Wordless Wednesday

Diospyros kaki (Persimmon)

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November Bloomday

It’s so hard to believe that it’s the middle of November already!

This weekend has been another lovely warm and sunny one, so that’s three in a row; even though it has been wet and windy on the weekdays in between.   It was nice enough to have lunch outside both days.

Incredibly nearly all the roses I possess have at least one flower.

I am happy the planting associations I have planned have worked even when plants flower outside their expected period.

R. Molineux, a yellow crab apple and yellow Hemerocallis continue to look great together

The strong winds mean that several of the trees have lost most of their leaves.  Interestingly the Melia planted where it receives the north wind has lot all its leaves and dropped all its small branches whereas the leaves of the multi-stemmed one, planted in a more sheltered position, haven’t even changed to butter yellow from green.

The flowers of the grasses especially Miscanthus sp. add so much to the garden at this time of year.  Today I planted Miscanthus gigantea, I hope it reaches its predicted three metres.  I have created a small area with Box balls behind the pomegranate with Miscanthus behind; they can only be seen from certain angles so will add a little surprise as you walk around the garden.  I’ve also been trying to plant everything that I’ve bought and not previously planted and, of course, the bulbs!  Still about 250 Tulips to go plus some Iris and 100 Gladioli byzantinus.

I think some areas are looking better now than they did in summer; I’m very pleased with the small island – it had remained rather bare, now the plants are beginning to form ‘pictures’ together, I’ve planted lots of bulbs in this bed so I’m looking forward to spring; why is it gardeners always long for the next season even when things are pretty good now?

looking west (the small island)

It is very important to me that my plants work well together and give pleasure rather than that I have rare or ‘special’ plants that only produce a few flowers because they are not in the right situation.

Plants that are perfumed at this time of year are especially appreciated; I have two different Eleagnus that fill the air around them with the most delicious perfume and attract honey bees so add sound too.

I am aware that some flowers have been present almost every Bloomday, I don’t apologise for putting them in – I feel this helps me (and maybe others) understand which plants are good value; which are worthwhile even if they are transitory; and which are really not worth the space they take up.  Click photo below to see all the flowers that are giving me such pleasure today.

Miscanthus, R. Queen of Sweden and Gaura

Thanks to Carol at May dreams gardens for hosting November Bloomday.  Why not go and check out what’s flowering around the world?

Autumn Colour and Silver Texture

I always think there isn’t much real autumn colour where I live; but I think I’m wrong!  There is colour – not the wonderful reds, oranges, purples and yellows of England some American states but still beautiful butter yellows are here in my garden.

The Pomegranate has fruited well this year and now the foliage is a lovely yellow contrasting with the orange of the fruit I left on the tree for the birds.

Hostas, the Mulberry and Melia azedarach all have strong yellow colours in their foliage now.

But what struck me the other day while I was busy planting and transplanting was that the silver foliage plants were still looking amazing.  The textures look even better than in high summer because of the low autumn sunlight.

So, for a change to all the colour here’s SILVER!

From the left: Euphorbia myrsinites, Stachys byzantina and Convolvulus cneorum

Euphorbia rigida

An Artemisia - I'm not sure which one

Origanum pseudodictamnus

Phlomis

ARTEMISIA VALERIE FINNIS

The textures remind me of  ‘goldwork’ embroidery or lace.

End of Month Review, October

I treated last month’s review as an end of summer review and then October surprised me by becoming more like Spring!  Most of the roses flowered again and some Hemerocallis that usually only flower once flowered again.  Everything looked green and fresh with the cooler days and some rain. I also discovered some crocus which I was convinced should have been spring flowering, then I looked more closely and realised they were saffron autumn flowering crocus I had forgotten I’d planted.  So I have been picking and drying the stamens to use.

The bank is still the focus of new planting in the garden.  My decision is to plant with existing plants that I know do well.  Plants that have self seeded, plants that spread to inhibit weeds to form a prairie style planting that will blend into the surrounding countryside.

As I mentioned before I’ve been suffering with tendonitis in my right wrist and therefore have found it difficult to work very much in the garden.  I’ve now had a cortisone injection and daily physiotherapy and it is much, much better.  I feel renewed as the pain had been keeping me awake making me constantly tired!

A very good gardening friend came to visit and rather than visiting Assisi she offered to help begin the planting on the bank.  I want most of the bank to appear randomly planted with Stipa tenuissima forming the base planting – there are literally hundreds of seedlings of these in the garden, more than I need!  Into this I will add some Perovskia, other grasses and Gaura seedlings I’ve found in the circular rose bed.  Through this naturalistic planting I have begun planting some rivers of plants that will be visible only from certain points as you walk up the drive.

Linda planted a stream of 100 Allium Purple Sensation with 200 Muscari Armeniacum; and interspersed these with Artemisia ponticum I lifted rooted from around existing palnts (it dies back in winter so the muscari flowers will be seen but the seed heads will be covered as the Artemisia comes back into growth); edging this all the Schizachyrium scoparium I could find.  The autumn shades of the grass contrasting beautifully with the Artisimia.  Not following the path of the above ‘stream’ but following the path of the ‘stream’ of the existing prostrate rosemary we moved masses of Cerinthe major purpurascens.  I like these as here they flower during the winter but the foliage becomes very ugly so I usually pull them out as sonn as I think some seeds have set and spread.  On the bank I should be able to leave them longer and then leave the seedlings to grow where they will adding to the naturalistic feel of the planting.

With the rain small weed seedlings are growing on the bank so it is important to complete the planting as soon as possible.  Outside the garden area there are lots of Iris, next weekend I will lift some of these and add them into the matrix of Stipa to give early spring colour.

While Linda was here several areas of the garden were filled with blue butterflies that fluttered beguilingly in the low autumn light.

Plebejus argus

I also finished planting the small island bed and then mulched with shredded lavender prunings.

This bed is roughly a crescent shape 8m x 4m (at its widest part).

small island bed

The intention is that there will be no automatic irrigation to this bed.  Plants chosen will tolerate draught or better will prefer low levels of summer water.  My initial thought was to have this bed with only grasses but as there are grasses in every bed I decided to include some other plants though most do have linear leaves.

At present there are 2 Miscanthus that I will move in spring – they survive with little water but don’t perform at their best so I’ll move them to where they will be irrigated once a week.  Miscanthus planted in other positions that were irrigated once a week performed very well.  Achillea ‘Terracotta, Festuca glauca, Caesalpinia gilliesii, Callistemon, Euphorbia myrsinities, Euphorbia characias, Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’, Kniphofia ‘Little Maid’, Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Little Bunny’, Pennisetum Villosum, Sedum Matrona, Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’, Stipa arundinacea, Stipa gigantea, Stipa tenuissima,

Bulbs planted autumn 2010

Muscari armeniacum, Tulipa. Brown Sugar, T. Abu Hassan, T. Aladdin,  Allium Mount Everest, Iris Bronze Queen

Thanks to Helen the Patient Gardener for hosting the end of month meme.