Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Late August in the Garden

This is the time of year for the great finale in the plant world, when late summer herbaceous plants put on all their finery and produce a spectacular show in defiance of earlier nights and the weakening rays of the sun. The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is near; I must go out and show my appreciation of the garden's efforts before the plants succumb to autumn's gentle touch.

The mixed border is still colourful with Sidalcea (the prairie mallow),
Japanese Anemonies, the pale mauve Phlox paniculata and
the yellow buttons of the herbaceous Phlomis in the front.

The prostrate Clematis x jouiniana grows over a wall of ancient stone
liberated through the ages from the ruins of the castle next door and covers
an area of 4m in total, actually making it impossible to leave the garden through
one of the side gates. It is covered in bunches of pale blue flowers during late August
to early October, when I cut it right back to the base. This leaves a perfect area for growing spring bulbs, The emerging leaves of the clematis soon cover unsightly
yellowing leaves while the spring flowers are dying back.

This pinky/purple Phlox paniculata is a very common garden phlox, but it
will make a great show in late summer; I like my plants to earn their keep.

Ligularia Desdemona will grow in damp shade.
It is a great favourite of slugs and I grow mine in pots.
I bring them on in a working area of the garden and dump them
under trees in what I grandly call the fernery when the first flower heads form.
The deep yellow of the flowers brightens the gloomiest area.

Clematis Abundance is a great favourite of mine.
This is a picture of it growing out through the crown of a useless old damson tree.
The tree is barren but it provides a perch for the garden birds that come to
the nearby feeders and the perfect frame for this clematis which does full justice to its name.

The Japanese Maple
Acer palmatum dissectum Atropurpureum
is a tree and here
for the whole of the season, of course,
but it is particularly spectacular in autumn,
so I thought I'd sneak it in.

from The Seasons

The sun has lost his rage; his downward orb
Shoots nothing now, but animating warmth,
And vital lustre; that, with various ray,
Lights up the clouds, those beauteous robes of heav'n,
Incessant roll'd into romantic shapes,
The dream of waking fancy! broad below
Cover'd with ripening fruits, and swelling fast
Into the perfect year, the pregnant earth
And all her tribes rejoice.

James Thomson (1700-1748)


  1. Such beautiful photos of your garden. I love your mixed border. Fall may soon be on us, but we can keep our flowers alive with our cameras.

  2. A very summery post - one to look back in about three months' time on a depressing November day ...

  3. A beautiful tribute to the waning beauties. We have a Japanese maple too and I love the fall color. The burning bushes, I don't know the botanical name, are beginning to color up also. I love the fall crisp feeling that is coming. True we will have pictures to get us through the winter.

  4. I just wish I could grow flowers like that. You Brits must all have green thumbs. Thank you for sharing. All I could produce on my blog was my Beagle. I do love flowers and have bugged poor Mort to death with questions on how to grow things.

  5. These are wonderful photos and you have given me great ideas. I like your garden style and while I could never have such good bloom, I might be able to do a little.

  6. Quite a lovely garden you have. I have always longed for a Japanese Maple tree, but since I have no outdoor space to speak of it would either sit in my bathroom or my car. Not good options.

    Just found your blog via Fran over at Being Miss....

  7. Just beautiful. Our best purchase was an Acer that was sold off as a casualty in the Dingle Nursery at Welshpool [you will probably know it]. It had originally been well over £100 to buy but had been wind damaged and lost one of its branches leaving a bit of a gap. We bought it for just £15 and it has now grown into a beautiful small tree with no noticeable gaps. We have of course left its originally price ticket on. :-)

  8. So lovely. All that remains in my garden now are a few struggling carnations, some raggy looking lavender, and the Japanese Anemonies.

    I just bought some daffodil bulbs this very morning from the little market on the square and am now looking ahead to spring already! Truly, a gardener's work is never done.

  9. Darlene - yes we can, but we should also enjoy them while they're flowering for us.

    Fran Hill - don't remind me.

    QMM - I think Cotinus is the burning bush, I have several of them in the garden too. Only the small ones 'burn', it's not warm enough here for the big varieties.

    Lucy - thank you for the compliment. It's true, I learned my gardening skills from the Brits. We also have the right temperatures and rainfall.

    Tabor - Thank you too, but why couldn't you? All these plants are fully hardy and pretty easy to grow.

    Cloudia - thanks and aloha!

    Amanda - I've already returned your visit, thanks for coming over. You could grow an acer in a pot, they are very suitable for that.

    Wipso - The Dingle is great, I go at least once every year, maybe twice. I'm a great one for a bargain, too.

    Celtic Heart - What happened? Rotten weather? I've been getting rid of a lot of my daffs, they grow in the Marches like weeds, very municipal now, every lane and town grass verge has them in abundance.

  10. Thank you for your comment . I think I worry more about his mental state but knowing my daughter if he gets to negative she will buck him up in no uncertain terms. She said I can't let him see how upset I am and I have been through so many family members especially my sister with alzhimers, there was a phase when she would be alert just enough to tear your heart out at the things she would ask about family and they were no longer alive. Friko, thank you for your encouraging words and I hope you never ever have to face that nasty disease again. Maybe it won't be as bad when they see the specialist Tues.

  11. What a lovely post - your garden must be truly enchanting. For the last 3 days my husband and I went on a little trip to North Carolina and visited a beautiful garden there (It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park in New York city). It was so beautiful I did not want to leave it and go back home. I took many pictures so that in a future post I'll be able to show this garden to you and all our friends.

  12. You have a lovely garden, Friko. As Lucy wrote above, you must have a green thumb. Of course I loved the flowers, but the Japanese Maple tree with the fancy latin name, is very beautiful. We have pink hibiscus in bloom all summer long, and the hydrangeas are turning into that patina of pale green and rust colors.

  13. You have a lovely garden, Friko! Thanks for those photos.

    I like the Phlox very much. We had Phlox all over the garden when my mother still lived, but now, with my rare visits and not enough time to tend to the garden properly, it has almost vanished.


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