Six on Saturday | Autumn Colours

Garden View

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.

Raised Herb Bed

(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!

Raised Herb Bed

(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.

Autumn Colours

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.

Six on Saturday


  1. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Your garden is looking beautiful. I have still bulbs to plant, hopefully tomorrow. And like you I have late flowering cosmos adding some interest.

  2. susurrus says:

    All looking lovely. Those neatly top-dressed pots are a source of huge contentment somehow.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I just hope the bulbs don’t rot!

  3. I kept my pineapple sage outside over winter and it was fine. We don’t get frost at our place (nice and sheltered). Beautiful rose too.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Do you get a lot of rain?

  4. I love salvias and have several of different colours. And look at your beautiful Michaelmas daisies in the last photo. Divine!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Salvias don’t seem to last for me, but they are beautiful.

  5. janesmudgeegarden says:

    It’s a lot of work to plant out all those pots. Do you completely renew the soil each time? Your garden is still looking lovely and colourful, and Gertrude is gorgeous, without a single trace of black spot.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I empty all the pots in June/July when all the foliage has died down and reuse the compost on the beds or mixed with fresh compost for summer container plants. I use fresh compost mixed with grit for the new bulbs each September/October. Saying that there are some pots that haven’t been emptied in years! And tulips still flower in them. I’m sure there will come a time when they don’t.

  6. Cathy says:

    Yes, you summed up all those October jobs so well in the first paragraph, although we are less likely to get winter mush here! Well done for getting all those pots done and what a satisfying sight they make 👍I especially like your last picture – it must be the form and colour I find appealing, I think

    1. Heyjude says:

      Purple and orange look good together.

  7. Chloris says:

    You certainly have plenty of autumn colour, your garden view picture is most impressive.

  8. You still have some lovely colour in your autumn garden. Pots of lovely bulbs are great, and I have started to grow mine in pots in preference to putting them in the ground. I avoid using very large pots, even though they look fabulous in the garden.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I don’t have much room in the garden to plant directly into the ground so pots are the answer, plus you can move them around when they are flowering!

      1. In my case it is the clay soil that is a problem, although we are slowly and surely I proving the condition of the soil. Pots are ideal for bulbs, and some of my less hardy plants. I use a handle hand trolley to move my pots around the garden, but it won’t move the very large pots.

  9. Ann Mackay says:

    Lovely colours in your garden still. I particularly like the pineapple sage and I’m tempted to try growing it. I would need to bring it indoors here as it can get very frosty.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have brought one pot inside and put the other two in sheltered spots, see how they get on. It is the wet that is a problem here.

  10. I remember you saying that the Bidens were slow to get going but it was worth the wait. A lovely colour. I say the same about the number of pots each year and then seem to add even more the next year

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