Gardenpinks' Blog

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Late summer/autumn flowers

I came across a great saying today whilst perusing a forum which I’d like to share; it was being used as a signature and I thought what a great truism it is and how I must bear this in mind more:

“People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character”  Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Cyclamen

I have mixed feelings about the onset of autumn (fall). I admire the glorious autumnal colours in the leaves, we can have some magnificent sunny days, the plants that are flowering retain their intensity of colour because the sun hasn’t bleached them and then there is that special smell of ripening fruit and fallen leaves BUT autumn is a time of decay, storms and trees losing limbs as well as losing their leaves and it means winter is just around the corner. The last three winters have been hard for us and I hate snow and ice with a passion! Heaps of dry, crackling leaves are reminders of our childhood autumns when we scuffled through those leaves and discovered conkers whose chestnut shiny skins drew us like magpies to collect them.

At the moment I can enjoy the delightful little cyclamen in all their shades of pink and there is also a few clumps of pure white ones too. It is fascinating to see where these fragile flowers will appear and all thanks to the ants; cyclamen seed is covered in a sticky substance that apparently is sweet and the ants love that sweetness so they collect the seeds, carry them off and ‘plant’ them for us gardeners and so we end up with more cyclamen plans spread around the garden with no effort from us at all. In our garden we have the late summer/autumn flowering cyclamen and some spring flowering ones. Those that bravely flower in early spring push their flower buds up through piles of leaves and, occasionally, snow to flower alongside the snowdrops.

Colchicums

Colchicum or Autumn Crocus

These, like the Cyclamen, flower before the leaves are produced, in fact Colchicum leaves don’t appear until around March time. These ‘naked ladies’  (another name they go by) have very strange bulbs that produce very few roots until the spring time so the flower buds … like most bulb producing plants …. are made the previous spring. The bulbs are quite large, approximately 2 inches in diameter, and have an extending ‘heel’ or spur; now the bulbs can be lifted from the ground and placed into a shallow dish or saucer on a window sill and the flowers enjoyed indoors however as soon as the flower has finished then the bulb should be planted back out into the garden to produce its leaves. While indoors the bulb neither needs water or food – my type of indoor gardening!

salvia

I’m a little disappointed that the intenseness of the blue didn’t come out quite as it looks in reality. This plant, which is related to the herb Sage, gives me so much pleasure at this time of the year because I don’t expect to see such a gorgeous colour when everything else is getting ready to close down for autumn or looking a little tired after the mad flowering of summer. I was so happy to see that it had survived yet another hard winter. I couldn’t find this particular Salvia locally and acquired it from an eBay seller! When we move this little darling is coming with me!

hardy geranium

There are several different hardy geraniums in our garden and I’ve forgotten the names of all but one of them! That is the problem with an aging brain..it just won’t retain important information! I think this is called Buxton Beauty but don’t quote me on that. The flowers closest to the stone path is the true colour..a nice blue outer rim with a white centre dotted with a darker ‘bullseye’; this particular plant is remarkable because it has put on a beautiful show all summer yet it is growing in a very dry and hot part of the garden and, because it spreads so much during the summer, I tend to cut it back throughout the growing season yet it forgives all those factors and keeps produces these lovely flowers. By the end of autumn it will be given a savage haircut so we can have the path back again and it will die back to a small hump ready to burst into life again come spring.

Hope you have liked the brief tour of colour that is in our garden at the moment.

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5 thoughts on “Late summer/autumn flowers

  1. Very beautiful flowers Lynn. Your garden sounds so lovely, I have only one flower clump in our yard and thats Iris’ which didnt flower at all this year ( I think its because in the fall the year past Brian burried our hamster Euki there so the kids would know where whe was ) I guess theres always next year. I am not a successful grower of anything to be honest I tend to forget to water them 😦 But like going on Leslies adventures across America I get to enjoy your lovely garden through your posts 🙂 Thanks for the tour.
    Hugs and love,
    shelly

    • Shelly you are quite welcome to come on a garden tour any time 🙂 Majority of my plants in our flower beds don’t get watered as we have a limited water supply so the only plants to get any water are those growing in tubs and pots or any newly planted plants. Otherwise they have to take their chance! I swear our garden is a burial ground, in one area there are two dogs and a cat buried, our horse is buried beneath the apple tree boughs and two goats are buried in another part of the garden!
      I have a clump of Iris that didn’t flower this year and I think that was a combination of the cold winter and then the drought conditions, the leaves look healthy enough though so perhaps next year?
      Love and hugs
      Lynn xx

  2. Beautiful flowers you have growing around you. To be greeted daily by bright colors surely brings a smile to your face.

    The Cyclamen look like a flock of pink butterflies hovering. Your blue flowers are such a pretty shade.

    Not being a gardener myself, I truly enjoy learning from you. One would get the impression each type of flower or shrub in your gardens are like your beloved children. Each with their own personalities and quirks. All of them special in their own way.

    You and Rod must have been called upon many times for advice when you had your nursery business. I’d be the local pest with my purchasing the wrong plant for a location then wonder why it died or did not flower :-}

    Once again, thank you for another lesson in flowering plants.

    Love you – Leslie

    • What a poetic way of looking at the Cyclamen Leslie and you are quite right they do look similar to hovering butterflies. Talking of which I was watching a humming bird hawk moth today feeding on some white phlox. These little day time moths act just like humming birds and are the very devil to photograph but lovely to watch in action.
      Yes that is exactly how it is Leslie.. each flower and shrub does have its own characteristics and soon show when they are unhappy. I love walking around the flower beds and shrubberies to see what is new and what is going on, it also gives me the chance to make notes of what needs pruning and what needs lifting and dividing or which plant eeds to be moved to another spot. Rod said our plants get moved about until their happy more often than most people move their furniture around 🙂 He does exaggerate!

      I loved those question and answer sessions when we were in business and it was my job when I worked for a garden centre as a horticultural advisor; I enjoyed helping someone get the most enjoyment out of their plants and gardens.
      Thank you Leslie for stopping by.

      Love and hugs
      Lynn xx

  3. So beautiful, Lynn! I’ve always loved cyclamen but we only see it sold as indoor house plants around here. At least we’ve never had any in our garden! I’ve bought them a couple of times and never had great success with them 😦 We do have a crocus that grows wild ALL OVER the prairies here and they’re really lovely! We have a very special crocus watercolour painting that my husband’s Aunt did for us. It’s all the more special now, as she just passed away last month. We have salvia too, but it’s purple and not that gorgeous blue! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a geranium like that one though. That is very different than the ones we always have around here! Right now the only thing still blooming in town are some petunias that managed to live through the frost. We actually did have our first frost! The yard is all cleaned up and ready for winter but it certainly has another beauty these days. Some of the trees are getting rather sparse but others are still changing colors and yet others are in their full glory! With a beautiful clear blue sky as a backdrop it is definitely a rainbow of delight! 🙂

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