I'm one of those gardeners who just has to chop everything back as we near the end of they year. Perhaps if I tell you my reasons for doing so you'll understand. Scotland suffers very wet and on occasions mild weather. Rightly or wrongly, I refuse point blank to leave mounds of dying and decaying plants to their own devices. The thought that I might provide snug comfortable winter resting place for slugs just gives me the heebie jeebies! Those slimy creatures makes my skin crawl. I will NOT make life easy for them. What about you, are you a chopper? I like to think that by clearing everything away - it also makes life much easier for the birds as they forage for their winter food.
Cardoon flowers would provide amazing winter structure, don't you think? Alas, those huge fleshy leaves will happily keep a slimy mass happy for months on end. Whilst snails will indeed hibernate for winter, slugs are active all year round here in the UK in all but very dry, hot or extremely frosty weather.
Please don't just take my word that some things in the garden are still looking good - see for yourself. Join me as I take a walk around.
Around the Physocarpus - there are still a few blooms. It's kind of obvious from this picture why I just can't bring myself to cut it right back at the moment
|Physocarpus opulifolius Lady in Red|
Alstroemeria, Monarda, Sedum, Salvia and a lonely little Anemone (September Charm) in the bee border - just out of shot and certainly out of season a couple of Geums are flowering again
|Geum Dingle Apricot and Geum Bell Bank|
|Persicara amplexicaulis J C Caliente, a few remaining flowers of Helenium Moerheim Beauty|
a lemon scented pelargonium and climbing Rose Warm Welcome
At the back of the garden there lives a shrub I planted 3 years ago. It took an age to settle in and has for the first time flowered for me. Heptacodium miconioides is a rather non descript shrub for most of the year and frankly might prove rather awkward to flower unless we have a perfect year like we have had. Any shrub producing scented flowers at this time of the year is extremely welcome, don't you think? The clyxes should turn red a remain for while. It's common name is Seven Son flower tree and has been awarded an AGM by the RHS.
|Actaea simplex Atropurpurea?|
The deep pink Aster (another labelless plant from my brother's garden) has comfortably moved itself completely under the Sambucus. It's the least affected of the Asters with Powdery Mildew.
Still on the scented theme - my newest David Austin Rose - Rosa Lady Emma Hamilton has an incredibly scent. One sniff of her fruity citrus scent and I couldn't help myself going back for more - sitting on the step of the deck, the drifts of her scent is amazing! I'm so looking forward to her maturing to an old age in my garden.
The shadier side of the garden is too in reasonable condition give that we are now half way through October.
The Mahonia is not quite flowering yet and Acer palmatum Orange Dream showing no Autumn colour yet. A close look and we see that the Astrantia are all flowering again.. Astrantia are very good at extending the season particularly if you are brave enough to cut the right down to the ground when they are just about to go over.
|Astrantia major Roma|
|Astrantia Ruby Wedding|
|Astrantia Snow Star|
My rescued pot of Rudbeckia is still flowering - I've ceased deadheading this week. I will find this a home in the ground for winter. They usually don't make it through winter here, I can but try!
These are not the only daisy like flowers around at them moment. I tried a little piece of Erigeron in a far shadier position than they would normally be happy with - flowering later that expected but flowering none the less.
|Leucanthemum x superbum Snow Lady|
I wonder how many of us are well pleased with our October gardens this year - especially UK gardeners. Last year and this year have been poles apart and 2013 has set the bench mark extremely high!
I am linking this post to May Dream Gardens Bloom Day meme. Thank you for joining me this October and please pop over to see what is happening in other gardens around the world.
The last picture of this post is a newest addition to my garden this autumn. A late flowering Kniphofia which will probably prefer conditions in the front garden. Be warned you may need your sunglasses - it's bright, very bright! Yes, yes, I know - possible slug fodder!!
|Kniphofia Bee's Lemon|