I have been away for a few days for sad reasons and doing the tour of the garden on such a dismal, wet day in November does not cheer the soul. But there are still a few summer stragglers and I picked a few to join in with Cathy’s meme and to bring a bit of a cheer to the house.
I used my brown Chesterfield jug and my brown, boxwood, frog netsuke to accompany it. He is clutching a lotus seedhead. Both the frog and the lotus flower seedhead symbolise new beginnings, rebirth and rejuvenation so they are like a promise of spring at the most dismal time of the year.
The keys from Acer hersii and seedheads from Thalictrum delavii and Clematis tangutica are brown but give a promise of new plants to come. Everything else gives a nice boost of well needed colour.
By Christmas the birds will probably have eaten all the holly berries but they need them more than I do. Who would have thought there would still be a tassel of Amaranthus caudatus,’Love-lies-Bleeding’ hanging on? And the white flowers of Solanum jasminoides bloom for months and only stop with the really hard frosts.
I have already written about my favourite Chrysanthemum ‘Chelsea Physic Garden’ and it is still looking lovely. I went to Chelsea Physic garden last week for a fabulous day listening to garden designers such as lovely Diarmuid Gavin and Arne Maynard talk about their work. Also speaking were Julian and Isobel Bannerman who created the stumpery at Highgrove. I looked for Chrysanthemum ‘Chelsea Garden’ but couldn’t find it. Unfortunately time was too short for a thorough search. But here is mine.
The daisy flowered Chrysanthemum is the old, reliable ‘Clara Curtis’. I suppose I should give it the correct name. It is now Dendranthema x rubellum ‘Clara Curtis’. What a bore.
On the right you can see that my Alcalthaea suffrtescens ‘Parkallee’ is still blooming and it is a lovely match for ‘Clara Curtis’. The silky flowers are beginning to look a bit battered but it is amazing how long they keep going for.
There are still a few roses, they usually keep on until December, when as Reginald Farrer said, they begin to take on the appearance of ‘withered moths’. So far they have not been battered too much by frost. I am not sure which I have here as they were already in the garden.
That lovely spike of salvia is from the greenhouse. It is Salvia leucantha ‘Purple Velvet’. It has felty flowers and felty willow-shaped leaves. I also used a purple Salvia ‘Amistad’ which is still blooming in the garden.
Other flowers include an orange marigold, Calendula straggler and a couple of sprigs of Penstemon ‘King George v’ which is a reliable, strong-growing penstemon. The little blue flower on the left in the next photograph is Ceratostigma willmottianum which I like for its gentian-blue flowers and lovely red foliage in autumn.
Here it is growing in the garden with the honey-scented Euphorbia mellifera. I think it looks lovely now. Unfortunately it looks awful in spring because like the shrubby Potentilla fruticosa, it is very late coming into leaf and looks dead. But right now I can overlook that.
So there we have my vase on a Stygian dark day in November. Do go over to Ramblinginthegarden and see what Cathy has in a vase today. It is just what the doctor ordered. And then you can look at vases created by all her followers. It is interesting to see what people find for a vase at this time of the year. But garden bloggers are a creative lot and you can be sure they will come up with something lovely.