September has brought with it some refreshing rain, cooler temperatures and regrowth of foliage.
I was surprised just how many plants underwent summer dormancy this year; the high temperatures, hot wind and no rain meant that even many of my drought tolerant plants looked miserable, well to tell the truth many looked dead! But the plants were being sensible retreating beneath the soil, or leaving brown crusty leaves above to protect and presumably reduce the temperature actually hitting the plant.
Now it seems more like spring, with new foliage pushing through the soil. I am appreciating this growth even more than in spring because this is proof that the plants aren’t dead, so reassuring that they mayflower now, if the weather doesn’t become too cold too quickly or that they have time to build some strength before winter and another period of dormancy.
Bit by bit this thyme lost all signs of green until I was almost convinced it was dead, it all looked like the part on the right in the image above; now, slowly, slowly new growth is pushing through the dead, maybe I should give it a ‘haircut’ to allow more of the green foliage space to grow.
After pruning the lavender in the formal beds I was dismayed that so much seemed dead; while it was flowering all appeared well, the usual huge number of bees, butterflies and other pollinators all testified that the flowers contained the usual pollen and nectar; but after pruning there was a lot of dead wood, I did give it some water but the hedge is long and so it didn’t receive very much and hey – lavender doesn’t need irrigation! Now most of the old wood is shooting, if you look closely you can see tiny new leaves appearing, some are doing even better with lots of new foliage covering the plants; I think one or two bushes maybe dead but they were planted quite closely so I think those adjacent will knit together to reform the hedge.
Spot the new growth
Looking down onto the upper drive border you can see there is now more green than brown. Stipa tenuissima needs a bit of a comb but the new growth is there.
I have removed most of the Festuca around the garden; even those that aren’t dead are too full of thatch which is impossible to remove. I have some small plants that are potted up seedlings and the plants that have more living material can be pulled apart to yield some new specimens.
This year it has been easier to get started with the autumn clean-up because so much of the foliage had stopped growing. Seeing the Iris foliage cut and looking clean and fresh really makes me feel I am getting the garden back.
Iris foliage standing to attention
This year all the foliage of the Hemerocallis died back; I enjoyed pulling away the dead leaves and seeing tiny green shoots; within a week they have grown back, I think they may even flower again! In the background the Nepeta has also grown back quickly after trimming away all the dead flowers and foliage.
As you come in the gate at the bottom of the drive, the prostrate Rosemary always look happy, they are even beginning to flower! That is even earlier than usual, every time I pass there is a waft of bees and butterflies in the air.
New buds and foliage, Rosa Clair Martin
Many of the roses are putting on delicately coloured new growth, this is what feels like spring, best of all there are buds and flowers as well.
Now I’m looking forward to seeing what foliage is giving you pleasure now that autumn is here in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern. Please just add a link to your post with your comment. Thank you in advance I really appreciate you joining in this meme.