Saturday, 14 September 2013

Woodland in autumn

The weather is quite mixed sunny spells intermingled with drizzle and the odd heavy downpour of rain. Temperatures at best are between 10 and 15°C and the feeling is distinctly autumnal.

This is the "woodland" end of the garden which finishes in an extremely high privet hedge and is under the shade of a silver birch, a weeping birch, a larch (whose needle drop is the bane of my life for about a month) and a massive horse chestnut which means at certain times of the year you are safer working under it in a hard-hat. Along with the hostas, Chelone and anemones, colour is also being provided by the plants below.

Gentiana asclepiadea
Gentiana asclepiadea AGM (Willow Gentian) is quite happy away from the base of the trees.

Hypericum calycinum
 Hypericum calycinum, sometimes know as 'Rose of Sharon' which is a name shared by several other plants, is displaying all its stages at once, the yellow flowers, developing and ripe fruits. Ideal for woodland this plant will tolerate quite severe dry shade. Regarded by some as a weed it is quite invasive and does seed itself around with abandon but is fairly easy to remove. I personally wouldn't be without it, how can something so versatile and beautiful be discarded. Performs best if cut right back every spring.   

Strobilanthes wallichii
A handy plant for the woodland, although not really notable, it does have the benefit of being late to flower. Once known as Strobilanthes atropurpurea I have read that it is shrubby and is also known as the Kandali Plant which features in an Indian festival where it only flowers every twelve years? (Wikipedia). It remains firmly herbaceous here but that was the name on the packet so who am I to argue!

Actaea racemosa 'Brunette'
Back in the main border Actaea racemosa 'Brunette'  syn.Cimicifuga racemosa 'Brunette', the Black Cohosh is a beautiful late flowered plant with wonderful contrast and a delicate but strong perfume which can be detected from a good 10ft away. A great plant for attracting bees and other insects.

Anemonopsis macrophylla
Still in flower so I have an excuse to include a picture of my favourite flower which I should have included earlier in the year. This beautiful woodlander is quite rare and found in the wild in a very limited area of Japan. Needs moisture but in a well drained position in partial shade to give of its best. Unfortunately the flowers are reluctant to show themselves as they hang downward. Monotypic.
Anemonopsis macrophylla
taken at the beginning of August.
More badger news, this time a newly planted berberis has been ripped up not once but twice as it obviously was in the wrong place at the wrong time.


  1. Hi Rick, great early Autumn plants. Seeing your Cimicifuga has tempted me to pot up and bring with us one of those which are in our garden. Its going to take a bit of getting used to a small plot, ah well we are not getting any younger. I wonder if we will get marauding badgers.

    1. I don't blame you Alistair for potting up the odd plant, in fact I am surprised you haven't come up with a way to move most of your wonderful garden. You will have one of the best places in Cheshire for basic plants just down the road from your new location in Grasslands Nurseries (Shrubs Direct) where good quality plants are only about half to two thirds the price of the average "Garden Center". Ideal if you want to form the skeleton of your new garden. I used to use them quite often for friends. You must be in badger country Good Luck.