All change. The blog, the climate and me…

End of the afternoon sunlight, Tostat, November 2016

It’s been almost two months since the last post. And, it is almost the end of the second year of this blog, which started out as an experiment in not boring myself, and trying out what has become a real conversation with not just me, but with readers whose responses I really enjoy and look forward to.

So, a month travelling in Ethiopia, a couple of weeks working on and running a weekend retreat here in English and French, preparing for and having our interviews for French citizenship, and having young people, ill and well, for a week or so- all that filled time and took time.  And allowed me to think about what I am doing here in this blog.

So, I have moved to my own domain platform for the blog.  You can now get to it by just typing

and there will be no more irritating adverts slowing things up.  And I have tidied up the main page a wee bit, with some new photographs.

And, more importantly, I am reminding myself that what I do in my garden matters for the ecosystem as a whole, and so, my principle of using no additional water (with the possible exception of some hand-watering in hot months of the first year of growth in the case of perennials and shrubs) is uppermost in my mind as I think about climate change.  Which is really on my mind, and what is coming out of Trump Tower is very bad news indeed.  But, at almost the same time as the US elections, I watched an incredible documentary film (thank you Erica), which has both hardened my resolve and strengthened my spirit.

The film is ‘Demain’ made by the actress Melanie Laurent and colleagues- watch it, it is hard, scary and utterly fabulous.   The first time I have got beyond being simply scared about climate change- and begun to move towards really identifying what I can do myself- and with others.  Google it and you will find ways to see it.

So, what this means in terms of the garden is this:  I am even more concerned to source plants as locally as I can, to grow from seed what I can’t easily get, and to focus down on recognising that hot, dry summers and wet winters/spring are probably the pattern for the next few years.  So this means looking to research plants that thrive in areas with these conditions- notably the Mid-Western and Northern Californian areas in particular.  I recognise that I will also need to find forgiving plants that will tolerate something less drastic as well for those many inbetween days.

But meantime, there is lots to talk about from autumn trips and plans for next year, so I will step down off my plinth and simply share some photographs of what is still looking lovely in the garden, even now.

The acer colouring is simply the best it has ever been…Tostat, November 2016
Even the apple tree has joined in…Tostat, November 2016
Miscanthus on the left, Berberis ‘Helmond Pillar’ looking red in the face, and Populus deltoides ‘Purple Tower’ going buttery against the banana, Tostat, November 2016
It won’t be the last rose, Rosa chinensis ‘Mutabilis’, Tostat, November 2016