End of Month Review – A Busy Month

Autumn is the busiest time in the garden.  Not only the general clear-up of untidy plants and perennials that don’t give winter interest but more importantly it is THE time to plant new plants and take cuttings.

I visited a couple of plant fairs one in Rome in September (not very good) and another at Villa Landriana at the beginning of October but the highlight was a visit to Courson just outside Paris.  I think it is the best plant show I have ever visited and I bought as much as I could squeeze into a suitcase (but more of this another day).

Plant fair at Courson

I managed to find a few plants that I’ve been searching for.  Cytisus battandieri has been on my list for ages; sadly the example I managed to track down is infested with some kind of scale insect (I have picked them off the back of almost every leaf!)  The RHS website says that generally they are disease free so I hope that now it is in the ground it will strengthen and be able to fight any new infestations, I will keep a close eye on it and continue removing any new scales.

The other plant I’ve had my eye open for is Leonotis leonurus which I first saw in the Botanic Garden in Phoenix on New Year’s Day this year and which many of you helped me identify as I wrongly surmised it was a Phlomis (from the form of the flowers you can see why I thought this).  I now have three as I think they will be drought tolerant and are a bright cheerful orange, a colour I really enjoy when the light is bright in summer.  For a strong contrast I’ve also planted some new deep blue Agapanthus nearby; I’m hoping this will give a zinging contrast to the path border at the top of the slope that meets the rest of the garden.

Leonotis leonurus

Thanks to Helen at Patient Gardener for hosting this meme; visit her to see what other gardeners have been up to this month.

GBFD – Greens not Reds, Yellows or Oranges

Although we have reached the third week in October there are very few true signs of autumn in the garden; in the countryside and along main roads Pyracantha berries blaze in red and yellow, the grapes have mostly been harvested and we are about ready to harvest our olives so I am aware that winter approaches.  But somehow most of the garden plants are determined to put on new foliage to replace that lost during the drought so for the most part when I look at the garden it fills me with hope rather as it does in spring.

The Mulberry still has all its leaves and hasn’t changed colour at all.

In the evening light, Nandino has hints of orange

By the gate, agave and euphorbia both look fresh and not tired as in summer

Artemisia has put on lots of new foliage

Seeds of Californian poppy and Verbascum are germinating everywhere, yes there are also a few weeds too!

But the birds know it is autumn and each evening there are more and more getting ready to leave.

If you would like to join in Garden Bloggers Foliage Day all you need to do is leave a comment with the link to your post.  I look forward to reading all of them and seeing what the foliage is doing in your spring garden if you’re in the southern hemisphere or what shades of autumn colour is filling your garden if you’re situated in the northern hemisphere.

I came accross this post the other day and think it fits the bill. click here to see some amazing autumn colour.

Plant of the moment – Kochia trichophylla

This annual plant grows quickly to form a small conifer shaped bush that during summer is bright green.

Kochia trichophylla, as it has looked all summer

Then as it begins to flower it becomes tinged with pink.

Kochia trichophylla – just tinged with pink

When in full bloom, it glows pinky crimson.

Kochia trichophylla, great in an autumn planting scheme

I was given a plant a couple of years ago, it self seeds prolifically; this year there are plants all around the garden, I think I put the seeding plants into the compost!  But unwanted seedlings are easily removed and they fit well with grasses and Asters so a great addition to the garden.  Not many plants of this size actually self seed and become a good size in one season.

It picks up the colour of the Miscanthus beautifully

GBBD – Roses Again

It hardly seems possible that we have reached the middle of the month of October already!  Again it is Garden Bloggers Bloomday hosted by Carol at May Dreams Garden.  If you have some time to spare why not visit to see what is blooming in Gardens all over the world.  I always try to look at one new garden each month but there are so many that sadly it is impossible for me to read them all.  But I do very much enjoy reading about the gardens I follow on a regular basis.  I feel as if I know these gardens but there is always something blooming that surprises and delights me.

In My Hesperides Garden most of the roses are blooming again.  Not all as profusely as in May but enough to perfume the garden and make me forget that it is nearly winter.

I am still surprised that 2 months ago many plants were deep in summer dormancy – i.e. they looked dead and now have put on new foliage and are flowering.

Click on the image below to see all the flowers blooming in the garden for GBBD October.

Blue butterflies are still enjoying the Perovskia