Somethings old, somethings new

At what instant does the summer change? What subtle chemistry of air and sunlight” ~ Jane Tyson Clement

Yesterday was the official start of Autumn but the Seiryu Acer has been showing somewhat premature signs of it for the last 2-3 weeks. By contrast, the tuberous begonias which were planted out well in time for summer have only recently come into something that resembles full blooming.

Green dragon acer ‘Seiryu’ already breathing fire

These signs are perhaps indicative of the mixed-bag summer we have had this year. Disappointing to those of us in the Northern Hemisphere who long for long sunny days though I hesitate to complain when parts of Europe and the USA have had horrifically high temperatures, resulting in fires.

Continuing the heat theme, I’ve been pondering what style of planting to make for the front dais garden. At the moment it houses all the plants but after the Japanese ones move to the back, there will be gaps that need filling and a theme that needs developing. I’m aiming to make it ‘the potted cottage garden’!

‘Neon’ Salvia lighting up Derbyshire dais

Being North facing with afternoon sun, those solar lovers are not going to bloom to their best. Neverthless my salvias have done well and on that note my daughter gifted me another one which rather sets the tone, being a vivacious magenta ‘Neon‘. Its not only hot pink but evergreen and theoretically hardy!

Thus I’ve decided to choose blooms that stand out in the colour palette of yellow, pinks, purples and some white. Not forgetting of course the importance of background foliage and evergreens!

Since I needed to infill with late season colour I purchased some gaudy yellow gazanias and a very tall orange Salvia with the appropriately hot name: “Embers Wish“. Despite this nomenclature, it will probably need winter protection here, although the dais is sheltered having the benefit of backing on to my living space. For this reason I like to take cuttings and overwinter in a sheltered spot, like my newly renovated greenhouse (when it finally gets all its glass panes).

Talking of winter protection, I have four scented leaf pelargoniums which only just survived being kept under a poly greenhouse last winter and then savagely cut back in Spring!

maroon velvet flowers of Pelargonium. sidoides

This year I intend to be a better carer not least because I would hate to lose any of them, especially the South African geranium P. sidoides.

Normally at this time of year I start to wind down but there are outstanding manual jobs in my garden design plans before the inclement weather stops play! I’m also trying some Autumn seed sowing and have opted for Chilterns bargain-basement lottery mixes of hardy perennials, plus a shrubs & trees mix. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so they say!

I’ve a few bulbs to pop into pots too though I used never to plant tulips until November, as it was once thought this helped prevent ‘tulip fire’. Apparently this is no longer valid advice.

Take a scrolling stroll through the Derbyshire Dais garden in September

6 thoughts on “Somethings old, somethings new

  1. Wow, I’ve never seen a Salvia like that Neon. And the Pelargonium is beautiful (as are your photos of those flowers!). The Acer is another favorite and it’s so pretty – Green Dragon, I like it. Where I live there’s a native Acer that has a Japanese feel to it – the leaves aren’t deeply cut at all, more rounded with gentle lobes. It’s small, multi-trunked, airy, graceful. It has some fall color, not a lot. Unfortunately, it doesn’t like our island very much, but I see it in other locations. I suppose if I got ambitious I could consider a potted one – you have me thinking, with your beautiful collection. We’re renting, so pots only. 😉

    1. Japanese acers are some of the best trees for pots – some slower growing varieties too – the Seiryu is not one but potting them on every few years is a chance to cut some of the roots and keep potted without problems. I have had a potted garden all through the 30+ years of living in rented accommodation and I hope you are inspired to expand yours

  2. p.s. Quickly glancing back, I noticed the stunning Lewisias you had going in the spring and recognized them. They’re native here. Not HERE here but native to drier, higher places east of us. I have seen them once or twice in the wild – a different species but the same look. I was proud that I recognized it, since I’m an east coast transplant, and learning Pacific Northwest plants has been difficult. 😉

    1. I do like Lewisiais – not that attractive until they burst into bountiful bloom. You are like a transplanted plant yourself and know that unless the environs are right you will not flower!!

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