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Latest post from MARKSVEGPLOT – a blog about food and gardening in England”

That’s www in the sense of the World-Wide Web. Let me explain…

The temperatures are slowly edging downwards. Most nights this past week it has been only a couple of degrees above zero. Mornings are misty before the sun breaks through, and the plants are all covered in dew. And cobwebs!

The tall whippy stems of the Verbena Bonariensis seem to be the spiders’ favourite anchoring points, giving ample opportunity for complex and artistic configurations.

Actually, I have also been very impressed with the Verbena. Having bought it earlier this year as a tiny plant in a 5-inch pot, I have seen it grow to over five feet tall and put up about a dozen main stems, each of which has produced several subsidiary stems full of flowers. Those flowers are incredibly long-lasting too. Each one seems to last for weeks and weeks. This plant allegedly self-seeds readily, but I don’t mind if it does!

Here’s one of the spiders bundling up some unfortunate insect in layers of gossamer, almost like one of us would prepare an enchilada or a wrap!

There are plenty of other signs of Autumn in the garden too. The russetted leaves of the Callicarpa bush are having their moment of glory before falling off and handing over the limelight to the bright purple berries.

In similar fashion the leaves of the Dogwood shrubs go through a brief phase of intense colour prior to revealing their stems. This one is Cornus Alba “Kesselringii”, whose stems in Winter are very dark, almost black.

Not long now till Halloween. You can see where the association of spiders’ webs with Halloween comes from, can’t you? They are everywhere just now.

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