Back to my garden journal and we will look at my entries for September and see what our patch here at Avocet is up to. According to the weather reporters and meteorologists we should now be in Autumn but the garden is showing few signs of the expected seasonal changes.
I started by finding patches of colourful plantings and wrote, “September is a month when gardens can begin to look a little worn and frayed at the edges. We have made a huge effort over the last 4 or 5 years to ensure we have an interesting garden all year. Let us look and see if we have succeeded in making a good September garden. Here are a few shots of colourful patches throughout the borders.”
Jude, Mrs Greenbench or The Undergardener, and I have created a talk entitled “The Year Round Garden” which we give to garden societies and other clubs such as WI groups and U3A groups. It is all about how we ensured our garden was good for every month of the year. Some of these groups also visit our garden at various times of year to have a look around. Giving these talks helps us focus on ensuring we continue to develop this ever evolving element of gardening and helps us appreciate every day and what our garden gives us on every individual day.
The three photos on these first September pages show very different patches of our garden.
Turning over the page we find a couple of my watercolour paintings of two very differently coloured and differently structured flowers blooming in our September garden, a Crocosmia and a Salvia.
I wrote “I mentioned Crocosmia “Okavango” in my August journal entries as one of our newly acquired plants. It is now between 3 and 4 feet tall and flowering beautifully.”
“The most unusual coloured flower in our September garden has to be Salvia uliginosa. Its ugly name is made up for by its beauty with strongly symmetrical flower clumps and a shade of china blue petals with darker brighter blues too.”
My next double page spread features those wonderful South African summer flowering bulbs, the Agapanthus. We have a large collection of these big blue or white spherical beauties.
“From late summer onwards through autumn and into winter, Agapanthus continue to give colour, shape, texture and architectural elegance to our “Beth Chatto Garden”. In September many are still flowering strongly but a few begin to produce their beautiful seedpods.”
Turning over to the next double page I feature two very differently coloured Mahonias and a beautiful delicate Clematis.
I wrote, “Twin Mahonias, one yellow, one red both bright and brilliant plants for later in the year.”
“Take two Mahonias”
Concerning the Clematis I wrote “I love flowers that hide some of their beauty like this Clematis. Turn it over and discover its speckles and spots of purple.”
“Turn me over!”
The next double page spread features one of my favourite hardy plant families, the Sedums. I included photos of some flowering in our garden now and a watercolour impression of our plants in flower.
“There are so many variations in foliage colour and flower size and colour We have several. Here are a few from our patch.”
Over the page we discover the first signs of the changing foliage colours – the early signs of Autumn.
“A really good garden plant has more than one period where it is a star in the borders. One shrub we grow, Ribes oderatum certainly fits this bill. We grow ours in the “Freda Garden”. In late winter it is covered in deliciously scented yellow flowers which later in the year turn into black berries. Now though it is the foliage which turns the eye as it turns from bright green to rich shades of red, from ruby to almost brown-mahogany.
Not many shrubs could boast this much foliage colour and variation before Autumn has even got going.”
Can you spot the colour co-ordinated banded snail on a leaf in the last picture of the Ribes leaf sequence?
“Dazzling Dahlias! The September show offs!”
“Spot the bee!”
Opposite the Dahlias I look at a much more delicate flower, that of Kirengeshoma palmata, otherwise known as Yellow Wax Bells.
“This is one of the most unusual looking flowers to adorn the garden this month. As the flowers drop their petals, beauty of a different sort appears.”
And that sees the end of my journal entries for September. Next visit to my garden journal will see us moving into Autumn and the changes in weather and light it brings with it. Will I be reporting on the special light and colours, the colours of fire and Autumn?