Friday, 30 September 2016

Goodbye summer – EOMV September 2016

Here in London we have had a lovely September and a great end to an amazing summer. The late, cold spring and early summer is now a bleak memory and hardly worth thinking of - everything after 16th July has more than made up for the cold period before. Tomorrow we are promised a whole day of rain and showers. Yippy! That will do my garden good. There is no rain on the forecast for the next 10 days after tomorrow so I hope it rains buckets.

The Woodland Bed in late afternoon sun.

One of my inherited roses – and I have a possible name for it now, it might be Rosa ‘Gaujard’, at least it looks very much like it on all the photos I have seen online – and it has very distinctive colours from bud to fully open flower so I think perhaps I will call it ‘Gaujard’ from now on. It’s the best suggestion I have had so far :-)

Rosa ‘Ingrid Bergman’ is happy again after the hot summer, she doesn’t like too much sun like many dark red roses and is now making a comeback in the garden.

And look what I found the other day! My new wisteria has produced its first few flowers! I didn’t really expect any until next year as this is a very young plant, but here they are, the first ones. You might perhaps remember I was asking fellow bloggers for the scent of this American type wisteria in my previous post – I am none the wiser as despite sticking my nose completely into the flowers I can’t detect any scent at all. Perhaps it will be more detectable when the whole plant is covered in flowers. Next year perhaps?

The garden is still lush and green and only a faint yellow tint on the large cherry tree next door is hinting that autumn is approaching.

Oh, and my plumtree is looking very autumnal but that’s more down to lots of broken branches from very heavy fruiting. I have decided to remove the plumtree so I am not so bothered about the damage. I haven’t decided whether to remove the whole thing or keep the tree trunk for a climber. Still thinking about that. One of the sunflowers behind the plumtree has grown so tall I am worried it will break every time we have a bit of wind.

I can no longer deadhead the sunflowers as I need help of someone up a ladder to reach. The squirrels have broken off two of the shorter sunflowers making unsightly gaps in my nicely made row. The squirrels sit in the cherry tree and jump onto my sunflowers before making their way down into my garden. The smallest sunflowers buckled and broke from this repeated trapeze artistry. Grrrr!

The sunflowers I could rescue are now on the table in my garden so at least I get to enjoy them for a while.

The cosmos I sowed from seed are amazingly tall too, much taller than the shed. In the foreground you can see I still have tomatoes.

The remaining green tomatoes would possibly have ripened, but to be sure I won’t lose them I cut off all of them this afternoon.

Today’s ready to eat harvest in the small box - all the green ones in the big box are now safely tucked up in my airing cupboard and will ripen over the next couple of weeks. It is amazing that green tomatoes like this can ripen in the dark off the plants without any water, soil or fertiliser – but they do, they taste just as good. I need to check them now and then just to make sure none of them go rotten, but apart from that all I need to do is pick them out when they are ready. I picked the first tomatoes in the second half of July and I will have my own tomatoes till end of October. I eat tomatoes every day and I have frozen absolutely loads and given away lots too. Not bad harvest, it will be strange having to buy tomatoes again!

The Japanese inspired bed is getting difficult to photograph, I simply can’t get properly on a distance to show you everything in one photo. I try to keep the path clear so I can walk here and all the plants are still in containers.

Fuchsia boliviana is still flowering beautifully, it has now got two side branches also with flowers – a bit difficult to see here as it is tucked up against the plumtree.

And the fruit is ready to eat, I have been munching it all week! My fuchsia is flowering for the first time so my harvest isn’t that big yet, but I get a handful like this every day.

The fruit tastes a bit like kiwis, just not as sweet – just like I read online. This is what it looks like inside. Those seeds are quite soft and you don’t really feel them when eating the fruit – or technically they are berries. Next year I hope to have lots more, I think they will be delicious together with some raspberries and strawberries with some yoghurt. Yum!

Just across the fuchsia is my beautyberries and I wondered in the spring if I would get any berries since I only have one bush.

Look how lovely they are! They are not fully ripe yet, the berries will be a bit darker, and just a shade lighter than the plum coloured fence in the background.

My little desert corner is doing well, the plants have had optimal conditions the last 3 months. Soon I will be tucking them away along the wall of the house so they don’t get too much autumn rain – well, when we finally get it.

Salvia x jamensis 'Nachtvlinder' is still flowering, the leaves of this salvia smells like blackberries when you bruise them and I can’t pass it without having a sniff. Absolutely amazing!

Salvia greggii 'Icing Sugar' is also still flowering, but very difficult to get a good photo of, this is my umpteen attempt and the flowers still look very washed out. I hope both plants will come back next year.

Here is a newcomer to my garden, I got it last year but this is the first year it is flowering. It is Mahonia nitens 'Cabaret' and normally mahonias flower in the winter or early spring. This variety flowers in the autumn and it is a very small variety, perfect for a container.

I bought some fountain grass last month on a sale – even though they are not fully hardy, but I will try to overwinter them in my shed if necessary. I have lined the containers with bubble wrap and I will move them to the shed if the temperature gets down towards freezing. This is Pennisetum setaceum 'Fireworks' and if they survive and come again next year they could be 4-5 ft tall, although possibly not that tall growing in containers. The grass tails are so soft it is like stroking a cat's tail :-)

And finally, just as a reminder that summer definitely is over – the cyclamens are here, and the first flowers have started to peek above the foliage. It’s been a good summer. It feels easier meeting the winter after a summer like we have just had.

I have made a movie for today’s End of Month View, I hope I have managed to capture the feeling of serene calm and summery overall look, despite a bit autumnal windy weather when I was filming.



The music was Johann Sebastian Bach - Cantata No. 208 - Sheep May Safely Graze.

That was it for today, next post will be on the 15th October for the Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. I am linking today’s post to Helen at The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for End of Month View.
Until next time, take care.

32 comments:

  1. Your video was wonderful, Helene! I loved the close-ups of the birds and the bees and even the greedy squirrel. Your birds seem to have better manners than mine, picking up a seed to two and flying off before returning to pick up more - mine squabble and try chasing others off until the scrub jay arrives and chases them all off. My squirrels seem to have finally learned that they can't out-maneuver the squirrel-proof feeder and now co-exist in relative harmony with the birds, eating whatever the birds drop on the ground (which is a lot).

    Best wishes for lots of rain and some more warm days before fall gets its grip on your garden!

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    1. Thanks Kris, I have tried numerous bird feeders in my garden, both previous garden and here – and none of them have worked well for various reasons. I have stopped using bird seeds as the birds pull out half of the seeds and drop them on the ground so it makes a caked layer of mouldy seeds after a while. And the fat balls were even worse, ending up in a thick, yucky layer on the ground and covering leaves. When the birds are so messy they will have to do with feeders that are more restrictive and I am quite happy with those I have now. I have two specifically made for peanuts and one for sunflower hearts, they all create very little mess and spills and all the birds seem happy. I am happy too as there is very little to clear up and the amount of bird feed being used has gone drastically down. If I could just find a squirrel proof feeder that doesn’t look like a prison then I would be very happy :-)

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  2. Everything still looks colourful, your gardens lovely.
    And a splendid video. Thanks, and have a great Autumn.

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    1. Thanks June, have a great autumn too!

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  3. Hej Helene!
    Din trädgård ser fin ut trots brist på regn. Vi har äntligen fått några rejäla skurar, men idag skiner solen igen. Är imponerad av din stora tomatskörd. Spännande med frukterna från fuchsian. Hoppas du får lite regn.
    Ha det fint / Marika

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    1. Hei Marika, det har vært fint lite regn siden jeg skrev denne posten for 2 uker siden – vi er lovet litt i kveld og i morgen så jeg håper det kommer. Ha en fin søndag i hagen!

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  4. I hope you got the rain and that there was enough left after it passed through here unleashing torrents! Squirrels are just impossible. I bought a tiny baby P. 'Fireworks' this summer and will overwinter it in a pot, then decide what to do with it next year. The 'tails' look lovely, I do hope I get some too!

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    1. The rain has been very unfavourably divided this year – we have hardly had any rain at all since June and when we have had any it has just been some sharp showers. We are promised a bit rain tonight and tomorrow, only showers though so it won’t make much impact. A week of steady rain would be lovely!

      I can’t really find any info about hardiness for P. setaceum 'Fireworks', except that it doesn’t tolerate frost. For some plants it means down to 5 degrees, for other plants it literarily means 0 degrees. For me that’s a huge difference as it rarely is 0 or below in my garden but very often down to 5 in the late autumn and winter. If you have found a specific temperature it survives to I would love to hear it :-)

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  5. The wisteria flower and the flowers on that fuchsia are really beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Sue, I love to grow things that are a bit unusual and pushing the limits a bit. I have had the fuchsia since it was a tiny cutting 4 years ago.

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  6. The end of summer looks quite beautiful in your garden. Nothing says summer like sunflowers and your "rescued" bouquet is wonderful!

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    1. Thanks Dorothy, I am afraid the squirrels made such a havoc of my sunflowers that I ended up taking them all down – all gone now. Next year I will grow the variety I had in my previous garden as they were different and probably more suited to this garden too.

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  7. Hagen din er flott til tross for mye tørke! Jeg synes at dine cyclamen er så fine. Har prøvd å dyrke de her, men de kommer ikke igjen. Nydelig wisteria også! Du er så heldig som kan dyrke omtrent hva du vil :)

    Ha en fin søndag, Helene!

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    1. Takk Marit – jeg skulle ønske jeg kunne dyrke omtrent hva jeg vil!! Da ville jeg ha masse orkideer ute og en hel rekke tropiske planter som jeg bare kan misunne bloggvenner fra Australia :-)
      Det er alltid noe å lengte etter!
      Ha en fin søndag :-)

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  8. Also in autumn your garden is still beautiful, there is so much to see, you have an amazingly variety of plants and all looks healthy. A new discovery was your little desert corner, you really have all kind of plants, love it.

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    1. I am trying to catch up with comments, can’t believe I have left it such a long time!
      My desert plants is a collection I have slowly been building up and I hope to have many more. It is a bit challenging to keep them over winter though if we get a lot of rain.

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  9. Your garden is still absolutely wonderful, though summer is quite ended.Do not worry if the flowers produced by your wisteria do not have fragrance at all. The ones it makes in autumn are not as scented as the magnificently, heavenly fragrant blossoms produced in spring.

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    1. Thanks for your input about the wisteria, can’t wait to smell it next spring – I do wonder if the heavenly fragrance applies to the American Wisteria too?

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  10. Wow... so lovely! The fuchsia fruit is so interesting! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, I love to grow things a bit unusual :-)

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  11. I so enjoyed your video Helene.. The sunflower heads are huge, they look lovely in the vase. Your fushia fruit look very interesting. I am getting rather tired of all the rain we have been getting, waiting for summer to arrive..

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    1. Thanks Ruth – I hope by now you have glorious summer, it’s been a long blogging break for me and I am trying to catch up with comments. I haven’t made any more videos since this one, I had hoped to make one for December but I don’t think I will be able to. Let’s hope next year will be more productive :-)

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  12. Your movies are always so fun! I've been snacking on Fuchsia fruits now and then, too--ever since I learned from you that they're edible. :) Your Mahonia plant is awesome!

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    1. Great to hear you are enjoying the fuchsia fruit Beth! I find that some fuchsias are tastier than other and the tiny berries from the miniatures are actually quite good. I will be back with more garden videos eventually, but it might be another month till.

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  13. Hello Helene,
    such a pieceful and beautiful video as always! I especially enjoy the chosen music; I often listen to an Aria form this Cantata No. 208 sang by Magdalena Kozena, our famous mezzo sopran singer, it is a pure beauty... You have a really nice bird feeder. I have total embargo for any new dahlias but I have been tempted to do some shopping since I saw your Happy days dahlias with dark green foliage :-).
    Take care Helene! Hela

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the video, I always spend time choosing suitable music for my videos. The birdfeeder is very good and has lasted a long time – most feeders break after just a short while because the squirrels wreck them to pieces. This one is in metal all over and more difficult for the squirrels to damage. Hopefully it will last a while!

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  14. Dear Helene, I see you're lucky with your young wisteria, so nice first flowers! It's interesting that my magonias every spring bloom but I never see their fruit, as on your photo, strange isn't it? Maybe they need more hot in summer?
    I liked your video, really feeling of calm autumn, Bach's music suits very well.

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    1. I know the American wisteria produce flowers much earlier than Japanese and Chinese wisteria, so that’s another reason for having it – apart from the much smaller size!
      Magnolias need to be quite mature to produce fruit and seedpods, I don’t expect my tree to produce any for another maybe 10 years.

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  15. Summer has been kind to your garden. It looks great. I didn't know that a Fuchsia of any kind could produce fruit! How neat! Your tall sunflowers are amazing and I can't believe the size of your cosmos by the fence.

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    1. If you stop deadheading your fuchsias they will produce fruit, some of them are quite decorative too, and they are worth a taste as some are delicious – some are a bit bland and taste very little but you won’t know until you have tried. All fuchsia berries are edible.

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  16. I feel wonderfully relaxed after walking in your garden with some of my favorite music in the background. Beautiful video, Helene. Your end-of-summer garden is stunning. BTW -- I don't deadhead my sunflowers as the birds love the seeds(and the squirrels can't get to them.) P. x

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    1. So happy you liked the video Pam, I am finally trying to catch up with some of the comments on my blog and will try to visit all your blogs in the near future.

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