be responsible for me singing a certain song for the rest of the evening :)

catmint said...

I suppose it's like a circle / cycle, there's no beginning and unless humans manage to be too destructive, there's no end. btw if you haven't read it I recommend a wonderful book about seeds called An Orchard Invisible, by Jonathon Silvertown. And finally - brilliant photos.

Lucy said...

Hello Toffeeapple. Glad you like the walks on Loose and Leafy. Sometimes I'm a little concerned that the subject matter ends up a bit diffuse - so your encouragement is . . . encouraging!

Hello Roger B. I think I'll content myself with admiring the plant without worrying what it is. This probably isn't the right approach but I'd rather leave things a bit vague than risk giving wrong information. In so many families, the differences between one and another are quite slight (to non-experts like me).

Hello Monica. I'm not a great rose fan but I do like white dog roses. (Not so keen on pink ones.) However, although rose hips are very cheerful, the profusion of reds - haws, hips and holly can get a bit overwhelming at this time of year.

Hello Jen at Muddy Boot Dreams. Glad you like the autumnal pictures.

Thanks Mark. Watching the hedgerows in quite a small geographic area, year in, year out, encourages one to look close. The wider view could become uncomfortably repetitive.

Hello Gary. I agree with Boom. Autumn is the best season.

Hello Diana at Elephants Eye. Your comment is interesting in that although there are some plants which go in at this time of the year - like bulbs and wallflowers and broad beans - mostly we wait till spring before planting begins. Autumn introduces a pause.

Hello Patio Patch. It's true. Once the blackberries are beyond eating, we tend to ignore them.

Hello Anna. I can't regret sending anyone away to sing!

Thanks for the book recommendation, Catmint . . . and although there is no beginning and no end . . . sometimes it feels as if there is . . . and different ones of us choose different times. When I was a child I think Christmas was the culmination and the beginning of everything!

Lucy said...

Dear Everyone.

There's a new post today on Loose and Leafy. It's about Harlequin Ladybirds.

Here's the link


Rowan said...

As with Karen this is the start of the year for me as well, there is so much to see in the countryside and you've illustrated it beautifully with this post. Even though it looks as though everything is dying actually it is just moving on to the next stage in the circle of life which is something that I find very comforting..