I have had a rather long blogging holiday as other writing commitments have rather taken over the last few weeks and sometimes life gets in the way. But I’m still here and so is the garden. In fact, late summer and early autumn provide waves of floral delights with an abundance of dahlias, Michaelmas daisies and colchicums; I am sorry I let them go by unrecorded. And now the chrysanthemums have started too and will carry the garden into November.
Today, I have been looking around for special treats and I was stopped in my tracks by the blooms of one of my tree dahlias blooming way above my head. These are hybrids of Dahlia imperialis bred by Keith Hammett in New Zealand. So far all my seedlings have turned out to be pink. They grow to an enormous height and then start blooming late in the season. But even the ones without flowers provide an impressive presence in my exotic garden.
Trees and shrubs are colouring up and fruits and berries are everywhere. I have quite a few spindles grown from seed and they are all looking lovely at the moment. This one is a seedling of Euonymus hamiltonianus ‘Miss Pinkie’. Some of the spindles get bright red leaves in autumn, but on this one they turn yellow as the days get colder.
Hesperantha coccinea is always a useful plant for early autumn. As long as the plants don’t get too dry, it spreads beautifully into nice big clumps. The only drawback is that the flower spikes tend to loll about a bit. I have it in red, pink and white; my favourites are the white and pink.
My big treat in October is the blooming of my nerine collection in the greenhouse. It has got rather out of hand. I could ramble on about my nerines for a long time, but on this occasion I will confine myself to just one. This next picture is one of my latest; it is called Nerine ‘Lipstick’. I think I shall have to come back to the nerines another day.
I suppose an autumn bounty blog should include fruit. I have apples, pears and quinces but in the greenhouse I have grapes. These are a bit of a disappointment because in a previous greenhouse I had a wonderful golden Muscat grape and I thought that this was going to be the same. It was wrongly labelled and these black grapes are very sweet, but not what I was expecting. Still, it does bear loads of fruit.
Like all vegetable gardeners I have had lots of courgettes and also patty pan squash which look just like flying saucers. But my daughter gave me some plants of these ‘Uchiki Kuri’ squash and I am looking forward to sampling them. My chef is a bit baffled as to what he is supposed to do with them, but I think they keep quite well while he works something out.
So there we have just a small taste of what is happening here in the blooming garden right now. I shall be back soon, but first I have a lot of catching up with other blogs to do. Meanwhile do check out the Propagator and all his enthusiastic followers. He seems to be doing a lot of running at the moment; 100 miles is an awful lot of running. I doubt if I could run 100 yards, so I am amazed by people who do this sort of thing . But don’t worry, you don’t have to run to enjoy Six on Saturday.