I am sure my September garden last year was much more colourful, but this year most things have ‘gone over’ as they say in garden jargon. It is going to be a tough week next week as I have builders in to replace the polycarbonate roof on my conservatory with something more substantial. And watertight, it is hoped. I am worried that some of my plants may get trampled on or knocked about so this weekend I shall be busy moving pots into areas which ought to be a bit safer for them.
Once the new roof is on I can start to plan what to put into the new
conservatory orangery. I have my eye on a couple of citrus plants and possibly some palms and ginger lilies.
Meantime let’s have a last look around at the September borders.
- ‘Woodland border’. This is not a colourful border except in spring when bulbs and hardy geraniums begin to flower in succession. I could try to plant some late flowering species or I could just accept that this border is at its best in springtime. At the moment the ferns are still green and there is a Virginia creeper climbing in the Goat Willow trees (left) which adds some autumnal colour. A Himalayan Honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa ‘Golden Lanterns’) is new this year, but currently in a pot. Under the Willow tree which technically is not in this border, but still a shade area are some newly planted cyclamen. I am hoping these will spread and eventually form a nice autumn clump.
- ‘Sunny Border / Gravel garden’ There is still some colour in this area of the garden, Penstemons are now flowering well after a very poor start in the summer when they appeared to flower and go to seed within days. I’m not so keen on the colour of these ones and have bought a darker ‘Raven‘ and a bluer ‘Sour Grapes‘ for the Bee and Butterfly bed. We’ll see how they get on next year. My new Osteospermums are doing OK. The purple ‘Tresco’ has produced several flowers this summer. The other two not so, but they are growing so fingers crossed. I have also bought a new red Lobelia as I love the purple one so much. And the Heleniums and Chocolate Cosmos are producing a few flowers to end off the season.Plus a self-seeded yellow Marigold which is so cheerful I haven’t the heart to remove it yet.
- ‘The Zen Patio’ is looking less colourful too despite the pots of Fuchsias and Coleus or should that be Solenostemon? I cannot get my head around all these new names I’m afraid. I thought these would be good in the shady courtyard, but since I bought them as very small plants they have been in the ‘nursery’ on the patio where they receive sun and shade and I can easily water them. The Fuchsias have done very well and flowered nicely and are already in larger pots. Next year they will be transplanted into proper glazed pots and moved to their permanent position. The Coleus however have been attacked by slugs and then caterpillars. The dark red ones have fared better. I will put them into the conservatory once it has been finished and see if they have more luck as a houseplant. And take some cuttings!!
- ‘the raised beds / vegetable garden’ is very untidy and needs a good rethink for next year. The trouble is that I keep changing my mind as to what to do with these two beds. They were intended for herbs and vegetables but the vegetable idea didn’t work so well. So this year one bed became my ‘white’ garden and I planted several white flowers such as Ammi, Cosmos and Scabious. Also some blue plants as a contrast – Eryngium and Echinops. They mostly grew too tall for this exposed bed. So over the winter I need to rethink what it is I want to do with both of them. The borage has to go as it has a tendency to overwhelm everything else in the bed. But I will grow sweetpeas again. Maybe not just white ones. I have realised that I prefer the darker colours. The nasturtiums just reappear every year and take over at this time.
but I love the ‘bird’s nests’ created by the dying heads of the Ammi visnaga or Bishop’s weed.
- ‘the wild garden’ is another area that I haven’t attended to this summer with the result that there are loads of weeds in the gravel, the nettles, bindweed and brambles have run wild along the wall and the only nice thing about it is a patch of self-seeded yellow and orange nasturtiums. And the Thornless Blackberries which have gone into several apple and blackberry crumbles already this September. Another area I must focus on next year.
- ‘The Courtyard’ Once again the Virginia creeper has had to be cut back as it obscures the windows on this north-facing side of the house. I haven’t done a lot else here either as my focus was on finishing the Gravel Garden. I did plant up a trough of begonias which have been very colourful throughout the summer and I repotted a Skimmia Japonica which has rewarded me by sending out some flower shoots. The barrels which contain tulips and which were going to be planted with Petunias or Impatiens never got planted at all! So they are nice and empty ready for some spring bulbs soon.
For my end of year report I think it has to be said that I “must do better!”
See here for the participant’s guide.
You must do better? If ypu must do better there is no hope for the rest of us
You are being very kind. It is only a very small garden.
Well, from someone who does not have a green thumb, this is a pot pour of beautiful colours and flowers. An orangery? Are you starting that from scratch?
Thank you LD. Not from scratch. The house came with an attached ‘lean-to’ conservatory which is wood framed and glass windows on two sides, but with a polycarbonate roof which means it was very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. It also leaked in several places so needed to be replaced. After much humming and hawing (glass roof) we have gone for a flat roof with a sky lantern which makes it look more like an orangery. Whether this solves the hot/cold issue is anyone’s guess, but the flat part will be insulated and the lantern has a good energy rating. Hopefully it will make it more of a usable room, and dry!
Wow! plenty of colour in your garden still!
The Coleus makes a bit of a vibrant splash!
This is a beautiful six! I think you are being a little hard on yourself. Gardening is a little like herding cats you do what you can but you never quite know what is going to happen 🙂
You are right of course, I just thought I might have managed to do more this year, especially with the lovely weather, though some days it was too hot to do much gardening.
Completely, I gave up so many times and I only got half my list done but gardening is never finished 🙂
Your plants are so lovely. 🙂 I will have my fingers crossed that nothing gets damaged when you have the builders in. I remember having a fence panel replaced once and told them that the only plant I would be really sad to have damaged was the red hot poker, which I had nurtured from a young plant to one that was flourishing. Guess which plant was the only one I lost? I hope you have better luck.
I go out every evening when the builders have gone to talk to my plants and reassure them, the cold nights nights are not helping either and some of the woodland border are not so happy at having planks and stuff leaned against them, but I am sure they will survive. It is quite stressful. I don’t know how people having major renovations to their homes cope!
I think having a word with your plants is a good idea. 🙂 They must be feeling quite stressed with the change in the weather AND the building work.
the orange in the last photo – with the yellow, pink, green – and the whole composition of color is my absolute fav of this post (and the berries shot – but that is because I need to have lunch) and even though you have goals for next year – and worked on the gravel garden – looks like so much much rewarding beauty as is…. ahhh
We always think we can do better, but you’ve got some great colour there. Especially love the begonias. And your blackberries! You’ve done pretty well for yourself. (The himalyan honeysuckle is one of my favs.)
The blackberries are lovely and make rather nice apple and blackberry crumbles.
It looks magnificent to me!! The colours are so lovely 🙂
Thanks Rosemary. Still got some colour, but boy is it windy today! I have hundreds of bulbs to plant, but they will have to wait for a calmer day.
It sounds wild hope everything stays intact!
Ooooo, I love your blog, Jude!
Thank you the other Jude 🙂
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