I know I’m saying nothing new in these strange times, but this week really has been up and down, what with Covid control measures being stepped up, having to turn the heating on and off in line with swinging temperatures, getting used to a changing light intensity as we move into Autumn; no wonder I’m feeling a bit befuddled! The garden has never looked so welcoming, but what with one thing and another, I’ve hardly got out there this week – for sanity’s sake I must resolve to put that right, for just taking a few moments to photograph my six gave me a warm feeling of well being.
My six this week are from Wales and Walsall, currently sunny!
September brings Anemone ‘Queen Charlotte’ into full flower in our garden and it’s well worth waiting for. Reaching just the right height and spread at 1.5 x 0.5m to make an impact, it’s covered in pearl coloured blooms for weeks and it doesn’t take over in the same way as some of it’s cousins. Best in moist fertile soil, it thrives in sun or partial shade.
I remember the first time I saw a Himalayan honeysuckle, Leycestria formosa in an NGS open garden many years ago – and fell in love with it. I bought one the same summer and quickly found it to be a rather prolific self seeder, but it’s easy to control and is really quite a useful gap filler at the back of a border. Keeping it to a height of 6ft is relatively straightforward – I cut the stems to the ground each April to encourage new vibrant green bamboo like stems. The little white flowers are followed by dark red berries hanging from the crimson bracts, the leaves are heart shaped with striking red midribs. Birds and bees love it and it will grow in just about any conditions – what’s not to like?
Don’t you just love it when an accidental planting combination gives you a fabulous result? The sedum has self seeded conveniently next to a gorgeous plant I’ve featured a few times, aster frikartii ‘Monch’. Both flower from late August onwards and neither need much attention – job done!
Persicaria vacciniifolia is a low growing clump forming semi-evergreen plant. With a spread of 1.5m, it forms a low mat with flowers reaching about 10cm height. It’s a great weed suppressant and as you can see, like other persicaria varieties, it flowers prolifically. Thriving in moist clay or loam, it benefits from a position in sun or partial shade. I’ve got this plant growing in a min-rockery in Wales, where it’s doing well.
Another bee and butterfly magnet is Echinacea purpurea, the stately looking coneflower. It does need a well drained soil in sun or partial shade and even so, is not very long lived – but as it is easy to grow from seed, there is always the opportunity to have plants waiting in reserve.
Finally, an impulse buy! I dropped Chris off to go fishing at a beat conveniently right next door to Farmyard Nurseries in Llandysul. It is totally impossible to drive straight past and anyway, there is a wonderful woodland garden within the nursery grounds that I haven’t walked around for some time. A most enjoyable afternoon, rounded off with the purchase of three plants, including this beautiful dahlia – impossible to leave behind!
Keep safe and well.
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