It’s September and Autumn is here

It is strange how from the extreme heat of mid-summer only a few days ago, now it is suddenly autumn.  This week the mornings have been noticeably fresher with dew left on the ground after the night; giving the plants some refreshment even if it hasn’t rained.  Autumn is when I can start work on the garden, moving, dividing, planting, in summer it’s too hot and even in spring I can’t guarantee that there will be rain for the plants to establish.  So I’m slowly winding up to having more time to garden when it isn’t too hot.

Looking back through my note book I read that there is much to be done.  In 2009 I noted that the new foliage of Nandino was the same as the flower colour of Iris Kent Pride; and they were the same colour at the same time so yesterday I began by lifting and dividing one patch of Iris Kent Pride which had been infested by a spreading thyme and planting them close to a Nandino where I had removed some Bergenia cordifolia that really couldn’t cope with the heat and full sun, this position should suit the Iris perfectly.

Above Iris Kent Pride and below Nandino showing its new foliage.  You can see the stoney soil quite well in these images.

The clump of Kent Pride with thyme invading it

Newly planted, with lots of space to allow for growth

I also moved some beautiful blue Iris Jane Phillips; these were in the Left hand border and had been happy to begin with but the micro-climate of this border have changed.  The mulberry has grown considerably and is creating more shade, also other plants have grown and they are also throwing more shade onto the Iris; lastly the bay hedge which I hadn’t thought was growing quickly enough I now realise has grown a lot and this too means there is more shade in the morning. So I moved half the existing clump, half of these to the drive border near a Ceonothus repans again this is a similar colour, the rest I planted near the prostrate rosemary on the slope.

While I have been lifting and replanting I have also been selecting seedlings of various plants that I have potted on for use in other parts of the garden and for clients.  Below you can see some of the many Stipa tenuissima seedlings, as I‘ve mentioned many times before these seed prolifically in the free-draining tuffo that is my soil.

1 tray of 15 stipa tenuissima

Asclepias tuberosa has been flowers for long periods during the summer but I find the seed pods and seeds dispersal nearly as interesting as the flowers.  I intend sowing these seeds as they are hardy and have a low water demand and would look better planted in larger groups.

Asclepias tuberosa flowers

seedpod just opening to reveal the seeds attached to white 'fluff' to disperse it

With the autumn come different skies and different sunsets here is yesterday evening’s show.

Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Kark Forster' in the foreground

The sky changes every second as the sun sinks, the silhouettes of the trees and shrubs seem black against the fiery sky.

14 thoughts on “It’s September and Autumn is here

  1. Wow it seems you took last picture in Africa! I can see palms too 🙂
    I’ve been dividing and moving some iris pallida clumps recently I was afraid about the timing but seeing you are doing same things now reassure me. Irises… I never know when to touch them…

    I like your asclepia, too. I’d like to give it a try, do you think it’s a slow grower? Because it is rather expensive…

    • There aren’t any palms, not sure what it is you can see. I can send you some seed of the asclepia if you like, email me your address and I’ll send some. I didn’t pay so much for the plants, I bought them last year at Murabilia. Lucca, although I don’t remember who from. I have a friend who grew some from seed so I don’t think it is very difficult. Christina

  2. I’m impressed that you manage to keep your notes in such a way that you can know to move the iris! I have a terrible habit of mislaying the notebooks I scribble such things in, I have my “proper” garden notebook, but so often write things down elsewhere and forget to transfer them. Happy gardening Christina, look forward to seeing the results next year.

    • Don’t be too impressed, I have several notebooks and I have to search them to find the information I want. I have quite a good memory so remember that I have to look! Christina

        • That sounds very organised, I just scroll through all the images I take. I file them by month so it is easy to see where spaces are at certain times of year or how well a plant performs, that’s why for bloomday I show everything in flower even if it has been flowering for 2 or 3 months. Christina

  3. Here in Scotland we can enjoy gardening between the months of March and October, that is, on the days when the rain is not dinging down. It would be nice to have a bit more heat in the sunshine though. I often see the plant Nandino in the garden centres, however I suspect it would struggle to get through our Winters. I am as impressed as Alberto with the last picture you show us.

    • Hi Alistair, I don’t really enjoy the garden in August as it’s just too hot! I think you’re right about the Nandino not liking wet and cold together. It survived our minus 9°C last winter but it was dry; this makes all the difference. It is a lovely plant, with good foliage all year and pretty white flowers and red berries that remain all through winter. Christina

  4. After this tough year in the Midwest, I’m so happy to move on with Autumn as well. Yes asclepias’ seed pod is very architectural in its beauty. Such a great plant from our prairie.. Enjoyed your little tour.

    • Hi Patrick, it’s always good to know where plants are from, my supplyer Hi Patrick, it’s always good to know where plants are from, my supplier wasn’t very helpful and my English books don’t always give the whole story for my conditions in Lazio so knowing it comes from the prairie I will try it in other parts of the garden too, especially if I end up with lots of seedlings. Christina

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