End of Month – September 2012

Oh my, it’s getting far too late on in the year now. Soon it’ll be my best friend’s ‘big’ birthday and not long after that, my own!!! Eeeeek.
However, the bonus is that I can now watch The Nightmare Before Christmas because after all, it is technically a Hallowe’en movie… Honest… It just happens to have Christmas in there too 🙂

So very excited.

The rain and floods of early last week have brought with them a dramatic change in the garden. There’s now a very obvious change in hue of many plants to yellow, orange and red. I can’t believe it was only a week ago I posted photos of the Rose that was pretty much completely green still, even the Miscanthus has turned yellow when before it had no sign of change! It’s only just begun blooming, let alone shifting into dormancy. Next year I plan to swap the Miscanthus and a Stipa round – the Stipa is hidden by the Irises and Persicaria now, but the Miscanthus is tall enough to handle them.

Apologies as the photos aren’t very good today; I just couldn’t get into the ‘arty’ mood when taking them. I was running out trying to catch the sun for better photos but it was still chilly and I was grateful for my thick cardi keeping the wind away.

With all the growth generally holding up well, I’ve put on hold bulb planting for a few weeks until things die away and I can plant bulbs around or under things. At the moment it’s too much of a hassle being poked in the face! Most of the bulbs are planted though, so it should be fairly quick for me to get the last in. If all else fails, I’ll put them in pots and then in spring can plant them in the green.

This year unfortunately, things don’t seem to be dying well, at all. In fact a lot of things look downright ugly and I’m very tempted to cut them back so I don’t have to look at them. Normally I love dead Sea Holly, but this year for some reason it looks really bad and I’m unsure if I have the patience to wait until it’s totally dead and looks pretty with frost or snow on it.

Front Garden

One plant that is dying very well, Tiarella. Its leaves look lovely, perhaps I will get more for this border…

The Stipa Tenuissima is amazing at this time of year, and some of the Geranium leaves are turning. Most will last through the winter – unless hit by heavy snow, but the odd one will turn a lovely peachy pink shade and die.

I got a little engrossed in the Stipa and couldn’t stop taking photos…

I quite like this border, but do plan on moving a couple of things to help it flow more. There should have been more white Liatris, but only 2 out of 20 came up……………..

Btw, does anyone know if I can cut back the corkscrew rush to force it to produce fresh growth? Can it handle such treatment or will I kill it?

Back Garden

One plant that definitely does not die well is the Aquilegia, however there are fresh, green leaves underneath this… I’ve since cut the dead leaves away.

After having such a poor summer there are a number of jobs I haven’t managed to do here… and for the first time, the bird’s foot trefoil has some sort of mildew on it; I’m assuming it’s been too wet for it.

And looking at the border from the top, I find it a real struggle ensuring there’s interest from both sides… Sadly, from the kitchen the view isn’t so good, and this is where I need to work because, after all looking from the window is usually where I look at the garden.

The Buddleja border is OK this year; the rain has kept the Astrantias happy, but the Asters have flopped and it’s smothering the Erysimum.

Plus, I’m glad to see Forget-me-nots getting ready for next year. I plan to sow some white seeds though just to make sure.

There aren’t many jobs planned for the Aster border, other than moving the Miscanthus and removing the Stipas (which were never meant for this border)

It’s got to be said though… The Persicaria has been blooming since mid-July… What more could you want??! Oh wait, but the Flat-topped Aster has also been blooming since the end of July! Their lengthy blooming is no doubt extended by the cooler temperatures we’ve endured.

Today I will leave you with some quick shots of the tier – no photos of the Cherry border or upper tier though.

I think I’m suffering from gardening deprivation. Seriously, I’ve spent so little time doing anything in the garden this year that I’m now going crazy and doing things I wouldn’t normally. Such as chopping back the Buddlejas – I leave this until spring and stagger it so they bloom at slightly different times, but also cutting plants back which are normally left until spring to add some interest/structure/hiding places for insects over winter.

Copyright 2012 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.


24 thoughts on “End of Month – September 2012

    • Hi,

      I’m shocked at how quickly things changed! One moment there were barely any signs and the next it’s everywhere. There are some stunning trees at the moment which I must photograph before I miss the chance.

  1. What a lot you have worthy of being photographed, grasses certainly come into their own in the autumn border, yours are catching the light beautifully. Your rudbekia is looking good, contrasting with all the purple, a real splash of sunshine even when it isn’t shining!

    • Hi Pauline,

      I want to have more Rudbeckia/Stipa at the lower side of that border, where I can see them from the house… I think what I need to do is rip everything out in the bottom part and try to start again. For years I’ve said I want to move the bird’s foot trefoil, and I’ve some bare slopes I think it would do well on. Most things got too tall/big this year and it’s all looking very messy as they’re toppling over. I did plant a few Coreopsis in there too to add more yellow, but the slugs/snails had a feast on them when their numebrs suddenly boomed. So their blooms have been poor this year.

  2. I know what you mean by gardening deprivation Liz – we have definitely been on short rations this year. You have done well to have got most of your bulbs in. I have still to make a start. My astrantias sparkled this September – have never seen so many flowers at this time of year on them before. Wonder what that ‘big’ birthday is in terms of years 🙂

    • Hi Anna,

      Glad to hear your Astantias have done well; I’ve had mixed results with my stalwart ‘Roma’ not producing a second flush at all this year??
      I read somewhere that I need to get the bulbs finished quickly because of all the rain, the clay soil will soon be un-workable. But I’ve half decided that I’ll plant the remaining bulbs in pots and then plant them in the green in spring when there’s less growth – but of course run the risk of the ground being too hard… Tough choice.

  3. Your photos always look artistic so no need to apologise. Like you I have been out there pruning and cutting – down to the ground in some cases. It just feels so untidy and windswept but I am sure as it is still relatively mild they will recover in time for the winter. I must get some grasses yours always looks so whispy and pretty. Thank you for sharing your EOMV. 😃 X

    • Hi Ronnie,

      I know exactly what you mean Ronnie; for some reason this year it just seems extra messy compared to other years when I’m more than happy to leave everything as it is until Spring. I never clear things away so early. I’ve even been itching to floor the Buddlejas – a job I leave until Feb/March! I’m sure it’s gardening deprivation that’s causing it. I feel I must do something! Normally at this time of year I’m burned out and just want to sit back and relax.

  4. Lots of lovely things, especially in the aster border. Wonderful persicaria. I too have been umming and ahhing about a sea holly that is just looking tatty at the minute.
    Stipa tenuissima is mesmerising at this time of year. I grew some from seed this spring to add the the two I already had, and they are already beginning to add lovely texture to the front of the border.

    • Hi,

      Glad I’m not the only one with the Sea Holly issues… I’m sure it doesn’t normally look a total eyesore… I’ve never once before thought it needs cutting back because it’s offending my eyes! 😀
      I have three tenuissima to move from the Aster border, I’d like them where I can see them and they should add more interest to the border with the Bird’s foot trefoil (which I’m going to move). I’m just not sure whether to do it now and hope they have time before it gets too cold to settle or wait until spring now.

  5. You have lots of blooms still, despite the fall changes. Tiarella is one of my favourite plants, because it looks so good from the beginning of the growing season to the end. Plus, it never whines about the shade. The leaf colour changes in spring and fall add interest.

    We had perfect September gardening weather, so I’ve been doing lots of garden rearranging and planting before the temperatures drop too much.

    • Hi,

      I have a second Tiarella, with pretty pinky blooms, sadly its leaves always seem to be eaten though??? Unsure why something loves the leaves on one but not the other?? Very disappointed, and hope it survives the beating it’s been taking! I’ve no idea if it too has a lovely autumn show 😦
      But yes, I did have them in a sunnier spot before and they were both very unhappy, so I’ve moved them to a shady spot and they seem happy now.

      The past couple of days here have been quite nice, but with work I can’t get anything done. I just hope this weekend is OK so I can get some late jobs done.

  6. Yes, autumn seems to have arrived virtually overnight. I too have been pruning my buddleija this week, and just like you, I usually leave it until spring.
    I usually cut back aquilegia foliage as soon as it succumbs to mildew, and the new leaves soon appear. But with all the rain we’ve had this summer, my aquilegia soon got covered up by other plants, so it was a job that got overlooked.

    • Hi Crystal,

      I think we’re both garden deprived this year! I’m going stir-crazy knowing the nights are drawing in and have this urge to get as much done as I can when nornally by now I’m all gardened out and wish for nothing more than to leave the garden to its own devices and sit back.

      The Aquilegias tendency to get mildew every year is really beginning to turn me off the plant completely. They look a rotten mess throughout summer. I do love the new leaves though and in spring they are gorgeous… I’m just not sure it’s worth the ugly for the rest of the year…

    • Hi Donna,

      Haha, indeed, sometimes I take too many shots of a certain plant – especially the Rudbeckias at the moment. I want to get some of the Acer ‘Garnet’ as it’s turning a brilliant red now, but it’s in a shady spot (does get sun, but when I’m home from work it’s in shade) and photos are much more difficult to get as its normal leaves are a deep purple, and of course the background is dark too…. Unless of course I cheat and cut off a branch to take photos…. Haha. It’s still too small for me to afford to steal a branch or two.

      Thanks for the tip on the Corkscrew rush; I’ll cut it back in spring – I’m guessing that’s the best time? At the moment I’m pulling off the dead stems, but it’s time consuming and you just get loads of dead twiggy ends at its base instead.

  7. So may pretty images Liz, and I am so in love with that persicaria, what a cracking plant. Your “gardening deprivation” comment made me laugh – I can relate, though it is a little different for me. I am punch drunk on delight to have such a great new playground, and resent weather/health/chores that get in the way of being outside playing.

    Strangely, I have inherited lots of stipa tenuissima, and none of them are doing that lovely wafty flowery thing. Not one! I am going to move most to the nursery bed as they are all in the wrong place, but very strange…

    • Hi Janet,

      If we lived closer, you’d be welcome to one of the Persicaria – I think I’m going to have to remove one because they’re growing a little too large in their space!
      The main thing I’m looking forward to when I move is having a new garden to play with! I just need the market to come back – there’s nothing out there I want to buy! So there’s no point trying to sell yet.

      I think all my Stipa are airy and wafty like this??! During summer when they’re blooming/seeding, just raking your fingers through them pulls off millions of seeds. Impressive and I wonder if I’ll have them popping up everywhere.

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