Friday, 23 October 2015

Red and Green......

.....should never been seen, except upon an Irish Colleen.  It seems the words of this ditty I grew up knowing and reciting goodness knows how many times in my life is variable depending on from where we hail. Doing some research on this rhyme for this post, it appears that some of you may well use Blue and Green or even Pink and Green.  There seems to be no definitive answer to which is right and which is wrong.

Blue and Green should never be seen except with something in between.

Pink and Green fit for a queen.

Red and Yellow catch a fellow.

Brown and Blue will never do.

These are just a few I came across. Which, if any, version are you familiar with?  Or perhaps you can shed light on the whole matter.  Please put me out of my misery.

The red and green in my understanding is the red of the Irish Colleen's (girl) flowing red locks and the green of her dress.  My aunt was a red head and always told me that red heads should just not wear pink, ever! Green and autumnal colours pretty much made up her entire wardrobe if I remember rightly.  The red and green connection apparently has it's roots based in maritime history - the lights we can see when its dark in shipping lanes.  Aircraft also use the green and red light system..  A stark warning in the waters or skies if you see them together.

Being Scottish, I of course, have to bring the matter of tartan into the equation - well that just turns the whole colour theory thing on it's head, doesn't it?  Anything goes in so far as that's concerned. Some of those tartans just scream at you and should come with their own colour volume button.

Whether they be deciduous or evergreen - many plants around my garden have something to offer in autumn.  Be it shades of orange, yellow, pink, red, even boring old brown by far my favourite autumn colour is red.  No matter how inspired our flower combinations are or how well thought out our foliage combos are it's at this time of the year the garden can take on a different dimension before our garden retreats til spring.

Reds and greens just happen to be my favourite at this time of the year.  There is plenty of it around right now.  

Red Holly berries and glossy green leaves

Cotoneaster berries are so shiny they look false.  Those leaves will soon turn crimson red.

The twiggy young purple leafed birch, Betula Crimson Frost looks good with a green backdrop.

Blood red stems of the variegated Cornus.

More red stems - the coral bark maple, Acer palmatum Eddisbury

Reddening rowan foliage against the blue sky - and a handful of yellow berries.  Well it is autumn!

That was yesterday......and today?  An overnight transformation.  You can see now why is called Autumn Spire.

Not only does this Persicaria bloom over many months and is a valuable plant in my garden- it's gradual change of colour is vivid.  It will soon collapse in the mushy heap though.

Even Clematis montana Marjorie is getting in on the act.

This dying Peony foliage is on fire this year.  Others are not quiet so eyecatching.

The Enkianthus and Gillenia too.  Hints of red creeping in here.

Another Acer, just about to come into it's own - surrounded by a sea of greenery in the side garden.

A closer look

Are your autumn reds doing it for you right now?  Or is something else catching your eye?   

This October I am joining Christina and other garden bloggers rejoicing their autumn colours over at her Hesperides Garden.  Please do join us.   

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day October 2015

As the autumn/winter clear up begins, the garden is looking rather gappy right now.  I've began cutting down those plants that look rather ugly as they die back.  The emptying of our garden waste bins change from fortnightly to monthly lifts at the end of the month and I always try to make each lift count at this time of the year.

Firstly, apologies to Carol over at May Dream Gardens for joining rather late this month.  It's been a busy week at chez Angie!

Just coming into bloom for this month's bloom day post, is the Heptacodium miconioides.  A scented late flowering shrub.  Every year there is a race to see which comes first.  The pretty white flowers or the first frost.  It was a almost a photo finish this year.  The first blooms opened fully the day before our first frost.

Witch hazel, Hamamelis x intermedia Jelena continues to open yet more flowers too.  Little sign of autumn from the leaves though.

The hardy fuchsia, F. magellanica alba, still puts on a good display too.

The shady bed is a bit tired looking if you get up close and personal but from a distance it doesn't look too bad.  The blackened Kirengeshoma in the centre of this bed showing obvious signs of the frost.  Anemone Andrea Atkinson is still blooming though and the Mahonia at the back is just about to come into bloom. My first job when this border has died back, or more correctly, when I get in there with my secateurs, is to do something about that ugly old trellising on the fence.

Beneath the Hydrangea paniculata Pinky Winky, Anemone trullifolia has come into bloom again.

The pot of Agapanthus africanus Blue draws the eyes from the large gap left when I cut down the Helenium in the top border.  Perennial sunflowers, Persicaria and Geum are still working hard to provide sustenance for the pollinators.

 The view from below is equally floriferous!  These plants are teaming with pollinators.

If you can excuse baby Olli's laundry hanging on the line - this is the view looking to the top of the garden through the arch.

This late flowering Monkshood is another still going strong this month.  The stems from Persicaria Red Dragon mingles up through these plants.

Aconitum carmichaelii wilsonii Spatlese

Making my way down to the side garden, most of the Colchicums have succumb to last week's rain but this small clump of C. agrippinum is still upright.  I enjoyed a solitary bloom last year, this year there are three.  Last year's bedding Primula will flower again this year.  They've obviously enjoyed the cooler summer.

Colchicum agrippinum

Cyclamen around the garden are at various stages, this small clump of white flowering C. hederifolium is happy beneath the purple leafed maple.  I like the contrast between the purple leaf of the maple and the silver and white of the Cyclamen.

silver leafed Cyclamen hederifolium

I don't grow many Asters - they suffer dreadfully from powdery mildew here and I've gradually removed most of them from the garden.  However, the few I have left have done well this year.  The extremely slow growing Acer shirasawanum well into autumnal mode now.

Out to the front garden, there are still many blooms.  In the far corner, the Rudbeckia, Alstromeria and Rosa Graham Thomas bloom.  Ignore the variegated Sedum, it needs removing.  Cotinus Grace, another shrub that is now showing signs of autumn.

Other roses blooming right now in the front garden: R. The Lark Ascending, Teasing Georgia, Port Sunlight, The Lady of Shallot and Fighting Temeraire.

And as you can see, the roses are not the only plants still looking good in the front garden this October.  I really am pleased with just how many plants are still going strong.

 I hope you are enjoying your October blooms as much as I am enjoying mine.  Thanks for reading and have a good week!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Tree Following October 2015 - Sorbus Autumn Spire

The garden this evening is cloaked in the most beautiful golden light, yet sadly, my camera just does not pick up the the warm glow it casts.  We've had some welcome rain.  It's been a while since we had such a significant fall.  Trotting out to get a few shots, it occurs to me that I struggle to find another time of the year with which to compare the magical feel the garden and plants take on right about now.

I had hoped my wee rowan tree would be putting on a fine autumn display by the time this month's Tree Following post came round however that seems not to be the case.  

There are brief glimpses of the change that is about to take place.

 The late blooms that appeared last month are now open.

Those prominent red stems are glowing too.

I have weeded and cleared some of the perennials that were long past their best.  An Aster and Persicaria are all that remains in bloom here right now.  The autumn colour from the Persicaria and Cornus are most prominent here.  The small Viburnum sargentii Onondaga isn't doing too bad either. 

I plan to take weekly shots to include in next month's post.  I am hoping to capture my tree's transformation into a true Autumn Spire.  Thanks for reading and with the weekend fast approaching - have a good one!  

Thursday, 1 October 2015

End of Month View September 2015

End of August 2015

Slowly but surely Autumn is creeping upon us but not before we get a bit of late summer sun.  It really does deserve a fan fare!  It's been a pure pleasure to garden this last week.  I can't tell you how pleased I am about this.  I've been extremely down in the dumps about the rotten weather we've experienced.

The first view, as always for my End of Month View.  This meme is hosted by The Patient Gardener at the end of each month.  Just look at that sky.  Ahh!  Skys such as these really have been few and far between this year. You can also just make out some autumn colour on the tops of those trees that line the walk along the river.   We've had some amazing sunsets this last few nights too. I am usually getting ready to leave for work as the sun is going down at this time of the year and I made a effort last night to be organised to catch those wonderful skies.  Guess what?  Yes, you guessed right.  Last night's sunset was really quite dull by comparison.  

Looking west end of September 2015
It was not until I upload this shot that I realised this view shows how out of balance both sides of the garden is.  I am unsure if the hedge is to blame or my planting.  The roses on the right hand side.  R. Jude the Obscure and Graham Thomas should be taller in future years and the Cotinus in the far corner will eventually add height here so I just need to have a bit of patience I think.  Me, patience? That's a laugh!  Not one of my finest qualities, I admit.  The rogue Iris, as you can clearly see is still bang smack in the middle of the arch, another one for the autumn move.  

The view looking towards the house, to the left you can see how profusely the roses are blooming again.  I can't praise both these roses enough.  R. Lady of Shallot and R. The Lark Ascending have been astounding this year in spite of the weather. I wonder if they are maybe suited more to the cooler weather.  That's obviously something I will have to observe over the coming years.   Rosa Teasing Georgia has finally got going too and is now making quite good progress up the side of the arch.  Until now this rose has been incredibly slow.  Hopefully putting all it's energy into getting down some good roots.  All the Rudbeckia are still flowering well, as are Crocosmia George Davidson.  It seems that I've lost Crocosmia Emily Mackenzie, she has not made an appearance this year.  

towards the house End of September 2015

Rosa The Lark Ascending.  I just had to share this shot with you.  Granted the aphids are back but they have not stopped this fine display.  This rose truly is one for the bees - they love it! It does not have such a strong scent as some of the others but I can forgive it for that.  

Rosa The Lark Ascending

Standing in front of the house this hazy afternoon shot is pretty well the best of a bad bunch.  Salvia Amistad in the corner near the hedge is now getting tall.  Another plant loved by the pollinators. There is a side of me disappointed that it does not fit in with my scheme here but I worry not since it is not hardy here (proven) and these plants were cutting from last year's single specimen I grew.  I will take more cuttings this year and plan to grow them in the top border in the back garden.  It has turned out to be one of my favourites.  Oddly enough it has not struggled with the weather either, yet I would have expected it too.  After all they are sun worshippers, are they not?   

The view south End of September 2015

Rosa Hot Chocolate

So, what if anything is new?  I mentioned last month that I was considering purchasing Rosa Hot Chocolate for the gap created by the removal of the Anthemis and one or two other things. Well, as things turned out, rose stocks at one or two GCs were rather depleted but thankfully I managed to eventually source one. It was the only specimen they had left.  Much to my relief it was healthy enough and came home with me. It now has it's own little spot between the arch and R. Fighting Temeraire.  I have planted a yellow daylily, Hemerocallis Golden Chimes  at the edge nearest the path which I think should compliment if nicely.  The single bud it had at time of purchase did bloom and I was able to see it was more appropriately suited to my scheme out here than Rosa Summer Song had been.  

The Erysimum cuttings I took earlier have rooted well and 3 of them fill the corner by the gate now that the Leucanthemum has gone.  I want to thank everyone who encouraged me to give Erysimum cuttings a go.  I had it in my head they'd be particularly difficult but it seems not.  One plant  will do the job but I am hedging my bets.  Hopefully they should all grow as well as the parent plant I have.  It was as small as these when I was given a cutting by a friend.  I will select the best one of the three come spring time to continue to grow on.  The other two will become possible replacements for the expensive brown and orange coloured Rudbeckia should they fail to come through winter.  I suspect they might well be one of those plants that although claiming to be hardy, they will more than likely turn out to be borderline hardy rather than fully hardy.  I am considering protecting the crowns of these plant with straw to give them at least a fighting chance.  Since planting a few months ago they have put out no new growth at the base.  I can't remember what the other Rudbeckia had done in previous years. 

I need to make preparations for lifting the Dahlia and Cosmos tubers and I suspect that by this time next month this whole place will look somewhat bare as the autumn clear up begins.  I also plan to give the roses a winter mulch of manure, a friend swears by this.  I'll give most things a try at least once to see if it provides any benefit.    

Pleased with the amount of plants that are still flowering well, I leave you with a collage of a few of the best.  Thanks for reading and as the weekend approaches - have a good one!