September is a lonely month, a month that neither belongs in summer or autumn but sits in its own time. The weather can be as good as August and often treats us to an “Indian Summer”. September presents us with late flowering perennials, early signs of autumn and berries begin to colour up. Birds are keeping their eyes on them so that they can get at them just on the cusp of ripeness, leaving none for human foragers.
I began my September notes with the words, “September is, I feel, a month that deserves to have a mini-season all to itself. It doesn’t fit into summer or autumn, it is simply itself, the month when we look forward to an ‘Indian Summer’ and gardens full of colour and wildlife. Salvias flower in so many colours and are joined by a wide variety of late-flowering perennials.”
Below are four photos of some of our many salvias in flower.
Aster, rudbeckia, alstroemeria and hesperanthas.
On the opposite page I featured a selection of persicarias currently in flower.
Turning over the page to the next double page spread I feature firstly many of our sedums and opposite selections of perennials that give clumps of flower colour.
I wrote, “We grow dozens of different sedums throughout our borders, some herbaceous perennials, others succulents. Botanists have decided to rename some of them but we enjoy ignoring their advice!”
I then shared 9 photos of just a selection of our dozens of sedum varieties and cultivars.
Above the photos on the opposite I noted, “Some times as well as the beauty of individual blooms, plants produce their blooms in bunches to give extra impact.”
I then selected nine such perennials to photograph and share.
Over the page I share with you the hard but enjoyable work we have been doing transforming existing borders, totally re-inventing them.I wrote ,“We had lots of tasks in the garden in September, the most important being to continue the revamp of the “Chicken Garden”. We finished clearing the area of existing plants, potting them up to re-use or add to our nursery stocks in our little nursery.” and “We top dressed the area with a deep mulch of organic compost, pruned the water shoots from the trained apple trees and potted up displaced plants.”
On the opposite page we looked at other garden tasks for later in the month writing, “We fixed our new corten steel sculpture into the bed with concrete, planted all the new planting scheme for a gentle open feel prairie garden. We used carex, hakenochloa, and heuchera as edging. We then needed to thoroughly water the plants in! While the concrete set around the base of the sculpture we supported it using temporary tree stakes and clamped the sculpture to these stakes. The red gloves were to protect our eyes.”
Moving on through the September pages I next shared a set of pencil and watercolour drawings of the seedheads of our mature Acer rufinerve. I wrote, “Our largest snakebark maple, Acer rufinerve, is now dropping clumps of its seeds, coming down before they dry off and turn brown.”
I then shared seven photos of such instances.
For the final page for September in my garden journal I looked at some surprise dried stems we found. I wrote, “While walking one of our several garden paths, I noticed how the flowering stems of hemerocallis (Day Lilies) stood upright and firm, dried to bone colours. Each head was different but all were reminiscent of deer antlers.”
We will return to visit my journal at the end of October.