Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – October 2012


I admit it; last month I gave up. I looked at the garden, thought ‘not much in flower’, sighed a bit and decided not to post. This month I almost did the same, and then I decided to have a closer look. Helped, of course, by the fact that there’s been another burst of lovely weather.

Some things are obvious, and some things aren’t. Some things, strictly speaking, have no real place in a well-tended garden. But then – mine isn’t a well-tended garden… I know I should hack back all the old man’s beard, for instance, and force it over the wall whence it came, but it’s just gorgeous when it flowers:

Of course the rest of the year I do hack it back, ruthlessly. Well, sometimes. When I can get at it. And I do pull out the self-heal, too, when it materialises in the beds (one of the problems associated with the meadow is that it would rather like to take over the rest of the garden, and has a good go at doing so). But some got left, and it’s still flowering away.

I’m afraid I like it, too. Such a definite purple. And a lot of the scarlet pimpernels are still flowering, and the herb robert. Yesterday I went for a walk and saw three foxgloves, lots of tormentil and – wait for it – violets.

But I do have some other plants flowering, some of which are deliberate. I keep thinking I’ve had the last of the marigolds, and then the weather warms up a bit, and I’ve got more (the insects like the warmer weather too).

I do think, though, that they won’t carry on much longer. They are just beginning to show signs of mildew. Hm.

I also have a rather lovely low yellow-jasmine hedge which is large and old and curvy, and impossible to photograph. It has decided that what it needs to do right now is flower as well. The flowers are are scattered on the dark green and are so brightly yellow that they seem to light up the hedge and, incidentally, baffle my exposure meter. But there’s no real smell to speak of.

Over by Bonfire Corner, a few Japanese anemones have sprung up. I should imagine they’re my fault. I wage war with them elsewhere and am constantly ripping them up and slinging them on the compost heap; some roots will have rolled off, no doubt. I’m only amazed they’re not all over the place between there and the rest of the garden. They’re just not trying (well, they’re very trying). I can tolerate a few, mind, for a bit of colour now.

Almost tying in with the colour of the anemones  is the Viburnum bodnantense (or at least, that’s what I think it is; I inherited it). It smells sensational.

You can smell it from the other side of the wall. You can’t see it, even though it’s fairly tall, but you can smell it. I’ve had people trying to clamber up to see what it is, and sometimes I can hear them sniffing deeply as they walk past if I’m working on my side of the wall. Maybe I should put up a sign – the wall isn’t that stable…

I’ve got several fuchsias which are all still flowering. Just by the kitchen steps there’s a small variegated one – I have a marked weakness for variegated plants – which was cut right back in the winter. It’s recovered, though it’s still small, but it has had loads of flowers on it.

And yesterday I was given another fuchsia. I’ve no idea where I’m going to put it, but I think it will spend the winter in the greenhouse while I make up my mind.

Finally, my white rose. I’ve come to the conclusion that I actually prefer it at this time of year, when it has its second flowering. There’s comparatively little else to distract the attention, perhaps, or maybe there’s the sense that it’s so transient, that this time next month we’ll be well on the way to winter and the rose will be over. The scent isn’t as strong now as it is in the summer, but it’s still good. I can’t grow roses here – and I really lack the patience to grow them well anyway – so I make the most of this one.

No idea at all what it is, except that it’s very pretty.

And next month there really won’t be anything for GBBD – or will there? Thanks, as usual, to May Dreams Gardens for hosting this meme…


19 Comments Add yours

  1. Holleygarden says:

    Your rose is absolutely beautiful! Especially for someone that says they can’t grow roses! And I love your anemones. Cute pic of the bee with his head stuck in the flower bloom!

    1. kate says:

      Thank you – and today the wind has blown the rose petals away, so I just caught it in time! I only manage that rose because I don’t have to do anything to it, luckily – cutting it back when it overgrows the path is about it…

  2. I know what you mean about roses requiring a lot of attention, at least, that’s what I have always felt. We are trying a rambler now, but it remains to be seen whether we can keep on top of it enough to make it work as it does in my head I love that marigold, such a beautiful colour, but there again I also love the self-heal, being a big fan of purple. They are only weeds if you don’t like them where they put themselves – like your anemone survivors! I am vastly amused at the idea of your viburnum enticing people to scramble up on to the wall…

    1. kate says:

      Good luck with the rambler – I always wanted one, imagining it tumbling luxuriantly over my old ty bach, but the old man’s beard would throttle it. Instead I’ve planted plume poppies to obscure the corrugated iron roof. Hmm. I may regret that decision!

  3. patientgardener says:

    You have loads in flower. I do think you should stop apologising for your style of gardening. If we all had pristine immaculate gardens the world would be very boring and predictable. Also you make me feel better as mine isnt that tidy

    1. kate says:

      Right, that’s my resolution! Of course, we all need to be realistic – there’s no way it could be immaculate all of the time, even if I had 15 gardeners and all the time in the world. Well, maybe it would, but out here in the real world – no chance. And if it was tidy, I wouldn’t find lots of toads in the remains of the meadow (eat my slugs, eat my slugs!)…

  4. Lyn says:

    I can’t grow Japanese Anemones no matter how hard I try, so to me they’re a magic autumn flower. Be proud!

    1. kate says:

      Isn’t it funny – we’re never satisfied, us gardeners… I shall look on them in a new light now!

  5. Christina says:

    Hi Kate, I bet there were lots of flowers blooming last month too! You have loads this month and very pretty ones too. Viburnum bodnantense this early, mine died in the hot spring here, it needed more water than I gave it, shame as I love winter flowering plants. I have an Eleagnus flowering that smells divine, the flowers are so small you smell it, then search for the flowers – it was too windy to photgraph them. Christina

    1. kate says:

      Not so sure… what a shame about your Viburnum; the smell is so wonderful; there is something wonderful about the winter flowering things, isn’t there? The weather is so odd that some of mine are all over the place – and today I noticed that my cherry which usually blossoms at Christmas is breaking into flower too.

      (That Eleagnus sounds good…)

  6. hillwards says:

    Old man’s beard used to scramble over our front hedge too, but the hedge was so derelict that we pulled it out and have replaced it with beech, now no more clematis. It’s in all our local hedgerows though so I just enjoy it as we walk or drive past… We have inherited an old tangle of winter jasmine too which currently has a few bright flowers on the dark green, I’ve never noticed any scent to ours either. Love your fuchsia and anemone – have planted some Japanese anemones here which are still too small to flower this year, funny that they are almost a weed to you! I hope ours settle in well. Sara

    1. kate says:

      Good luck with Japanese anemones – I hope they do well… I seem to be followed around Britain by them flourishing madly, so hopefully you’ll find they thrive.
      It’s such a shame about the jasmine being unscented, isn’t it? It looks so good, but maybe that’s in compensation!

  7. wellywoman says:

    I fight a constant battle with Japanese anemones too. Only the pink ones though, the white are much more well behaved. My Viburnum is also flowering in my front garden it took me a couple of days to work out where the lovely scent was coming from.

    1. kate says:

      I seem to have a stray white one this year, so I’ll keep an eye on it (that’s if I haven’t already hoicked it out in a burst of enthusiasm and destruction – quite possible as it decided to grow out of the middle of some steps. As they do…

      Viburnums = fabulous!

  8. Dobby says:

    Japanese Anemones were one of my mum’s favorite plants. She had white ones which lit up the garden in the evening. I don’t have any here, but would like them. Must add to my plant list! No, I don’t do roses either. Too much fiddling about;-)

  9. Scott Weber says:

    Lovely post…and you’re not alone…I always have a little bit of garden apathy as fall approaches…I suppose it’s because I just think “I’ll fix it next year”.

    1. kate says:

      Yes! That’s it exactly!
      I just get bogged down in keeping things on an even keel during the year, so I inevitably have this huge to-do list. And then it gets too cold… memo to self: do not wimp out this year!

  10. sweetbay103 says:

    You have a lot of interesting things in bloom! Quite different from what’s flowering here. I love your white rose. It’s gorgeous.

    1. kate says:

      Thanks – I was really surprised how much there was when I actually went and really looked – a valuable lesson about not making assumptions! We’ve just had hail, so there’s not much left of that pretty rose… already bashed up by winds. Ah well, that’s gardening for you!

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