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)