The glory of September has slipped quietly in the autumnal promise of October, leaving behind the memories of warmth and summer flowers. Last week we enjoyed lunch in the garden in T-shirts and this week it’s time to zip up the fleece. In the cutting border the dahlias are still blazing away although there is an end in sight to the flower buds. The red and orange-flowered Bishop varieties I have grown have been splendid, but next year I want to add to the mix. I like the dark leaved ones very much. Does anyone have any recommendations they grow , that I could try next year?
Elsewhere in the garden the predominant colour remains purple. It looks good but I’m looking forward to some leaf tints developing to enliven the scheme. Yesterday there was a touch of frost on the grass first thing-not enough to knock the dahlias out- but a sign of things to come. Some of the deciduous azaleas are colouring up nicely , as is a hydrangea I bought as Bluebird, but which has come out pink. I’m not sure if it is the acidity of the soil or the accuracy of the labelling that has caused this.
The beautiful seed head silhouettes of tall perennials I didn’t cut down in the summer-delphiniums, opium poppies and eryngium in particular are becoming very noticeable. The poppies are proving popular with little birds. Small holes have been pecked in the sides of the capsules and the seeds removed. Clever little birds; bluetits, I think. To my eye, the poppies are even better in naked silhouette than they were in flower although they are messy as the leaves die back. They stand up very well without needing support, even to strong winds.