October is a month that is probably one of the busiest in the garden. Possibly the last chance to get into the garden and work before the weather turns. Summer bedding to clear; perennials to cut back unless they have pretty seed-heads which doesn’t happen in Cornwall, they just turn to mush; changes to be made to beds and borders that may not have worked as you liked; things that have grown too big, not grown at all or that you are simply bored with. Not forgetting all those bulbs ordered on impulse.
I like to see whether the colours are working for me in autumn. I am a big fan of purples and blues, but at this time of the year I like to see some yellow and orange appear for contrast.
(1) Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ is a less invasive species than its parent with stubbier leaves mottled in both yellow and red. I grow this in a difficult corner of the garden which never receives any direct sunlight and is usually quite damp. In the autumn the colours deepen.
(2) Salvia elegans or Pineapple Sage is a tender herb so has to come indoors during the winter. I have several plants now grown from cuttings so I am going to experiment this year and leave one pot outdoors. We rarely get frosts, but I’m not sure how the wet will affect the plant so it will go underneath a bench for some protection.
(3) The raised herb bed has had its annual clear-out. The golden marjoram tries to dominate, but now it has finished flowering I have cut most of it back to ground level. I must say it is one of the more pleasant tasks, the smell is divine!
(4) Rosa Gertrude Jekyll is producing yet another flush of flowers, not many, but welcome all the same.
(5) Most of the smaller bulbs have been planted in pots. Some new, some old. I still have species tulips to plant in a couple of containers which have cosmos flowering and as they were very late to flower I am reluctant to turf them out just yet.
(6) The same goes for the zinc container on the rock. The Bidens are still providing some welcome colour so I shall leave them until the end of the month before replacing the compost and planting 30 Purple Ladies. Next year I am most definitely cutting back on the number of pots, though the smaller ones aren’t much trouble. It’s the large containers and the weight of the compost that’s a strain on my back. However, I do know I shall forget all about that when I see the bulbs in flower.
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.
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