It’s been much drier this week and so there’s been a flurry of activity in the garden – but not involving me! Chris’s tenure as Captain of our golf club has come to an end and so with more time at home, he’s had an enjoyable few days starting the annual Autumn tidy. I’ll be joining him out there next week and hopefully we’ll get on top of all the outstanding jobs – I still have a box of tulip bulbs to get in the ground!
I’ve not posted since we visited Wales at the end of October and so I’ve decided to share pictures taken in our riverside garden and on the beach for my six this week.
Four persicarias were still flowering at the end of October – there are so many varieties of this versatile, easy to grow collection of hardy perennials. I like to think of them as carefree for they romp away with abandon, but just a word of caution – this means they need an eye kept on them to ensure they don’t outgrow their allotted space. With varieties growing to heights of between 12 inches and 5 ft, they prefer moist soil and won’t thrive in dry hot ground. Clockwise from top left, the tallest on display is the vigorous p.amplexicaule ‘Firetail‘, with it’s flame like spires growing to a height of 3 feet – and it really does spread! Next are the diminutive p. affine ‘Donald Lowndes‘ and p. affinis superba both mat forming plants suitable for rockeries and front of border. Many persicarias have spiky spires, but as you’ll see from this collection, there are tufty specimens – the one pictured is p. runcinata, which grows to a height and spread of 20 x 36 inches.
Winter interest is progressing well in both our gardens, but this wonderful pieris is a star! A couple of years ago, after a particularly cold winter, this plant was looking distinctly unhappy, but it has most definitely recovered and is now flourishing.
Parahebe catarractae ‘Avalanche’ is a semi evergreen subshrub growing to a height and spread of 2ft x 2ft – great for rockeries and front of border. Most soil conditions are favourable, as is sun and partial shade for positioning. As a mid to late summer flowering plant this particular specimen is in bloom very late this year, although it has of course been very mild.
Leycesteria formosa, or Himalayan honeysuckle is a favourite plant of mine and I have quite a few as it happily self seeds around the garden. This deciduous shrub has everything going for it, with heart shaped leaves, green bamboo like stems and deep red bracts and berries. It does flower, but the tiny white petals preceding the berries are overshadowed by the showy bracts. Growing to a height of about 10 feet, it grows in most conditions and benefits from being hard pruned in April to encourage fresh stems. An added bonus – it’s a great plant for attracting wildlife.
Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’, I know I’ve probably said this before, but it’s a must have hardy perennial – a real worker! In flower since early August it’s still going strong. A bee and butterfly magnet, it has it all….
Whilst in Wales we enjoyed a great trip to the beach at Tresaith during low tide and I just can’t resist sharing these photographs of the cocktail revealed as the tide receded – who would think seaweed could be so beautiful!
That’s my six this week – for more great weekly ‘sixes’, please visit the founding blog at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com
Have a great gardening week!