I can’t believe it’s already time for my top ten monthly bloom post. This last month has whizzed by so quickly that I am feeling quite dizzy.
My October favourites are always my nerines but this year many of them are late and the buds have not yet opened. I keep most of them in the greenhouse but on a recent visit to Ashwood Nurseries garden I saw them planted out in a bed together with hesperantha and Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and they looked wonderful.
I think they look fabulous grown like this and in theory any Nerine bowdenii hybrid should be hardy but I have lost white ones in the open so mainly I corral them in the greenhouse. Some of them, such as the red N. sarniensis or the first one in the mosaic, glamorous Mr. John’ would not survive outside. As they are not all in bloom yet I shall have to save some for my November post.
I do have them in the garden too and maybe I shall have to think about planning a bed like the one at Ashwood nurseries. The only trouble is that nerines like to be baked in the sun and hesperanthas like damp soil so I don’t know how they manage to grow them together. But I did try giving Nerine ‘Lipstick’ a blue geranium skirt .
I also risked my beautiful Amerine belladiva ‘Aphrodite’ in the gravel garden and it survived the winter.
Lovely asters were a feature of the September garden but there are some that are at their best in October. Particularly white ones.
I particularly like asters with small flowers.
Chrysanthemums are going to be a November pleasure but some of them have already started. I have a very pretty low -growing white one which is no longer called a Chrysanthemum. I have to remember to call it Acrtanthemum articum now which doesn’t seem fair. I’m still having trouble with Symphyotrichum. But whatever its name it is a very pretty plant which lights up its corner.
I came late to chrysanthemums but now I have an ever growing collection because I am grateful for late colour. I like the daisy ones.
My favourite double one is a peachy pompom called ‘Picasso’. It is long lasting in a vase.
But this pink pompom is pretty too.
I think I will choose a tree for number four. It blooms in October with clusters of urn-shaped flowers at the same time as the strawberry -like fruit are produced. It is Arbutus unedo. The name ‘unedo’ means you only eat one. I think they are quite nice but I have a friend whom made himself quite ill gorging on them.
Most mahonias have spiky, prickly leaves but the aptly named Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress’ has smooth ones which have a willowy appearance.
I have been busy planting some different grape hyacinths for spring but here is a herbaceous plant which blooms in October with evergreen, strappy leaves and lilac flowers which look rather like a grape hyacinths. It is Liriope muscari.
My next plant is a dainty little knapweed which blooms in autumn in a sheltered sunny spot. It is called Serrulata tinctoria var. seoanei which is a bit of a mouthful with rather too many vowels but it is a pretty little thistle.
I have the lovely, hardy, climbing Fuchsia ‘Lady Boothby’ which is a Brazilian species with deep pink and purple flowers. I grow it on the wall with Trachelospermum jasminiodes which gets deep red leaves in autumn and winter.
Of course Cyclamen hederifolium has been blooming since the end of August but now in October the plants are looking amazing. I have drifts of it in various colours. The marbled leaves are just as beautiful as the flowers.
I shall finish with my first snowdrop of the season. This is the autumn flowering snowdrop which is very pretty but it is a reminder that winter is coming. Next month is a difficult one when it comes to finding ten blooms to share. But I shall do my best.
In the meantime please join me and show us your favourite October blooms. Never mind if you can’t find ten, one or two beauties would be lovely.