Bloomin’ September


Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’


Autumn is coming. Colours in the garden are positively glowing now, enhanced by the softer light. Not least the rudbeckia. They deserve a gold star this year ‘cos they’ve been blooming for months. I do hope I can keep them alive over winter. Mulch, garlic spray from first sign of a shoot and a cage to protect them from rabbits and the deer.




Garish pink in summer it may be but my patience is rewarded come September when this inherited mophead hydrangea deepens to rich crimson. Last year I dried some of the blooms and they’re still looking good today.




The builders have finished their work at last. A sneak peek will follow in a future post, and it does look very good, but regrettably they left more than wet plaster in their wake. One of them was coughing and spluttering over everyone and everything last week amid claims of flu. ‘Man flu’ of course. There’s no way he’d have been up and down a ladder with a mortar board of lime skim if he did indeed have proper flu. But in defence of men everywhere, their brand of flu can still be wretched. Of this I can be certain because, perhaps unsurprisingly, I now have it too. Whilst I have resisted the obvious temptation to climb ladders and heft mortar I did manage a brief stroll around the garden with the camera a couple of days ago, before the lurgy took a hold. Bloom Day is Bloom Day after all.




Tricyrtis formosana ‘Pink Freckles’ (Toad Lily)

Some save their blooms for just this time of year and so welcome they are when much else is fading.




Hedychium gardnerianum (Ginger Lily)

And how about this as another gold star performer? Unlike the rudbeckia, its blooms are fleeting but oh so exquisite whilst they are here. The scent would knock your socks off too. It’s all the more remarkable because I moved the plant this Spring. Builders were knocking down that odd bit of wall jutting out from the side of the house. The hedychium occupied just the spot where they’d most likely plant their boots. It hasn’t moved far. All of three feet, if that, to the other side of the path. But oh my, what a difference. It has bloomed more enthusiastically than ever before and a whole six weeks earlier than last year.




Lavandula stoecha (French Lavender)

Wherever I’ve been in the garden lately I’ve been accompanied by bees.




Agastache ‘Purple Haze’




Rose ‘Boscobel’

So many rose blooms have been ruined by rain this year. Boscobel has been one of the most determined to keep going.




Rose ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’. Only just getting into her stride.




As one phase of the house project comes to an end so the next must start. The exterior of the cottage is being painted now. More upset for blooms. And more big boots. Rose trellises, complete with occupants still in their prime, lean precariously forward and off the wall. As ever this will be a long drawn out job. Given the delicate nature of the roof, specialist help is needed for painting the chimneys so the thatcher will return in the next few weeks. More ladders dug into the face of the bank. I sometimes wonder why plants don’t take a dive underneath the nurseryman’s bench when they see me coming. Talk about drawing the short straw..




Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’

In the line of fire but happy enough for now. I hope all those buds reach fruition before the ladders return.




Geranium wallichianum ‘Sylvia’s Surprise’

This one featured in last month’s Bloomers but I make no excuses for offering it up again. Since then it has doubled in size. I do love the way it winds itself around and through.




Also in blue.. Geranium ‘Rozanne’

Newly planted this year. With luck she will prove equally exuberant.




Leycesteria formosa, thriving on the woodland edge.

Also known as the Pheasant Berry, after its fruits of which birds are fond. Ptolemy should be pleased.




Phygelius (NoID)




Hydrangea paniculata ‘Unique’




Well, it’s late in the evening as I write and that exhaustively tested remedy for Man Flu, the Hot Toddy, is calling my name. I’ll leave you with a couple of the ever reliable persicarias.




Persicaria ‘Black Field’

A girl’s first persicaria and still her favourite. Just look at that colour.




Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’


Linking to Carol and Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens, where you will find a feast of September bloomers from around the world.


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2017-10-26T10:40:39+00:00September 15th, 2016|Tags: |


  1. Jayne Hill September 15, 2016 at 10:39 am - Reply

    Fabulous collection of late bloomers, some I have here already and some are good inspiration for my future planting.

    There is one plant missing from Duck Towers which is trying to flower up North . . . a small lilac bush. Poor confused little shrub 🙂

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 3:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jayne. I have a Viburnum bodnantense out at the mo. Weird season!

  2. Mark and Gaz September 15, 2016 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Beautiful mix Jessica! Also prefer pink hydrangeas when they start taking on a deeper colour come autumn.

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      I’ve only this one pink one left. The others have either gone or been moved. And those that I’ve moved have now turned blue!

  3. Sarah Shoesmith September 15, 2016 at 10:59 am - Reply

    You have some of my favourite plants in this post, so I am thankful that you did venture out with your camera. I think I smelt Boscobel in a garden the other day – if I’m right, the fragrance was amazing. I really must add it to the garden this winter. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 3:49 pm - Reply

      It does have a lovely scent, as do most of the Austin roses of course. Thanks Sarah.

  4. bitaboutbritain September 15, 2016 at 11:07 am - Reply

    A wonderful collection of first-class shots. your garden must be wonderful – though, in fairness, even our patch ain’t looking too bad at the moment, despite recent neglect whilst away gathering future ABAB material in East Anglia. Presumably, ‘Rose Boscobel’ comes from Boscobel House, where Charles II took refuge in the tree? Good wishes with the man ‘flu – just wait until you develop man leg and back aches too – they are REALLY bad… 🙂

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 3:53 pm - Reply

      That is indeed where the Boscobel name comes from. Leg and back aches? Oh gosh, I may have to recover from the Man Flu first 🙂
      Thanks Mike.

  5. Lea September 15, 2016 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Beautiful blooms! Love the Roses!
    Hope you feel better soon

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      Thanks Lea. The roses are at their best in June here, then have a bit of a rest and return for another go in September. I’ve even had blooms in December but that depends a lot on the weather.

  6. derrickjknight September 15, 2016 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Great shots, despite the lurgy. Not surprisingly we have many similar blooms. I must go and check on our Emma Hamilton. And I quite agree about the rudbeckia. If only our nicotiania would give up the ghost, we would be able to plant the new ones waiting in the wings. Get well soon.

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 4:03 pm - Reply

      The rudbeckia are a good choice here because they stand out so well, even from a distance. So many things I’ve put on the bank look great close up, then when I walk to the bottom of the hill and look back they’ve disappeared!

  7. Freda September 15, 2016 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    What a gorgeous collection! Hope you feel better soon/

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      Thanks Freda. Looking forward to the weekend and not having to get up so early!

  8. kate@barnhouse September 15, 2016 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful selection of late blooming treasures, lovely images of them too. I didn’t know leycesteria was good for birds, I use it as an informal secondary boundary hedge between us and the neighbours, they grumble it seeds too readily. Nice to know it serves an additional function????.
    Hope you feel better soon.

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 4:12 pm - Reply

      I got sent some free seeds of a yellow leaved leycesteria. They all look pretty feeble except for one, this one, that turned out to be the species. If anything it’s got too big so I might see if I can take cuttings and bulk it up to replace the others.

  9. AnnetteM September 15, 2016 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous photos of your lovely plants. I love the two lilies. I don’t have either, but they will be going on my wish list. I did have A couple of French lavender plants but they only really flowered well the first year. After reading your post I will try moving them to see if I can bring them back to life. What position are yours in? I have mine in a very dry sunny spot.

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 4:19 pm - Reply

      I bought three of the lavender plants, small and cheap, back in May and put them in an urn on the terrace. They’ve filled out nicely and now look like one big plant. I was treating them more or less as annuals but am wondering if I leave them there whether they’ll last the winter. It’s a small urn so there won’t be much soil to get waterlogged.

  10. Linda September 15, 2016 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Gardening and work on houses do not go well together. Hope you can enjoy some glimpses of your garden from your sickbed!

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 4:23 pm - Reply

      Plenty of glimpses, leaving me wanting to get out there very badly but not having the energy. It’s been a lovely couple of days for gardening too. C’est la vie.

  11. Rosie September 15, 2016 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Amazing photos and lovely blooms. I love the Boscobel rose. Hope you feel well again soon:)

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 4:26 pm - Reply

      Thanks Rosie. The Boscobel rose is my favourite I think. Never thought a pink rose would achieve that position, but it’s a lovely shade of pink.

  12. Marian St.Clair September 15, 2016 at 5:52 pm - Reply


    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 4:27 pm - Reply

      Thanks. Looking forward to seeing more of your latest tour.

  13. Christina September 15, 2016 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica, lovely blooms! The delicate Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’ has stolen my heart today. What a wonderful plant.
    The photo of the hedychium gardnerianum (Ginger Lily) with the crimson hydrangea in the background is stunning! It is a daring color combination in my eyes, but it absolutely works!
    Sorry to read that your roses couldn’t take all the rain very well, but great that ‘Boscobel’ was showing some resistance to it. It certainly is a lovely rose that I would like to try it in my own garden at a certain point in time.
    Warm regards,

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 4:31 pm - Reply

      In reality the stamens of the Ginger Lily and the crimson hydrangea are closer in colour so it does work well. Serendipitous because I couldn’t see either of the colours when I planted the ginger back in Spring!

  14. Kris P September 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re under the weather and I hope the hot toddy provided a good night’s sleep. Despite tromping feet, critters and probably more summer rain than I can fathom, your garden is looking good! I envy all those roses and, even more, the blooms on the Japanese anemone. It looks as though the anemones I inherited with the house will fail to bloom once again this year. I’m tempted to try planting some more but I suppose that’s foolish as long as our drought remains in effect.

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 5:40 pm - Reply

      An article I just read suggests that Japanese anemones do best in cool soil with perhaps a bit of shade.. which means I don’t have mine in ideal conditions either given that they’re on the sunniest part of the bank. I may have more success when I move into the woodland.

  15. justjilluk September 15, 2016 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    Stunning and so lovely to see welcome wildlife, bees and hoverflies. Get well soon. x

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 5:45 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jill. It’s just occurred to me that I haven’t seen many, if any, wasps this year. Which is no bad thing at all. I wonder what happened to them though?

  16. Linnae September 15, 2016 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    Happy Bloom Day! I am mentally taking notes from your blooms, as most of my garden is dormant now. I love that first persicaria’s color. It would look so good in my front flowerbeds! Must see if I can find it. Also, regarding the ginger lily, it’s amazing to me how small changes can at times have such a huge impact on my plants! Hope you feel better soon.

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 5:53 pm - Reply

      Small changes can indeed make a big impact sometimes. I wonder if the mere act of disturbing its roots stimulated it into more active growth. It will be interesting to see what happens next year. Hedychium is borderline hardy here though, so if we have a tough winter things will be very different.

  17. Beth @ PlantPostings September 15, 2016 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    September is gorgeous in your garden! I like all of it, but the Ginger Lily really caught my eye. Happy Bloom Day!

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 5:57 pm - Reply

      The ginger lily looks far too exotic to be growing in our temperate climate. It is a risk. It’s further away from the house wall in its new position too, so we shall see.

  18. Sue Garrett September 15, 2016 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    It’s great to still have lots of lovely flowers isn’t it?

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 5:59 pm - Reply

      It certainly is. We waited long enough for them after the cold Spring, perhaps we are reaping the benefits at this end of the season.

  19. Dorothy Borders September 15, 2016 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    Lovely. Just lovely. A visit to your garden is always such a treat.

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 6:00 pm - Reply

      Thanks Dorothy. I can’t beat yours for colour though!

  20. Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden) September 16, 2016 at 12:13 am - Reply

    Your blooms, as always, are a treat to this gardener from across the pond. Love the Rose ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’. Learned some history reading up on “her”. Happy GBBD!

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 6:13 pm - Reply

      Now you’ve made me do the same. She had an interesting life did she not!

  21. Brenda September 16, 2016 at 12:59 am - Reply

    I love that ginger lily. Rest up and feel better.

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 6:15 pm - Reply

      Thanks Brenda. Looking forward to a restful weekend. Enjoy that puppy!

  22. Sam September 16, 2016 at 8:15 am - Reply

    Beautiful bloom photos, especially the persicarias, roses, lavender, agastache… 🙂 Hope you feel better very soon. Take it easy x

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 6:17 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sam. I’m not usually good at relaxing but right now I think I could sleep for a week.

  23. surreycottage September 16, 2016 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Sorry to hear that you aren’t well – I swear that every time I venture down to the Village Hall, someone down there is incubating a bug that sees me as its next ‘host’!
    Your photos are beautiful… and dangerous! I have just added a whole number of new plants to my Wish List for my next visit to The Dreaded Garden Centre (Kevin’s description, not mine – I could spend hours there!).
    Get well soon, Jessica – hot toddies are definitely the best medicine.

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      Yes, I know the feeling. We’re coming into the sniffling season aren’t we. One thing I miss down here is the abundance of plant nurseries and garden centres I used to frequent ‘Up Country’.

  24. Wendy September 16, 2016 at 11:59 am - Reply

    A lovely collection of September blooms. I love the look of the persicaria Black Field and might consider it here – and I’m interested in the leycesteria for its wildlife value, too. I look forward to seeing the changes in the house but I’m sorry to hear you’re not feeling so good – get well soon!

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 6:25 pm - Reply

      That persicaria is a star. It’s quite widely available I think so it should be fairly easy to track down. I gave it plenty of space thinking that it might be on the vigorous side. It’s spread a bit but not hugely.

  25. Torrington Tina September 16, 2016 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Lovely photos of beautiful plants, several of which will be added to my ‘wish list’. Have you tried Geranium ‘Orion’, a beautiful deep blue, and it has been flowering away since June. It would look lovely alongside your Phygelius or the Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’. Just a thought. Take care and get well soon.

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 6:34 pm - Reply

      I’ve just looked up Orion. The RHS website picture of it shows fine red lines through the petals? If that’s the case then I do have it, one of the more tasteful inheritances. It spreads like mad. I should be dividing it and moving it around for just those combinations. Next year..

  26. Spade & Dagger September 16, 2016 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Hope you feel better soon – lots of colds going around here in SE UK too.
    Leycesteria is a true survivor here. The plant is fairly short lived (a couple of years) but the berries readily sprout into new plants where ever they fall or are spread by wildlife & grow to full height in record time. I have them on my allotment to attract bees and new plants spring up all over every year (a bit like borage in that respect, but they are easy to transplant or pull up) and they always catch other allotment holders attention when in full flower (they’ll probably end up with some on their plots eventually!).

    • Jessica September 16, 2016 at 6:47 pm - Reply

      That’s interesting information about the Leycesteria, thank you. It sounds like I won’t have to worry too much about cuttings then, the seeds will do the work for me. It is certainly a fast grower, it has shot up this year. Just what I need for the woodland, infill and ground cover while the more permanent shrubs are establishing themselves.

  27. annamadeit September 17, 2016 at 6:13 am - Reply

    You’re the second person I’ve heard praise the scent of the Hardy Ginger’s flowers. Now, I’m anxious to experience them in bloom. I planted one this year, but it hasn’t humored me yet. Hope you feel better soon, Jessica!

    • Jessica September 20, 2016 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      It is glorious. It did take mine a little while to get established. I hope yours rewards you soon! Thanks Anna.

  28. germac4 September 17, 2016 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Gorgeous photos of all your blossoms for September, it inspires me to get planting in our spring…

    • Jessica September 20, 2016 at 6:47 pm - Reply

      Ooh, I’m so envious. Feeling the cold creeping in here now 🙁

  29. Virginia September 19, 2016 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    I hope you’re on the mend very soon Jessica. Hot toddy, feet up and a good book will help. Theatrical groans elicit offers of help or refills, if made dramatically enough!

    • Jessica September 20, 2016 at 6:51 pm - Reply

      It’s been worse than I thought, a nasty bug. Mike went to the pharmacy to get me some cough mixture, only to be asked what sort of cough it was. And you know what he said? “The sort of cough that keeps her husband awake all night.”

  30. Helene September 19, 2016 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    Isn’t it funny how the same set of virus hit men and women in such a different way? Hmmm.
    Lots of things in flower and beautiful autumn colours Jessica, but this month I envy you mostly your Tricyrtis since none of my 3 came up – I don’t think they liked the clay here and I am devastated that those 3 established plants from my old garden seem to have died. I have been staring at your photo for a long time and have decided to have another go. If Tricyrtis’ don’t like my garden then that’s fine, I will grow them in containers too!
    Hope you are feeling better soon!

    • Jessica September 20, 2016 at 6:54 pm - Reply

      It’s the slugs that get the Tricyrtis here. I bought a new one last month only to have it half eaten already. I even resorted to slug pellets but whenever I put them down they’re gone by morning. And then the next night the plant gets attacked again.

  31. Anna September 20, 2016 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Oh I hope that the hot toddy worked some magic Jessica. These nasty lurgies have a habit of appearing every September a fortnight or so after schools have reopened. Your September blooms are fabulous. I’m sure that your ‘Rozanne’ will flourish. I’m now off to find out more about ‘Sylvia’s Surprise’ 🙂

    • Jessica September 20, 2016 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      It is lingering which obviously means I haven’t made the Toddy strong enough. That and the medicinal Pinot Grigio will see it off in the end. Thanks Anna.

  32. Chloris September 20, 2016 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Lovely late summer blooms Jessica and stunning photos. Your hedychium is gorgeous and I love your persicarias. I am so thrilled with my Lady Emma Hamilton, she looks even better now than she did in June. You poor thing, I hope you afe feeling better.

    • Jessica September 20, 2016 at 6:59 pm - Reply

      I just wish the hedychium blooms lasted longer. I wait all year and they only last a couple of days. At least the leaves give me a bit of tropical for most of the summer.

  33. Johanna Bradley September 20, 2016 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    What a delightful interlude in your garden 🙂 🙂 Thanks for leading me by the hand. And I’m WILD about the duck header! Wherever did you find them? 🙂
    Happy Tuesday!

    • Jessica September 20, 2016 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      Hi Jo and welcome.
      I bought the ducks at a garden festival a few years ago. I recently tried to get some more but it seems the lady who made them has stopped because her internet site is no longer live. Such a shame. I’m treating them like gold dust now!

  34. Jessica September 20, 2016 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Jackie wrote:
    Wonderful post, thanks for the E mail, might have missed it otherwise.! No, I would have come looking to see what was happening.

    • Jessica September 20, 2016 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      Apologies Jackie, your comment ended up attached to a photo for some reason. I used to be able to move them but the nifty bit of software that did it no longer works!

  35. CherryPie September 20, 2016 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful array of bloomers you have 🙂

    I hope you recover from your not quite ‘man flu’ soon 🙂

    • Jessica September 21, 2016 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Thanks Cherie. On both counts!

  36. Linda P. September 21, 2016 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    Beautiful blooms all. Hope all goes well with the latest project painting the exterior of the cottage and that you recover quickly from the unpleasant.’flu.

    • Jessica September 22, 2016 at 10:00 am - Reply

      Thanks Linda. The bug, whatever it is, is hanging on a bit. It hasn’t been the best of weeks to be needing rest… up at the crack of dawn before the painters start putting up ladders right by the windows!

  37. Edinburgh Garden Diary September 26, 2016 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    That gorgeous little toad lily caught my eye most of all, and ‘Sylvia’s Surprise’ too. I planted a few ‘Rozanne’ geraniums this year and have been so pleased with the pleasing little blooms popping up here and there all about the garden. Looking forward, like you, to see it doing really well next year.

    • Jessica September 29, 2016 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      ‘Rozanne’ is lovely, such a gorgeous shade of blue. It’s still going strong here too.

  38. susurrus September 28, 2016 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    Hope you’re fully recovered from the dreaded lurgy. These are all gorgeous but I especially love the toad lilies too and the persicaria, and Lady Em…

    • Jessica September 29, 2016 at 7:07 pm - Reply

      Lady Em was late to bloom this year but she is really making up for it now. A lovely deep colour too.

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