Certain areas of the garden are already starting to look more than a little faded and the signs that summer is drawing to a close, are everywhere. Yet looking back from the vegetable patch to the house, one or two areas of brilliant colour stand out and deserve a mention.
On the wall one of the strawberry hanging baskets is providing an unexpected but welcome burst of deep purple (it looks blue in the picture but it really is a vibrant purple), against the cream of the walls and green strawberry plant foliage. The reason behind this striking show of colour, is the mass of Lobelias which have taken hold and flourished, since my original planting of them some three or four years ago. Originally grown from seed, these plants only put in a minimal show that first year and I haven’t noticed them in great numbers between times and so to see them in such abundance this season has been a real bonus. Hidden from view, there is also a clump of white lobelia, making a striking contrast against the rich purple of the majority of the blooms but where that particular plant has come from is anyones’ guess, as I certainly didn’t grow them intentionally.
Another hanging basket is home to a stunning red Fuschia plant which has come back with a vengeance this year. Fuschias are a particular favourite of mine and this one has successfully overwintered in both the greenhouse (winter 2012) and outside (winter 2013). That said, had we had a colder winter last year then the Fuschia would have once again found itself in the relative warmth of the greenhouse, as it had the previous year. Nevertheless, it has managed to survive with little in the way of extra care, as I hadn’t actually got around to repotting the hanging basket plants this year and in fact, I can’t recall giving it much of a prune either which makes it’s success this year, even more noteworthy.
Another Fuschia lives in the flower bed by the back door and has made a fleeting appearance in an earlier post as I recall. However since then it to has thrown out a plethora of flowers, pink and purple this time, adding a much needed burst of colour to what is essentially a very green bed. This particular plant never ceases to amaze me because, as I am sure I have mentioned before, it was bought from the local plant sale a few years ago, planted out and then did absolutely nothing for about two years, before suddenly putting in an unexpected reappearance two years ago. This year it has flowered much earlier than before and has a greater number of blooms on its’ branches but then, as with the hanging basket plant, I didn’t prune it this year and I guess this enabled it to put more effort into flowering than growing back.
Even in the large greenhouse the flowers are letting their presence be felt or should that be seen. Seedling Giant Pansies are starting to flower in their tiny pots, as are some Candytuft and a Dianthus. With the Buddleja (aka Butterfly Bush) in danger of bursting out of its’ pot, I will soon need to get busy and start planting these seedlings into their final spaces, giving them plenty of time to acclimatise to their new surroundings.
I will need to do some pretty radical clearing of the flower bed by the back door though, as it has become overgrown with the likes of Monks Wood and various grasses. There are also shoots of Ground Elder that need dealing with …… again ….. before I can plant out my seedlings and somewhere buried under all that greenery, are Campanulas and Primulas, the latter of which have multiplied over the years, offering clumps of much needed and appreciated colour during the autumn.
Now all I need to worry about is how to keep the army of slugs and snails at bay without causing harm to our burgeoning hedgehog population!