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.
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.
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!
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!
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.