As a child I always looked forward to October as it is my birthday tomorrow, now there are far too many years to want to count them! And it comes around too quickly. I could swear I was only 45 last year! The weather is usually still fairly clement around this time and the OH and I always used to try and go away for a week to celebrate. Not so this year. A cautious meal out will be about all that we do and maybe a walk on a beach if it is not raining. And we won’t mention Storm Alex…
(1) Starting with a blue flower and one of my favourite colours is this Michaelmas Daisy or Symphyotrichum novae-angliae as the New England autumn-flowering ones are now called. Yes. A bit of a mouthful. We’ll stick with asters! So far this pot is flowering nicely.
This one below is from the popular Island Series of dwarf Michaelmas daisies with semi-double violet-purple flowers with golden centres, this series are dwarf plants growing 30 – 60cm high and therefore suitable for containers or the front of the border.
(2) Last time to feature my Hydrangea ‘Vanille Fraise’ which was late to start growing, but finally caught up and the pretty creamy-white pyramid-shaped clusters of flowers are now beginning to turn delicate shades of pinks, hence the vanilla strawberry name. I’ll give it a hard prune in spring to about one or two pairs of buds on each stem. To be honest the colour is not dissimilar to my bog-standard white mophead which I have had for years.
(3) Autumn is the time for the Persicaria to take centre stage – well they have been flowering since August, but looking good now too. I planted some in the Cornish hedge and some in my Bee and Butterfly bed. They are not the same, but they look very similar. They make an excellent ground cover and the flowers are very pretty changing colour as they age.
(4) Something we all find in our gardens at this time of year are spider webs! I’m not keen on spiders, especially the big black brutes that find their way into my home at this time of year, but generally I try to ignore them and pretend they are not there.
(5) This next plant is a bit of a bonus. I grew several chilli plants in my conservatory last year and kept a couple over the winter, cutting them down and watering sparingly. One began to shoot again in the spring and I have had quite a bumper crop from it. It has been outside until recently when the winds began to blow it over. Unfortunately in the conservatory it gets covered in white fly which is a nuisance so I have put it back outdoors. It is ‘Early Jalapeño‘ and you can pick them green or red. They are good for cooler climates but they are not particularly hot and I do like a really hot chilli. Destined for the compost bin once I finish harvesting it.
(6) And a last outing for my Osteospermum ‘Tresco Purple’ which is a hardy one, though not hardy enough to withstand snow! So let’s hope we don’t see any of that down here again. I cut this plant down close to the ground in spring so it takes a while to begin flowering again, but I find it I don’t crop it the flowers get smaller and smaller. And it flowers wonderfully for months as long as I keep dead-heading it. This one is on the sunny wall in the Gravel Garden area. This photo was taken late Thursday afternoon in a brief spell of sunlight!
I hope that everyone is staying safe in these uncertain times, and those of you who are having to go into stricter lockdown measures then let’s hope this helps to keep the spread down. As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.
See here for the participant’s guide.