There are still various refugees from summer trying to bloom in my garden. The Campanula persicifolia ‘Blue’ pictured in the collage above is planted in a container by the front door. It has bloomed very happily in its north-facing position all summer, contrasting wonderfully with the wall behind, and it doesn’t seem to want to let go. I’ve collected seed and hope to see more of it next year, though I’ve had no luck with Campanulas in the main garden in the past, the snails devour them.
The Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’ seems to be trying to make up for being late to the party by clinging on. I haven’t had the heart to oust it, despite the fact that it is increasingly tatty and is planted in the same pot as the Dahlia ‘Downham Royal’. I really should be digging up and smothering the Dahlia in shredded paper in the garage with the others, but it too is still trying to flower, although it seems unable to develop the sugary pink colouring it wore proudly all summer. A faint blush seems to be all it can manage!
The orange wallflowers have been going ever since I planted them back in April, and the fuchsia, an unknown hardy variety rescued from an old bucket by my father-in-law, seems intent on proving it is garden-worthy by carrying on regardless of the frost. It is planted under the Magnolia stellata, sheltered by the shed, and seems to be very happy despite being another plant late to get going this year. I don’t know the name of the pink Geranium, it was in a cheap and cheerful collection I picked up a while ago, but it makes up for being a bit of a thug by flowering continuously from early summer until, well, who knows!
Some things, though well past their best in the flower department, are still providing interest with their foliage. You really wouldn’t stop to look twice at the once-beautiful flowers on the Lysimachia cletheroides:
Fortunately the leaves turn a gorgeous deep orange:
Some things in the garden have been deliberately chosen because they flower at this time of year.
The cyclamen that brightened up my day back in September glow in the low light levels, the foliage shining out from amongst the leaf litter of the Magnolia.
I grow Mahonia x. media ‘Charity’ for its large, shiny, sculptural leaves as much as anything, it provides great all-year structure in a dark corner by the compost bins and log pile. However, it really comes in to its own at this time of year, producing huge and plentiful sprays of deep yellow flowers. They remind me of an octopus for some reason…
The flowers of the Ivy are altogether more subtle, though the birds love the insects they attract.
I always find it hard to capture the candelabra-effect of the flowers on the Fatsia japonica, another plant grown mainly for its architectural foliage but which adds a welcome extra dimension at this time of year.
I don’t have many plants with good berries. There are a couple of Pyracantha ‘Mohave’ planted round the front, barely seen because of the van that is usually parked in front of the bed.
As you can see, we need to get to grips with pruning them, though I doubt we will ever be able to compete with one of our neighbours:
Some things are not going to plan. I love the architectural quality of Hydrangea quercifolia, the Oak-leaved Hydrangea, but the main reason I planted it was for the spectacular Autumn colour.
It is remaining resolutely green. I can only hope that it is saving itself for a dramatic last “hurrah”, and won’t just drop its leaves over night without putting on a show.
I’m also waiting for the berries on the Aucuba japonica crassifolia to ripen. I’m sure they are usually bright red by now, but at least they should provide yet another accent of colour in the otherwise dark north facing border at the back of the garden.
Mind you, that’s another plant I would grow for its foliage alone. The serrated leaves are very glossy, and reflect the light wonderfully. I know this is Garden Blogger’s BLOOM Day, but I think it is easy to forget how important a role foliage plays in the garden, particularly in Autumn when all we really want is those deep oranges, reds and golds. And thank goodness that there are still some foliage fireworks:
Many thanks again to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. Pop over and see what is blooming in other gardens around the world!