Goodbye Summer… Hello Autumn
So we actually had quite a bit of summer weather, but those long hot days, dry spells and humid nights have suddenly gone, It’s like a line has been crossed and we are now subjected to sudden showers, blustery winds and early dark nights.
Its been a little while since I updated you about the goings on in my garden, so to bring you up to date let’s have a look around.
Earlier in the year I purchased some new Fuchsia plugs and the above Dorothy Hanley was one of them, it’s a slightly unusual flower in that the Sepals bend back to expose the main flower more. It is also supposed to be a hardy fuchsia, but I will protect it indoors for the winter until I can establish it as a much bigger plant.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of cutting back and disposing of finished plant material before the really bad autumn weather sets in, my ground is quite ‘clayey’ in areas and its messy to walk on when its wet. Today I chopped back most of my Hanging baskets and tubs in order to uncover the tender fuchsias growing there so I could take cutting material for propagation. My intention is to buy less plants next year and grow more from seeds and cuttings…. but.. well…we will see how that goes.! I do love to buy stuff!
Plants that I bought on a whim from plant fairs over the summer are finally getting planted now that we have had some rain and gaps in the garden have started to appear due to finished annuals, I do need to mark up plants soon for removal and dividing over the winter as I’m already wondering where I’m going to fit everything.
My baby Malus tree is showing off its lovely Autumn colour already, two weeks ago those fruits were barely pink.
I grew this Euonymus from a cutting about 20 years ago from a plant in Birmingham, it lived in a pot and wherever I moved to it went with me, when I moved into this house about 9 years ago and started clearing the overgrown garden it finally got planted. It rewards me with almost fluorescent red foliage every autumn which then quickly drop off. I hope to get a picture of it this year before that happens.
This time last year I noticed that my local Garden Centre chain were having a seed sale, so of course I made a *few purchases.
One of the seed packets I bought were Echinacea ‘PowWow Berry‘, I followed the instructions and sowed them. The results are below. 🙂
I’ve been delighted that not only did the plants grow, but they are now flowering in their first year. The plants are only about 30-40 cm’s tall, so I’ve planted 3 at the front of a sunny border, I just need to get them through the winter now.
My Rudbeckia ‘Goldstrum’ and an unknown Sedum are giving me a blast of late colour in the garden, this bed is an island bed which is very congested and one of the few areas that receives the full sun. I’ve been thinning it out slowly over the last few weeks by removing under performing plants, I’m planning either more annuals or smaller flowery perennials for this bed.
I’ve always fancied growing an Aster in my garden for late colour, and there was a plant I really liked, but never knew what it was called….. for years I searched for its name, then last year I discovered It was called Aster × frikartii ‘Mönch’ it has a lovely Bluey/light purple flower, and it does not grow into a huge plant. I bought one in the spring via mail order from Scotland and its done really well for its first year.
Aster and Canna Durban (which is in a pot), slight fuzzy photo as it was taken today during a dark blowy episode in the weather.
Now let’s have a Quick peak in the little greenhouse with no door…..
I’ve got an assortment of Alpines, Primulas, Snowdrops and a few other bits and bobs on this bench that need sorting through soon. Incidentally that’s a very sturdy and solid bench from a company called Two Wests and Elliot. I’m saving up for a bit more staging.
Opposite this bench I’ve been growing some Tomatoes in big pots.
These are a Heritage Variety called ‘Orange Banana’, they are a plum type which turn orange when ripe, they are quite a tangy flavour and I have to save seed every year as the seed is not available to buy. I’ve removed all the leaves from the plants as it’s a race to ripen the fruits before the very cold weather arrives.
Now a quick peak into the greenhouse opposite which has a door…
Some fallen tomatoes being ripened, some baby fuchsia plants and my indoor/outdoor thermometer, 21.8°c inside and 14.3°c outside.
I put all my favourite Sarracenas together to give them a good soak overhead with rain water as they do appreciate that. They have really enjoyed the hot sun this year, and leaving them inside the greenhouse has provided them with more warmth. They have really coloured up well.
The insects are attracted to the nectar-like substance that the plant exudes around the top of the tube, just below is a slippy area which causes the insect to fall, and the hairs you can see prevent the insect from climbing out. The insect falls into the liquid you can see in the picture, which is mostly rainwater, and is drowned, the plant absorbs the nutrients from what is basically insect soup.
Finally in this greenhouse I’m growing something a bit new for me, I sowed some seeds of a Succulent called Agave Parryi.
Apparently they grow quite big, but slowly, so I’m not sure where they will end up yet, but I took a fancy to them.
And finally I’ll show you what I think is the most over rated Fuchsia on sale, Fuchsia Lady in Black.
Nice flower, but the seller states that it’s a climbing Fuchsia (which needs support), and that it can reach up to 2m in a growing season, well its taken me 2 years to get it to 60cm tall..!
Until next time, don’t forget its Scrumping season……….