Autumn blues

Blue flowers are not common at the best of times, but by autumn you could be forgiven for thinking this colour has disappeared from nature’s pallete. Even those nursery descriptions of “violet-blue” asters often turn out to be a wishy-washy mauve. But there are still a few plants carrying this most un-antumnal of colours. By […]

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Pile them high

Does your garden run out of steam by the time August comes around? Or does it hang on until the schools start in early September? While foliage colour can be spectacular at this time of year, there is no reason why flower power should wane. Asters are the stalwarts of the autumn garden, but don’t […]

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A New Star

You may remember from my last posting (Wild Senna) how I replanted a border for our Open Garden in mid August. For October, I am going to feature another perennial I added this spring. Not only was it carrying a few flowers six weeks ago, but it’s been getting better and better since then. If […]

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Wild Senna

My garden has been open under The National Garden Scheme for several years, raising money for charities. We have opened early in the season a couple of times, but never had a late opening. This year we decided to rectify that and picked a date in mid August – we could have picked a better […]

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An uncommonly good grass

Here in the UK, we have had the hottest summer for over forty years. In June and July, temperatures hit 32C (anything over 25C is considered “hot”) and no rain for nine weeks. How did gardens fare? Well that depends on the garden – and the gardener. My garden ethos has always been “right plant, […]

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Autumn snowflake

You’ve probably heard of the spring snowflake (Leucojum vernum) and the summer snowflake (L. aestivum). But did you know there is also an autumn snowflake? Originally named L. autumnale, this is now known as Acis autumnalis. The autumn snowflake comes from the western end of the Mediterranean, growing on stony hillsides and other rocky places. The flowers […]

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Delightful but deadly

I love aconitums. They provide columns of blue flowers, are nowhere near as demanding as delphiniums, and are untouched by slugs. Some people are put off growing them because they are poisonous, but so are daffodil bulbs which they will quite happily plant in drifts. I’ve been growing aconitums for several years now and am […]

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