Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy new autumn!

Maybe it's because my birthday is in the autumn, or perhaps it's just that school and college begin at the end of summer, but I always feel that this is really the start of a new year.
We've had bit of an Indian summer here in the south-east, which has seemed like a glorious new year's eve party - the sort of party where you look at your watch at some point and are amazed to discover it's 2.40am. Can it really be nearly October? Can it really be that late? It seems as if the garden has only just got going.
I love this time of year. The garden opening has come and gone, and there's nothing to do (weather permitting) except sit back and enjoy things. There's nothing to plant (too dry). There's nothing to mow (ditto). All that's required is a bit of gentle deadheading until the first frosts and gales of winter arrive and I have to wrap, and chop, and sweep.
It's such a luxury to have nothing much to do in the garden. It's amazing how much more keen one is to be out there when all you have to do is wander round and have the chance to really look at things.

My cannas are finally in full bloom. Like supermodels arriving two hours late for a photoshoot, they should really have been on show in time for the garden opening. But just like supermodels, they are so beautiful, I forgive them their lack of punctuality and stand back in admiration instead.

Foliage colour takes on a new depth in September sunshine. This is Pelargonium 'Occold Shield', which has bright yellow-green foliage blotched with bronze, and orangey-red flowers. To be honest, I'd be quite happy just with the leaves.

I wasn't very keen on Geranium 'Rozanne' the first year I grew it. I couldn't really see what all the fuss was about. This year, however, 'Rozanne' has really earned her keep, flowering from early summer and still going strong.

Here's the loquat, Eriobotrya japonica. What's so spectacular about this? The fragrance, which I have no way of replicating here, unfortunately. You'll just have to imagine a garden filled with the scent of frangipani.

This is Sedum spectabile 'Indian Chief'. To be honest, it's a bit pinker than I was expecting. It was described as a 'fiery red, ageing to rust and copper'. I knew it was too good to be true.