Colours of Autumn
On Monday morning we had the first frost which blackened the dahlias. Thank goodness I had taken all the pelargoniums to their winter quarters at the weekend. I took these photos in the week when there was some sunshine however today we have endless rain and high winds. Another note of gloom is that 2 black hens are no more because the darned fox caught one of them who had decided she would sleep outside on Saturday night. I now have one black hen and two reds. I bought her a couple of friends to replace her sister but she doesn’t like them much at the moment.
Any way back to the colours of Autumn to cheer us up.
Our neighbours pyracantha berries coming over the fence.
The dogwood with crab apples in the background.
3. Yellow and red
4. Pink and pale green
Sedums and variegated dogwood
5. Red and silver
Skimmia with some honesty seed heads
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The damp, chilly, smokey, misty feel of Autumn was in the air this morning. But the garden is not looking bad and is still full of colour so reasons to be cheerful, Part 3.
1. Callicarpa bodinieri profusion having its moment.
Extraordinary purple berries after spending the year as a plain, dull green shrub. I love it with the holly behind and the ferns in the foreground.
2. Sedum herbstfreude
This row lining the path originated from one division from my grandparents garden in Haywards Heath. I love the grey green rosettes in spring and the brown dead flowerheads in winter as well.
3. Cyclamen hederafolia – a little autumnal jewel which justs pops up out of nowhere.
Very pleased that these daisies have established themselves in the front garden. They are rapidly making their way down our road, spreading a bit further each year.
This was a late, reduced purchase at the garden center this year. It’s a bit weird looking and definitely not coming in the house as a cut flower but quite striking at a distance.
6. Crab apple (golden hornet)
The apples look gorgeous against a pure blue October sky. Unfortunately this photo does not do it justice.
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Due to unforeseen circumstances I have been without the means to join in SOS for a few weeks but I am glad I have managed to squeeze one in for August. The garden is beginning to slow down and relax in the late summer sun (a bit like me). It has been harder to find things to show this weekend but here goes.
- Hydrangea paniculata. I love the creamy green colour touched with pink and the generous flowering of this type of hydrangea. It looks good for a long time.
- Japanese anemone. Lovely pure white flowers with golden stamens on strong stems that can take any amount of blustery weather.
- Choisya. I was happy to see this flowering again and so were the insects. Not sure what this is – too big to be a wasp.
- Stipa. Another plant looking good at this time of year especially when the sun shines through it. You can’t tell from the photo but it is tall maybe 8 feet so it’s quite impressive.
5. Edge of the vegetable patch with marigolds and courgette leaves. I only managed to grow one courgette plant to maturity this year which is quite pathetic. However the green beans are as prolific as usual.
- Finally a dark dahlia. Near perfection I think.
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The height of summer. Here in Sussex today we seem to be having the ideal summer’s day at the moment with blue skies, a few wispy clouds and a gentle breeze, not too hot, just right. Looking at the photos I’ve decided to make plant combinations my theme because at this time of year there is such a profusion of flowers. The question is what to leave out not put in; everything comes at once in abundance. Combinations let me get in two (or more) for the price of one!
1. Clematis and Rose
This is Madame Julia Correvon with a shrubby (somewhat scruffy) white rose called Moonlight, I believe.
2. Yellow and Blue
This is rosa Graham Thomas with Verbena bonariensis. Earlier Mr Thomas with surrounded by catmint which now needs cutting back so it can shoot again.
3. More Roses
In the deepest furthest corner of the garden I have planted rosa Penepole under the cherry tree and a pink climbing rose to grow up through it. I grew the pink one from a 3 inch cutting I took from a hedgerow on common land and I think it’s Exchelsea. I am quite pleased with this achievement (although I didn’t actually do much apart from potting it up and keeping it going). It obviously has a will to live. The purple leaved hazel on the right appeared one day. I think maybe a squirrel planted a nut from my contorted purple leaved hazel but it has not become contorted.
4. Lemons and Apricots
I like these yellow day lilies with the yellow and green variegated holly in the background. Also next to them is the beautiful apricot coloured rose Lark Ascending. Yellow and apricot should probably not go together but I don’t care, I love them both and they thrive here under the Juneberry tree so they are staying together.
5. Absinthe and Claret
Alchemilla mollis with alliums in what I pretentiously call the french courtyard border (notice the vine along the fence).
6. Pelargonium Theatre
Collection of stellar and scented geraniums which I have been growing over some years. They overwinter in the outhouse behind them and I take cuttings. Patrick (husband) was inspired to make the shelving this year after a visit to Beth Chatto’s garden for which I am most grateful. My daughter thinks the notion of a plant theatre is hilarious and that it confirms my eccentricity. But I know that there are those of you out there who understand.
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After the cooler cloudy last few days it really feels like summer today.
1. June Roses
First up we have Rosa Darcy Bussell who is always first to the party and flowers her socks off despite the poor, dry location she finds herself in. A lovely rose and woman.
2. Cornus Kousa
This is the Chinese dogwood. I have always admired them in gardens I have visited. There are particularly beautiful ones at Borde Hill in Haywards Heath. It has taken at least 10 years for mine to flower but I think the white bracts are so special. If it was easy and quick I’m sure we would not value it so much.
3. Dutch Iris
A random variety I bought in the supermarket last autumn. I was excited when I saw the burgundy colour last week. I think it looks quite unusual in front of the geranium orion which are flowering like mad now.
4. A self-seeded poppy
It’s always interesting to see what colour the flowers will be so I leave poppies to grow and then remove it if it clashes or I don’t like it. This has had a reprieve because it has white blotches in the centre which is unusual for me.
Beautiful, self-seeded, blue geraniums growing through the cracks in the paving and up through the table and chair. Planting and staking for the lazy person.
6. New potatoes
Just noticed they have started flowering – they’ll soon be ready for eating. Yay!!
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May has to be the most lovely month (certainly in Britain). The hedges and edges of the countryside have come alight with green and white; fresh new leaves and a sprinkling of cow parsley, stitchwort and hawthorn blossom. But I digress, back in the Saturday garden things are hotting up in the vegetable patch and the roses have buds on but no flowers here yet. Five miles over the Downs in Brighton some roses are in full bloom and the lilacs are already over. The difference in microclimates is really surprising.
1. Frost damage
This is a note to myself that the garden is in a frost pocket and I really should not try to grow (waste my money) on tender lovelies because although they look fabulous in the garden centre in July they will be dead by next April! These are the sad remains of a pale pink hydrangea serrata and a supposedly hardy pomegranite.
The brown tipped leaves of viburnham plicatum mariesii (and a cheeky extra photo to show it in its full glory).
2. And they’re off!
Signals that the growing season has commenced, some climbing beans and dahlias hardening off, and the home grown beans sticks I put up this week.
3. Triffid rhubarb
I know you are supposed to remove flowers from the rhubarb but I love the dramatic look of it and tbh I don’t much like to eat it.
4. Potentilla limelight
Lovely soft yellow potentilla, hardy as hobnail boots.
5. The last camellia flowers
This poor shrub has been growing (barely) in the same place for over 20 years under a tree, squashed between two wooden fences. One fence was removed 3 years ago. This is the first year it has flowered and it really looks like it means to flourish and make the most of its second chance.
6. Corylus Avellana Contorta Purpurea
Contorted purple hazel with some self seeded companions, forget-me-nots, honesty and aquilegia.
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I had not got round to publishing this week but for the sake of the record I want to save it to capture the lovely things in the garden at the beginning of April.
1. Hally Jollivette Cherry
Covered in a pale pink snowstorm of blossom. It is still quite small (year 3 since planting) and looks as if its been battling the wind, leaning a bit. But it survives and for 2-3 weeks a year is a picture and lifts my heart.
2. Euphorbia robbinaea with the neighbours borrowed forsythia
A classic spring combination, quite dramatic. I would never grow a forsythia – nasty harsh yellow, 25 weeks of brown twigs and 25 weeks of boring green blobbiness. However I’m happy to borrow in March.
3. Juicy yellow daffodils in the front garden.
They grow so well in this scruffy, poor soil. So easy and so rewarding just as we are beginning to ache for some colour and brightness.
4. Orange Emperor tulips.
Really perennial and a great colour. Every year I forget about them and am amazed when they pop up and last at least 3 weeks.
5. Amelanchier Lamarkii or June berry.
A really pretty and hardy small tree. Reminds me of Auntie Eileen’s cottage garden on the edge of Ditchling Common.
6. Magnolia stellata
A few flowers just to prove it does bloom if a bit sporadically and onesidedly. I was thinking of taking it out but it has proved itself worthy with just these few pristine wavy stars.
6.a Narcissus pheasants eye.
I had to have a photo of these lovelies as well.