What a strange month September has been so far. It started with a careful promise of better weather, then a week of Indian summer and now we have a definite autumnal feel with chilly evenings. I am still not doing much work in my garden after my hip dislocation a month ago and it really shows. I keep up with the watering, that’s it really. My new garden helper hasn’t been back yet after her first visit, she was meant to come again this week but had to cancel and now I don’t know when next visit will be. I have a very long list of garden chores ready for next time she comes :-)
On a distance my garden doesn’t look too bad, at least it is fairly green in most places, but look a bit closer and there are pruning and dead heading jobs wherever you turn. Some of my plants have taken an early die-down due to lack of water and other plants should have had a chop to encourage new growth. But all in all, my garden has survived pretty well on just water and light the last 5 weeks!
And look what I found today, a Geranium 'Scarlet' just starting to flower, in mid September! I had given up this geranium, thought it wasn’t going to produce any flowers, after all I bought it as an annual last year - but I have had ‘annual’ geraniums surviving for years before so I had hopes for it in the spring. As the crocosmia behind it grew bigger and bigger without the geranium making any attempt to put on much growth I didn’t bother staking the crocosmia too hard. The geranium has been pretty much buried under the leaves until I saw some red flowers today. I think the geranium deserve to be freed from all those dead and dying crocosmia leaves so I can see those pretty flowers :-)
And here is another late bloomer, or early bloomer – or confused plant, not sure what to call it to be honest! It is my rhododendron ‘Dopey’ who has decided to produce two flowers, in September! That has never happened before and although this flower is a bit wrinkly and deformed it most definitely is a proper, new flower. The rest of the plant has lots of new buds formed already, ready for next spring, as it should have at this time of year – but it doesn’t seem like any of the other are ready to open. A bit confused then maybe…
Here is a plant that isn’t confused about flowering time. The plant wrapped around this dead conifer is a passion flower, Passiflora caerulea. I got this plant as a seedling I dug up from a friend’s garden and it was about 70 cm long then, back in October last year. I grew it in a pot outside over the winter and planted it in front of this tree in May. Since then it has grown incredibly fast and my hope is that this passion flower will eventually cover the whole tree stump and cascade down from all the branches. Well, that’s the plan anyway! Passiflora caerulea produce orange fruit which apparently is edible but doesn’t taste much. I don’t intend to try the fruit if I get any, I keep to the supermarket ones for my dessert, wish I could grow those in my garden but with the UK climate that would not be possible. This passionflower has been so productive it has even managed to shoot out some baby plants more than one foot from the mother plant, I’m afraid you can’t see that from this photo but they are there, to the right of the tree, in between the Lily of the Valley plants. I intend to carefully lift up those baby plants and pot them on, don’t really want a whole bed full of passionflower but it could be great to have some in reserve should something happen to the mother plant.
|Here is the first flower to open, isn’t it beautiful?|
|There are a few more buds on this branch, but none on the other, not too bad for the first year though.|
Here is another nice surprise, my Physalis Franchettii, Chinese Lantern has finally flowered and produced lanterns, after three years in the making! I had almost given up these two plants and they were seconds away from ending in my compost bin last autumn. I decided to give them one more year, glad I did! I can see they should have had some staking, the last month they have flopped completely and are now horizontal lanterns and a bit of a mess. Lesson learned to next year....I still keep them in a pot as I have read they are pretty invasive, but maybe I will give them a permanent home in a large planter next year since they actually turned out to be quite nice, just a bit slow to take off.
My sedums have finally started flowering, here is one of two groups I have, Sedum Xenox to the left and Sedum erythrosticum 'Frosty Morn' to the right. Sedum Xenox is a bit slower to come into flowering and will need another week or two to look its best. The bees love these sedums and when the rest of the garden is winding down for the autumn, the sedums are providing food for the insects around.
|Sedum erythrosticum 'Frosty Morn' in flower.|
|My begonias are still going strong and will continue until we get frost, so will the miniature rose to the right.|
|This red Gerbera has produced flowers almost continuously since I got it 4 years ago, all year round.|
My pretty ballerina, Fuchsia 'Bella Rosella' isn’t easy to take pictures of when on crutches....I had to just place the camera on the ground, put it on auto focus, press the button and hope for the best – which turned out like this. I normally pinch off the spent flowers before they set fruit but as you can see from this photo, pinching hasn’t been on the agenda for a while! The dark red fruit looks nice though.
|This is a bud from the miniature rose, still producing flowers.|
|And my rose ‘Freedom’ is still going strong too.|
|This is one of my new David Austin roses, 'Scepter'd Isle', with a fantastic scent, absolutely my favourite of the three I bought back in February.|
|And the final photo is of my cat, who loves to lie in my rubbish tray when I am out in the garden, regardless of whether there are leaves and flower heads in it or not :-)|
That was some of the plants in flower in my London garden this mid September Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, why don’t you head over to Carol’s blog at May Dream’s Garden and see what gardeners around the world have in their garden right now. Until next time, take care.