‘To set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cells’.
Ode to Autumn. John Keats.
John Keats must have been talking about a summer like the one we have had this year. We are told that we may be in for the worst of winters and that El Nino could bring us months of snow and icy conditions. But right now, the flowers in my garden seem to think that it is still June. For instance, I have a delphinium in bloom!
I’m not sure which rose this is, it was here when we came. In front, there is a Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’. The little blue flower is Catanache caerulea. The Nicotiana langsdorfii are still going strong and the lovely, pure white Anemone japonica ‘Andrea Atkinson’ blooms for ages. I think it is an improvement on the old favourite ‘Honerine Jobert’.
I am mad on salvias and I wrote a post about them last year. Today, I will show just a few. The pale blue Salvia uliginosa or the ugly-nosed Salvia, as I call it, grows tall and is reasonably hardy. The electric blue Salvia patens is quite hardy too. The dark purple Salvia ‘Nachtvlinden’ mean moth, so I took the photo just as the light was going yesterday to make it more moth-like. Actually, it didn’t work, it just looks dark. I included it for Christina to see, as I have just sent her a cutting.
I just love salvias and beg, borrow or steal bits whenever I see them. ( It’s alright, I don’t really steal them, at least never out of peoples’ gardens. I beg if I am in a private garden. But, I might pocket the odd cutting or seed from a public place such as a car park and it is a shameful habit. Yes, I know the Utilitarian philosophical argument, ‘What if everyone did it? ‘ Fortunately, it doesn’t occur to most people. So, I am afraid many of my plants have a dubious origin. Please don’t tell anyone. I blame my grandmother. She was one of those appalling, old women with large bags, who shamelessly stole cuttings wherever she went. She was a constant source of embarrassment to me. Stealing seeds and cuttings from peoples’ gardens is just not on. I used to open my garden for the NGS and I was appalled how many people stole cuttings. They only had to ask and I would have given them gladly. But in a public place there is no one to ask, so the odd seed falls into my handbag. Anyway, here I am, going off on a tangent again, or a tandem, as a friend used to say. I should have corrected her, but I thought it was rather a delightful malapropism.
More summer flowers include a bright red Penstemon ‘King George v’ and a really dark Campanula ‘Purple Sensation’
I have used the lovely, late-flowering Dianthus rupicola in quite a few vases. I think it is a star.
Much more seasonal are the colchicums which have been blooming for ages but some are beginning to go over now. The queen of the colchicums has to be the lovely white one.
Another October flowering plant is the Hesperantha, as we have to get used to calling Schizostylus. At least it is easier to spell now.
I bought this one as ‘William H. Bryant’, but I believe it is now called the much prettier name of ‘Pink Princess’ It is always the first one into bloom in my garden.
Some Kniphofias are blooming now. I used K. rooperi in my recent Vase on Monday, but Beth Chatto’s ‘Little Maid ‘ is in bloom too. I think she looks very pretty growing with the daisy flowers of Arctanthemum articum. This used to be a Chrysanthemum, but the Chrysanthemum family has gone down the same baffling road as the Asters; chopping and changing and acquiring unpronounceable names.
In the shade I have the pretty Saxifraga fortunei ‘Rubrifolia’. Fortune brought this lovely plant from China. It has attractive, red leaves and starry flowers.
The stars of my October garden are the lovely Asters or Symphyotrichum, as we have to call them now.
One of my favourites is S. Le Vasterival ‘named after the late Princess Sturdza’s wonderful garden near Dieppe.
We will be here all day if I name all the Asters which I enjoy, so here are a few of them.
I will finish with a beautiful climber. Solanum jasminoides is late flowering and lovely.
I bought a new Solanum from Beth Chatto last year which is even lovelier. It is called rather bizarrely Solanum laxum ‘Creche du Pape’. The flowers are delicately tinged with lilac.
Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is hosted by Carole at Maydreamgardens. It is on the 15th of every month. Why don’t you join in and show us the blooms which are delighting you at the moment?