Friday, 6 September 2013

That autumn feeling.

New Lilies page and the Meconopsis page has been updated.

 Today heralds a change to wetter weather after what could become a fondly remembered and much deserved summer, autumn is upon us, the night temperatures have dropped and the days are drawing in rapidly. 

In the garden the pinks and purples are predominant along with, in my case, swathes of green.

Members of the Buddlejaceae, named after the Reverend Buddle, buddleias are king of the 'grow virtually anywhere' shrubs, in the wild they are often found growing out of cracks in cliff faces. Very adaptable, mainly scented and as everyone knows they are very attractive to both butterflies and bees. There are now concerns from the green brigade that the buddleia is becoming a weed......worse things could happen!

Buddleja davidii 'Black Night' - almost black flowers.
 Buddleja davidii 'Nanho Purple'
This cultivar has a very sprawling habit, growing horizontally rather than holding the flowers vertically. 

Buddleja davidii 'Pink Delight' 
This has a graceful form with soft pink flowers and silvery foliage, a definite favourite.

Buddleja davidii 'Royal Red'
  Buddleja 'Lochinch'.
This is the result of a cross between B. davidii and B. fallowiana and is a highly scented shrub with bright orange eyes to the flowers and silver foliage which lasts well in mild winters but suffers a lot of damage when it gets really cold.

 A white seedling with orange eyes which seeded itself in the garden wall.

Buddleja x weyeriana 'Sungold'
Most of those pictured are in "Buddleia Alley" down the path at the side of the house creating a tunnel of scent. Buddleias are very vigorous and need pruning back hard in the spring to stimulate growth and also to make sure they flower at roughly head height where you can enjoy them. I normally cut them back by about a half after flowering which not only tidies them up but cuts down on the possibility of wind damage during the winter. Pruning is then completed in spring.

Eupatorium purpureum subsp. maculatum 'Atropurpureum' ( Joe Pye Weed)
  A member of the Compositae this is an autumn flowering herbaceous perennial which grows up to 2 meters in the season and then produces flowers which bring in the butterflies and bees from miles around, it also has a pleasant scent. A truly useful plant, it grows in shady damp conditions with me and never fails to impress. I have read that it has now been awarded an AGM. Propagation is by cuttings of young shoots with some bottom heat in spring, or by division in spring or autumn.

Anemone tomentosa 'Robustissima'
  This is the easiest, most adaptable and earliest of the Japanese anemones, flowering in early July through to October. It can be a bit of a 'thug' but is worth it for the beautiful colour, large blooms and long flowering season. Many woodland anemones will tolerate quite deep shade when established. Generally Japanese anemones can be grown from seed in March, or division of the roots in spring which tends to be the preferred method. Incidentally 'Japanese' is a bit of a misnomer as they are believed to have originated in China. Heights for this group vary from around 1'-3' and the white form 'alba' is also an excellent plant.  
Chelone obliqua - (Pink turtlehead)

  This North American member of the  Scrophulariaceae has proved to be a long lived and reliable plant, its pink 'snap dragons' don't come out until very late summer and provide autumn colour over a long flowering period in cool weather. Propagation is by seeds cold sown in spring, by cuttings June/July or by division in August and September.

I have ordered most of my tulip and narcissus bulbs and can't wait to get them potted up or planted out ready for spring. 

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