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Sunday, 30 September 2012

September flowers

Summer seems to have gone out with similar colours to the arrival of spring, with many yellow blooms. There's also quite a touch of orange due to various annuals which complement the autumnal colours already emerging. In the latter part of the month we've had a really good amount of rain which has meant I have more time for gardening as I haven't needed to water anything except those plants in pots. We still need far more rain to reach the deep roots of trees and large shrubs but most plants, I'm sure, are breathing a sigh of relief (as am I!).

Earlier in the month it was the time for pretty pinks from some of my later flowering sedums, which have continued to flower throughout the month (although this first pale pink sedum has been slightly munched by the Sedum Ermine Moth caterpillar which attacked my purple leafed sedums last month, totally decimating them).

Honey bees and a Silver Y moth enjoying the nectar on Sedum spectabile 'Brilliant'

A Peacock butterfly and a honey bee

Sedum telephium 'Autumn Joy' covered in honey bees.
This variety has thankfully not been attacked by caterpillars!

More pink flowers from the Golden Oregano in the foreground,
and the tall spires of a plant which I think is Polygonum something-or-other.
Taken at this angle so you can't see the total mess
that my poor hostas became!

All month my Verbena bonariensis has continued to flower - new self seeded plants with fresh new flowers to attract butterflies appear here and there and everywhere (including all over the veg patch!).

Small Copper butterfly on Verbena bonariensis

Pelargoniums have been flowering like crazy -
this is my favourite, 'Mrs Pollock'

Small flowers appear in late summer on this little Abelia,
but one needs to get down to its level to fully appreciate them!

I treated myself to some new shrubs, Potentilla 'Goldfinger' and
Caryopteris 'Heavenly Blue', both of which really attract pollinators,
and flower for months through to October

There I was thinking my Yucca wasn't going to flower this year....

Along by the cellar walls the Hydrangeas continue to give pleasure
with their slowly fading colours

Heliopsis? seen through the leaves of Spirea japonica 'Goldflame'.
The question mark is due to this yellow flowered plant coming from a
plant swap, so I never knew what it was called.

Sedum telephium 'Autumn Joy' at the end of the month, the fading blooms of the Coneflowers
along with Stipa grass.... and of course, a self seeded Verbena bonariensis,
with obligatory butterfly on it (a Small Copper again!)  

My huge sunflowers are past their best after wind and rain
have battered them about, but still the bees are enjoying what
is left of the blooms (and the finches are loving the seeds!)

Bidens in the foreground which is slightly invasive, but a good
tall plant for the back of a border. It is late flowering but an
early heavy frost will finish it off, so in a good autumn it can flower for ages,
other years not for very long! Heliopsis? behind.

Bidens and Heliopsis? seen through my Dogwood,
Cornus sanguinea 'Winter Flame'

In the centre is one of this spring's self seeded Bronze Fennels,
which I transplanted here and is now flowering amongst
the Verbena b. and Calendula

The following is a general view just after I'd planted the Caryopteris in the place where I'd dug out half a ton of day lily roots. I also dug out another ton of dogwood roots elsewhere and moved a Weigela which had scorched in full sun into that shadier place.... the new Potentilla will replace the Weigela in the sun.... and so the work continues, hopefully to work out next year.

And if it doesn't, I'll just carry on as usual, lifting, dividing, moving.... forever, as that is just how it is, in the ornamental garden. Nothing stands still, and even when you do get it 'just right', it won't stay just right for too many years!

Back garden, work in progress.


  1. Very nice ! That lovely vignette with the fern still carries a Springtime feel (aquilegia leaves still very green). Your Yucca is gorgeous ! I'm guessing that's a helianthus (perennial sunflower) variety rather than heliopsis. I didn't know you had swings ? (gift from previous owners ?)

    Always enjoy these peeps into your garden. Thanks for sharing ! :)

  2. Yes thanks for sharing... it's all so lovely!

  3. Loving the Peacock butterfly. If I was giving out prizes you would have won one.

  4. Thanks Miss M and Miss Ladybug! Miss M I've looked at both plants and they look very similar! I'll have to delve deeper. The swings were here when we bought the property and my immediate reaction was to get rid of the eyesore (rusty red metal frame), but when I sat on one I realised it was really relaxing and that you can see over the hedge into the fields beyond. My OH made some new wooden swing seats but only the middle one really works as it has thick enough rope (chain is ridiculously expensive here). The others are just really for sitting on. So the frame has been painted brown and it stays!

    Carl - thanks too - that actually isn't the best peacock photo I have taken but then I see so many I've taken tons of photos of them! :-) I have seen 10 different varieties of butterfly in the garden today - not bad for the last day of September!

    Nothing happening on the swallowtail front though!

  5. Wow I love your familiar and yet so foreign garden - how wonderful to have butterflies still. I am now hankering after Stipa grass you naughty woman you.

    1. Hi Sarah! Some things to know about Stipa tenuissima - it self seeds like crazy, not necessary a bad thing (but I've got it growing out of some of my strawberries in the veg patch - how it got there I don't know!). The most important thing is that it does after a couple of years grow quite tall (about 3 foot), especially when it has its seed heads, and tends then to swamp nearby plants, especially when it has been blown around by wind and rain.

      I feel it is better suited to a prairie type of planting rather than dotted about here and there in cottage garden type of planting which I think you and I have. The best bet is to restart with new young plants every couple of years (so long as it self seeds) so it can be a bit labour intensive. But when it is just the right height it can look ab fab! :-) Thanks for visiting and merci for your comments!