Bloomin’ October

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Hydrangea arborescens ‘Invincibelle Spirit’

 

There can be real beauty in ageing.

(Support me on this one, OK? Personally I’m banking on it…)

 

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The NoID blue hydrangea up on the bank, taking on a rainbow of hues as its flowers fade.

..Whilst we can only hope it to be true for ladies of a certain age, some blooms always manage to look better as they mature.

 

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Rose ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’

 A rose which begins life a knock-your-socks-off orange before mellowing elegantly into rosy pink.

 

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The Precipitous Bank, October 2016

When we moved here there was precious little autumn colour in the garden. It’s only this year that I’ve really noticed how much that has changed. Maybe even go so far as to say it actually looks at its best at this time of year. Have I inadvertently created an autumn garden?

 

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Hydrangea (NoID)

My love hate relationship with hydrangeas is well documented. Right now it’s all love.

 

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Hydrangea ‘Limelight’

 

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Hydrangea ‘Limelight’

 

I relocated ‘Limelight’ a couple of days ago. In full bloom (yes, I know). So far she has yet to punish me, there are still pristine new blooms to complement those which are fading. It’s early days. The weather has been perfect for gardening over the last week or so and I’ve been pressing on with getting things planted and shifted around while the going is good. If anything, extraordinarily for autumn, it’s been too dry. In some places excavating a planting hole has been more akin to mining through rock. Explosives would have made the job a whole lot easier.

At each and every turn I’ve been accompanied by my faithful friend the robin. He flits about, perches for a while on the edge of the trug or the handle of the garden fork, then darts in to wherever I’m digging to pluck out a tasty morsel or two. He gets so close in fact that I’m continually having to watch my feet to make sure I don’t squash him flat. I tried to get a shot of him yesterday whilst out snapping the hydrangeas. He was in the vicinity, I could hear his song. But would he oblige with a star appearance? Would he heck. A gardener bearing a camera is of little interest. A gardener tilling the earth in a worm disturbing fashion, now that is something else.

 

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Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

The last few blooms of the Ceratostigma emerge as the leaves take on delicious red tints.

 

Tropaeolum majus 'Purple Emperor'

 

Tropaeolum majus ‘Purple Emperor’

The leaves of the nasturtiums may be starting to yellow, but they’re still pumping out the blooms non stop.

 

Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace'

 

Tulbaghia violacea ‘Silver Lace’

 

Aster

 

Aster (NoID). Or have I got to call it by the S word now?

 

If the dry weather would only hold for a few more days I’d have a chance at finishing the planting. There are plenty of gaps as a result of this year’s wholesale clearing but isn’t it always the way.. those denizens of the plant ghetto bought on impulse, are they going to be the ones to plug the holes? That gorgeous little woodlander for the south facing bank? Er.. no. But if there’s a goal to get everything in the ground before winter, in the ground they will surely be. The solution is to clear a further small patch in a more suitable location and plant into that. The surrounding weeds won’t grow much over winter and by spring the gardener will be out there and on top of it before they can overwhelm. (Stop that sniggering at the back..)

 

Rose 'Jude the Obscure'

 

Rose ‘Jude the Obscure’

 

Cyclamen hederifolium

 

Cyclamen hederifolium pushing up through the autumnal leaves of Saxifraga stolonifera

 

Erigeron karvinskianus

 

Erigeron karvinskianus has been in full bloom since June. The flowers start off white and as the season progresses turn increasingly to pink. Then they shrink back until the tiny buttons of the seedheads festoon the plant. Once you have this Erigeron you’ll never be without it, it self seeds for England. But what’s not to love?

 

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Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’

The petals may be shrivelling but the central cone remains and lasts well into winter. Just add frost.

 

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The terraces, October 2016

The last hurrah.

 

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

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