A Year In The Secret Garden - September

Ah, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. And having to sweep the leaves from our neighbour's sycamore tree off our lawn every day. Here's how the garden is looking this month (as part of my photo series showing A Year In Our Secret Garden). 

It's still sunny! And we still have our parasol up! We had to abbreviate one of the eucalyptus trees in the bottom left hand corner of the garden because the top leaves just gave up and shrivelled - Andre checked out the tree and reported that the bark had been completely peeled away and was covered in claw marks as if some crazed wild animal had gone to town up and down the tree trunk.

After envisaging some panther-like creature (an escapee from Knowsley Safari Park?) on the prowl through suburban Didsbury, we realised our tree had fallen foul to the whim of a slightly disappointing squirrel - apparently they're known for taking down entire trees single-clawed by peeling the bark away. We googled "eucalyptus prevent squirrel damage" and found a bunch of websites advocating that we "just shoot the little blighters" - yes, I'm sure Manchester council would be totally cool with that - so apparently there is no cure and we just have to be on the alert to chase the critters off the premises.

Honestly, what is the point in having Jack Russells if they don't banish squirrels from the garden? I will have to have stern words with the pair of them. We've often wondered if the hideous noise Penny makes whenever she sees a squirrel is a war cry or a love call, and I think our question had now been answered.

You can check out all the monthly photos (well, apart from July, where it rained and rained and rained and the garden just looked too depressing) in a gallery here.