Monday, 15 September 2014

September beauties from London

It’s the middle of the month again, time for another Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post. In my garden it’s still very much summer, and with the glorious weather we have had the last 2 weeks – and is expecting the next couple of weeks, summer is very much on the agenda. In fact, by Thursday we might get above 25 degrees C, which we haven’t had since the first week of August – since August turned out to be the coldest in 20 or so years. The days are getting shorter and the leaves have started to fall, but as long as we have summer weather, who cares?!

It’s getting increasingly difficult to walk down my path, the plants are tall and lush and the jungle feeling is certainly here! I have to water every other day since we haven’t had a drop of rain in almost 3 weeks.

The geraniums on my shelf are basking in the sunshine, still in flower although a bit sparingly compared to earlier in the summer.

The sunflowers are so tall I struggle to deadhead them.

I have cut down two of my clematises, they were enormously big and only flowering at the end that was growing in the camellia, the actual ‘towers’ of clematises on the obelisks were just masses of leaves, most of it dead as I had not kept up with spraying with anti-fungus treatment. Last month I got rid of the whole lot.

My nursery shelves are groaning with the weight of my 4 vegetable baskets. I was so worried about my tomatoes not getting ripe that I cut off all the flowers and lots of leaves, so at least those that were green would have a chance. I must have cut off at least 300 flowers!

And look! Only 1 week later, and I have already started eating tomatoes :-)

The chillies are slowly getting red too, this is 'Cayenetta'. I have not yet had a taste of this but I suspect it will be too hot for my taste.

And this is 'Loco', which I have had a taste of, both chillies were advertised as ‘mild’, but I don’t think there is anything mild to this one – too hot for me anyway. It looks beautiful though, dark purple when unripe and bright red when ripe. If anyone can suggest the name of a really mild chilli I can grow next year I would be grateful, 'Cayenetta' has a Schoville heat rating approx. 20.000 and 'Loco' has 24.000shu. I will try both of them in green as well, as they tend to be milder before they have turned red, but I would love to grow a chilli that was much milder. I have looked online, but often chillies are describes as hot, medium and mild....not very helpful as what’s mild to one person is hot to another.

Another view from the bottom of the garden, the dahlias and sunflowers dominate, but between them there are still lots of roses.

The red ‘Crimson Cascade’ and the yellow ‘Freedom are the oldest roses in my garden.

This is one of the newcomers, the David Austin rose ‘Wildeve’.

And this is an un-named rose, tagged as ‘Candy Stripe’, but obviously wrongly labelled!

And this is the pink pot rose, it should have had a bigger container a long time ago as it no longer thrive where it is, but it still manages to produce the odd flower.

No problem with flower production here, this is the cream pot rose which is growing in the ground and is a very happy rose.

And this is....not a rose, but the giant begonia 'Prima Donna'.

And I thought I had to show off my stripy dahlia again, the one I showed you in my last post that had changed colour from orange to stripes. Here are more stripy flowers!

Aren’t they spectacular?

And I found this little fellow gorging on one of the Dahlia 'Mary Eveline' for ages.

This is a newcomer this year, Dahlia Nuit D'Ete, gorgeous colour!

Up in the bed at the patio I have two pots I haven’t showed off yet, with oleanders. Yep, oleanders in London. I bought them last spring as tiny plants and they are now quite tall, you can see them on either side of the hanging lantern. They really need to be re-potted soon, or perhaps cut down, not sure yet what I will do with them, they are NOT going in the ground – I am not letting them run riot in my garden as they can become very big!

For now I am enjoying the flowers, they have been flowering non-stop since June and look very pretty. However, I always thought oleanders had highly scented flowers, but these have no scent at all, that’s a bit disappointing.

Behind the oleanders, in between the mass of sunflowers I have another treasure, I have finally been able to grow a Lobelia cardinalis! This is my third attempt – the other two looked fine the first summer for never to be seen again. This time I planted the lobelia in a container and I watered like mad last summer, it rained all winter and I have kept up the watering since it stopped raining in February. That’s been the key to the success I think, they really need a soaking wet soil all the time which is difficult to keep in the ground, easier in a container.

Here is a shot of what was supposed to be my new white flower bed. Ehh....supposed to. Well, I have had white flowers here, I had 2 flowers on the white oriental poppy, but that was in May. And I had a white geranium here in June. And I had lots of white lilies here – in July. But space is limited so I have had to put other things here too.

But there are still some white flowers here, this is a very pretty asters, Aster ageratoides 'Ashvi' which has just started to flower and will go on until late November.

And the white anemone, flown over as a seed from somewhere is flowering again, also very pretty. But it’s hardly a ‘white bed'.

Across the path the penstemons have been flowering for a while, this is 'Strawberries and Cream'.

And this is Penstemon Pensham 'Amelia Jayne'.

And this is Penstemon 'Rich Ruby'. All three are growing together, entangled, and I like the colour combination.

I can’t have a September post without some sunflowers close up, this is Helianthus annuus 'Valentine'.

And this is Helianthus debilis 'Vanilla Ice'.

Do you remember I said I cut down two of my clematises? 'Gravetye Beauty' has just started to shoot again, but 'Ville de Lyon' has already got buds! I don’t know if they will flower before the winter but if this amazing weather continues perhaps they might :-)

And now to some fuchsias, can't really have a post without fuchsias, can I ?! These 'Annabel' fuchsias have flowered for FIFTEEN MONTHS !! There seem no end to it though, there are new buds produced as soon as the old ones are thrown off. I keep cutting off the fruits as much as I can and that obviously helps, but even so.

This ‘Bella Rosella’ is a cutting from the main plant, I took the cutting in November last year and it started to flower in June.

Here is the mother, my big ‘Bella Rosella’, almost 10 years old, now growing in a container standing on an upturned 10 litre pot, as the branches are so long it otherwise would reach the ground. I will take more cuttings this autumn too :-)

And this pretty fuchsia is 'Mrs Popple', one of the most hardy you can get, and very undemanding.

This fuchsia is one of my newcomers this year, I looked for a long time for a red + red fuchsia, this one is called ‘Flash’.

And this is 'Perpetual Falls' , a hardy trailing fuchsia. The bumble bees just loves all the fuchsias.

Look how it almost vanishes inside the flower!

This monstrous size fuchsia is actually 3 plants in one large pot. When I planted them in early spring 2013 the plants looked so tiny in this large pot. They soon filled that one out! They have all been flowering since July last year and this summer it has been so many flowers you could hardly see the leaves. The flower production has tapered off a bit now, probably because the plants are suffering in this way too small pot. But I haven’t had the heart to scoop them out, divide and cut them down yet, not until they have stopped flowering. When that will be is anybody’s guess, if we get another winter like last year the fuchsias might just go on and on until next autumn!

I had a count last month to see how many fuchsias I have, and I got to 56 all in all. I have managed to give away a couple, and the squirrel has killed yet another in my front garden so I think I am down to around 50. Space is limited so I have found a way to keep the trailing ones, some are hanging on my tall conifer!

And some on my fence. They are hanging on these great brackets, beautifully simple but effective. Just a firm wire to hang on a hook, made to fit a 2L pot. I found them on Amazon.

Despite all this talk of summer there are signs of my garden slowing down and preparing for autumn. The seed pods of Lilium regale are getting big and I will soon sow my usual tray of lilies.

The Skimmia japonica 'Rubella' has got their red flower buds, these will stay like this until May when the flowers open, a lovely sight in the autumn and winter garden.

The first flowers of Primula vulgaris 'Miss Indigo' has emerged again.

And the Primula vulgaris has....well, they are flowering all the time in my garden so they are not really an autumn sign, but I have cut them down, all of them and that gave them a boost to start producing new leaves and flowers.

But my Bonsai tree, made from a Parthenocissus henryana is definitely starting to show some autumn colours, the red leaves are spectacular.

Out in the front garden there isn’t much difference from last month, the plants are bigger, but still in full flower.
So even though the calendar says autumn from today of, or even from the first of September if you go by the meteorological calendar,  I don’t really have the feeling of autumn just yet, not at all really.

And before I finish today’s post I just want to tell you that I have had another visit from a fellow blogger! Do you remember that I had a visit from Beth from Plant Posting last October? I wrote then that I would love to have visit from other bloggers coming to London, and last Friday I had a visit from Nadezda from Nadezda’s garden.

Nadezda and her son Nickolay came to London for a week’s stay and after visiting Kew Gardens on Friday they took the tube over to my place and came to see my garden.

We had a lovely couple of hours together outside in my garden and the time went so quickly. It’s really interesting to actually meet people I have met through my blog, people I have been ‘visiting’ online but never seen. If you are ever in London, please make sure you set aside a day to visit my garden, it is not as spectacular as Kew Gardens, but well worth a visit :-)

Let me leave you with a vase of flowers from my garden, sunflowers and dahlias, the flowers of September here in my garden. I am linking my post to Carol at May Dreams Garden, If you head over to her blog you can see many more gardens in flower around the world right now. Until next time, take care.

49 comments:

  1. Simply gorgeous Helene, I just love your garden... I especially love the bee photos and that lovely bumble nearly disappearing into the Fuchsia flower.. wonderful. :o) x

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    1. Thanks Julie, that bumble bee photo was a lucky shot :-)

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  2. The Dahlia/sunflower border is truly spectacular! I agree with Julie - the bee in the Fuchsia is a fab photo. How lovely for Nadezda and her son to visit. They must have enjoyed their visit - there is so much to see in your garden at the moment.

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    1. Thanks Sarah, It was so nice to meet Nadezda and her son, it’s always nice to ‘meet’ people through my blog but even better to meet them in person!

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  3. These are the real beauty from London! The dahlias are so stunning, your collection are really beautiful. Your Begonia is really huge! I have never seen before. Thank for sharing the beauty. It must be a lovely time enjoying your garden with your lovely friend. Have a lovely week.

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    1. Thanks Endah, the begonias are really huge, they can’t stand up without lots of staking so I struggle to take photos of them without showing the canes. But I love cutting off flowers and use them in my flower bowl, they last for a long time.

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  4. Isn't the weather wonderful Helene, we're certainly being spoilt with our summer this year. Your garden is looking great as always and your fuchsias are beautiful. I wonder if they'll ever need a rest!

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    1. I wonder too how long these plants of mine will keep on flowering! The weather has certainly made up for the bad summers we had some years ago, I can get through the winter with a summer like this behind me – and it isn’t over yet, 26 degrees in my garden today before the thunder and rain started.

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  5. So much gorgeous color in your garden! I love the jungle look and that begonia is spectacular! The yellow begonias out front are really nice, work well in the combination you've put together and look like a waterfall! How could we live without fuchsias this time of year? I only have a few but they add such beauty to the summer/fall/part of winter garden. How cool that you had a visit from Nadezda! I read her blog and she seems like such a nice person. Happy GBBD, Helene!

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, and happy GBBD to you too! The fuchsias are the pride of the garden at the moment, even if there are many other plants still in flower.

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  6. I love you new additions Helene. the ‘Wildeve’ Rose and Dahlias are so beautiful in your lush gardens and I admire your arch and path every time I visit. It is so wonderful that you and Nadezda got to meet in person and I am sure she enjoyed your gardens. Happy GBBD!

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    1. Thanks Lee, we had a lovely few hours together and it was nice to meet Nadezda so she could see my garden. Have a great week-end.

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  7. How lovely to meet Nadezda, So strange to see primroses and roses flowering at the same time.

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    1. Thanks Sue, my Primula vulgaris are rather funny, I have around 20 of them and they have been in flower since I got them in September 2012!! Some of them have taken a short break now and then but I have at least a few in flower at any given time. Not sure how that is possible but in my garden nothing seems to follow the rules :-)

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  8. Helene, I am blown away at how stunning your gardens still are...you certainly have summer still....lucky you. Here it is fall with the weather and the garden is slowing and stopping in some spots. I adore all the roses and dahlias still there. And I like the white flower bed. It is a challenge as I have a whole bed too that continues to be invaded by color. Lovely to see Nadezda in your garden. I wouldn't miss visiting your garden if I can ever get to London. Happy Bloom Day.

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    1. The good weather just goes on over here, it’s been much better in September than in August – long may it last! I hope you can get to London some time, there is so much to see here – my garden included :-)
      Happy GBBD to you too.

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  9. What a shame you had to chop down the two clematis. But the stripy Dahlia really is spectacular. And your skimmia looks so healthy!

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    1. I have two skimmias, the one on the photo is the smallest one, the other one is 10 years old and absolutely huge! I never knew they could grow that big if left un-pruned. 'Ville de Lyon' is growing like mad, I think I will get flowers again soon so not much lost by cutting it down, it was rather sad looking before.

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  10. Your garden is amazing as always, Helene--50 fuschias?!! I would be thrilled to have 1 or 2 survive here. So much to see and admire in your garden, but I especially love all your dahlias and the beautiful window boxes out front. How wonderful that Nadezda stopped by for a visit! It's always fun to meet other bloggers; in fact, I met Beth of Plant Postings just this past week, and we had such a lovely time. We even talked about her visit to your garden. If I ever get to London again--and it's on my bucket list--I would love to see your garden in person!

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    1. And you are very welcome to see my garden if you come to London, just let me know :-) How nice you have met Beth too, so fun to meet bloggers in person, isn’t it?

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  11. I think your garden is as wonderful as Kew, Helene, because it's tended with love. How wonderful to have more visitors! :) Of course you can't have a post without Fuchsias! Yours are so healthy and lush. And I'm always amazed by your Roses and Dahlias!

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    1. Thanks Beth, for your kind words – I wish my garden was comparable to Kew, but I have been to Kew too so I know how spectacular it is there!

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  12. Truly tropical just about describes the look in your garden right now Helene. You are spot on re the Lobelis cardinalis. I tend to soak mine in a basin of water for days on end. I find once they start flowering they can cope with less water but then again, it's usually so late in the year there is plenty of moisture around for them.
    Roses look wonderful and of course your Fuchsia. I hope you are impressed with mine if you get a chance to pop over.
    Glad to read you had another nice day with another blogger.

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    1. We have tropical weather too Angie, it’s been unbelievable how the weather has been the last 3 weeks. Lots of watering though, but I am happy to do that when the temperature gets above 25 almost every day. Sorry if it makes you jealous, I know your weather hasn’t been as good at least the whole period :-)
      And yes, I am glad I opted for planting the Lobelia cardinalis in a large container this time, they obviously don’t do well in my soil.

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  13. Helene, what a fantastic show of September blooms. Your sunflower, Helianthus debilis 'Vanilla Ice'. is pure perfection. I love your stripy cactus dahlia, I was planning to have dahlias and more Lilies in the garden next year but the soil is very! clay like and I think the Lilies would not survive being waterlogged all Winter. I will probably start Dahlias in tubs plant them out and lift them in autumn.

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    1. Thanks Alistair, the stripy dahlia is great, now that it is finally showing its true colours. I have all my dahlias growing next to the tall cedar tree in my garden, I think the roots of this evergreen tree keeps them dry enough through the winter as the other side of the garden is much wetter. I haven’t dared planting dahlias anywhere else in the garden since I don’t lift mine, if you have a tall tree maybe you could do the same? Dahlias don’t seem to need full sunshine, despite what it says on the packets – mine are growing like mad anyway.

      My lilies don't seem to mind being wet during the winter, but my soil is probably more open than yours, after 13 years of bark mulching - which most of the lilies don’t seem to mind, even though some prefer acid soil and some prefer a higher pH. I am so glad I started the bark mulching to help me suppress the weeds, it’s been good for so many reasons and I now have a lovely soil. I have to top it up every other year but it’s worth it – and it means less watering too.

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  14. Your garden is looking as pristine as ever Helene. Interesting comment about Lobelia cardinalis, I read an article once describing them growing in the shallows of the Great Lakes where they were frozen solid every Winter in some horrendously low temperatures, obviously as tough as old boots but they need their water. My primroses are back flowering again after a Summer break, I will have to see if they will go through the Winter if it is mild.

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    1. Thanks Rick, I am happy I found out what the Lobelia cardinalis wanted, needed a few attempts :-) I cut down my Primula vulgaris every 3 months, almost completely, and I think that’s how they have been flowering constant. Doesn’t work for all the other types of primroses, only the vulgaris.

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  15. Always so much going on...never a dull moment....beautiful, nay stunning as ever!

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    1. Thanks Jane, glad you like my paradise :-)

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  16. Such a beautiful garden you have. It's really like a paradise.
    Have a wonderful sunday Helene.

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    1. Thanks Marjike, I know I have said it many times before – my garden is the most important room in my house :-)

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  17. That begonia is spectacular! I also love the red skimmer buds and your bonsai tree. Truly, your entire garden looks lush and very beautiful. Lucky are those who get to visit!

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    1. Thanks, it is a very private garden, with no access from the outside, only through my house, and very few overlooks it – so visiting my garden is the only way to see it – and here on the blog of course! The begonia got a serious prune today, all 3 of them, they have got rather leggy over the summer, but I can see signs of new shoots further down so I hope there will be many more flowers before the season is over.

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  18. I love it when the garden gets "maxed" out. Your plants sure do love you, they show it in blooms. Everything looks amazing. It must be a joy to walk around and think, "all this belongs to me!" How wonderful to see you with Nadezda, it's quite surreal actually and quite cool. I also follow her blog.

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    1. Thanks Rosemary, yes I do often walk around in my tiny garden and feel happy and grateful and also rather amazed by what grows in my garden, and at what speed! I was used to garden in Norway, where the summers are rather short and so many plants must be treated as annuals - gardening here for the last 15 years still makes me giggle by the things I can grow and what can survive the winter. Every February I send photos to my sister in Norway of daffodils, tulips and hellebores in flower, knowing she has got 6 ft of snow in her garden :-)

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  19. Your garden is so pretty, Helene and we had wonderful time enjoying your fuchsias, dahlias, primroses, hydrangeas and tea and coffee with you!
    Thank you once again for your nice cups that will remind me your garden!

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    1. Thank you Nadezda for visiting me, it was so lovely to meet you and your son. I hope the rest of your journey was good and I assume there will be lots of nice photos from Kew soon :-)

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  20. I am always amazed at how much you are able to pack into such a small garden Helene. The begonias and other flowers spilling out of the boxes at the front are such a nice introduction as to what is to come at the back. The roses, fuchsia and dahlias are all so pretty. I especially like the 'Mary Eveline' dahlia. How nice that Nadezda stopped in to pay you a visit. It must have been fun to meet someone you know well, but have never met.

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    1. Yes, it was nice and very interesting, both to meet a fellow blogger, and to meet someone from a completely different country. I did the same last year, when I met Beth from Plant Posting, also a very nice and interesting visit. You are not the only one who likes 'Mary Eveline’, many people comment on this particular dahlia, I think it is because it is rather unusual – and this is why I like it so much too :-)

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  21. Great to discover you lovely blog Helene. What a marvellous jungle, a perfect example how a myriad of plants can be grown together. And you read my blog with familiar friends commenting such as Sue Garrett and Rick!
    I visited my son in Colliers Wood last week. He is definitely NOT a gardener but I did notice how very dry his soil was in London

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, I have been visiting your blog now and then, but I must admit I don’t always write comments on all blogs I visit, I just haven’t got the time – I wish I could apply for a few more hours in the day, 28 hours or so would suit me just fine! We haven’t really had any proper, prolonged rain since middle of February, apart from some heavy downpours now and then, and they don’t really count for much, so yes, without regular watering my garden would have been bone dry by now. I dread to think what my water bill will be in November, but what don’t we do for our gardens….

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    2. It is interesting your report of the dry weather you have had this year. We gardeners really notice these things whereas after a few light drops none gardeners think it has rained!
      Your comments help me to understand how my son Ben managed to let a vine die in his London garden this year!
      At the moment I am staying with my equally horticulturaly incompetent son in Vico Equense and have had time to make a few comments on other folk's blogs.
      Isn't Sue Garrett marvellous - I don't know how she finds the time

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  22. Wow, just wow! Your garden is incredible! I am stunned how big your fuchsia are. The hummingbirds would be thrilled if mine ever got that prolific. I do love all the varying heights in your back garden and all the color. The dahlia are stunning! I notice that you have two cushions on your chair...I have to say I love that idea with the complimentary fabric...I'll have to put that concept to work in my garden! Enjoy your beautiful weather!

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    1. Thanks Karin, the size of my fuchsias are simply down to the fact that I didn’t cut any of down this spring, as all of them have flowered non-stop since last July! We kind of skipped last winter.
      And the two cushions, well, that’s because the original cushion for the garden chair (from IKEA) feels too hard for me, so I needed some more padding. I bought a piece of memory foam the size of the seat, covered it in the fabric I used for the mattress on the garden bench and voila! It is very comfy :-) Feel free to nick the idea!

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  23. at least another 3 weeks of summer weather! well that's absolutely wonderful. How lucky that your garden season gets extended that long. Your garden looks gorgeous as always. I'm particularly fond of those dark red sunflowers and the Loco chillies. I'm not terribly fond of hot peppers either but they really are pretty.

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    1. September has turned out to be absolutely wonderful, the driest on record, nice and warm – but this week-end we are expecting cooler weather so I guess this is it; autumn has arrived here too :-)

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  24. How ever do you keep your garden so perfect? I know, I know, incredible amounts of work.

    It's so beautiful!

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    1. Thanks!
      It’s a lot of deadheading and watering, especially now in the summer. I don’t really look at it as work to be honest, I go out in the garden to relax when I potter about – but the hours fly quickly :-)

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