This isn’t the autumn I imagined. Walks in the park filled with rich colour and crisp leaves that crunch underfoot; cold, bright days, warm scarves and cosy boots. October 2020 has been rain, rain and more rain – with winds that strip the trees bare before they’re quite ready to give up the leaves of their own accord.
I’m cheered though, by next week’s forecast that shows by the middle of the week, some dry weather is ahead, with temperatures dropping…it’s been a strangely mild month. Perhaps next week it will begin to feel a bit more like autumn.
Bulbs are on standby for the first available day where the soil isn’t too wet and sticky to get them into the ground. Spring preparations will finally be underway! I’m hopeful.
This skimmia has been in the garden forever, well, I suppose, more than 15 years. It requires no maintenance, no pruning, or any special treatment; it grows happily in its own spot, where it gets afternoon shade in summer and shade all winter. It’s worth its weight in gold.
This is the female plant, evergreen, with vivid berries that remaim on the plant throughout the year, though more distinct in autumn and winter. The flower buds that you can see in the photograph will open to tiny white flowers in spring. It’s a worthwhile plant for any garden with year-round interest.
Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’
I planted this one just a few weeks ago, and I’m looking forward to seeing those red flower buds transform into white flowers or perhaps peeking out through some snow in winter. That would be nice. This is the male plant and won’t produce berries which is the main feature of the skimmia above.
Bacopa ‘Gulliver White’
Here we are on the last day of October and this bacopa is still flowering its heart out. Sadly, I need its pot for tulips, so it will have to be evicted within the next week or so, but it has flowered so well that I’ll definitely give this one a spot in the garden next year. I notice that it’s already on sale as rooted cuttings for April delivery.
The first resident of the new fence has been planted. Flowering from April-June and again in September, Clematis Koreana ‘Amber’ should grow to around 2.5m (8ft) and will hopefully be as dense with small flowers as the marketing photographs show. It’s a Group 1 clematis, and according to the supplier’s website, requires no pruning. That, for me, is a bonus.
Next to the clematis is Rosa ‘The Pilgrim’, bought from David Austin Roses as a bare root plant. I had to think carefully about putting two similar-coloured plants in the same area, and although there will be an overlap in flowering time, they’re both very different in size and shape. ‘Amber’ is described as creamy yellow, primrose yellow or just yellow and R. ‘The Pilgrim’ appears to be a strong lemony yellow. They might not work together, but if that’s the case, Clematis ‘Amber’ can be moved.
You might just be able to see from the label that the clematis was the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2016. I hope it lives up to my expectations! 😁
These two patio dahlias are still producing some flowers, but they’re starting to run out of steam. The one on the left is unnamed and on the right, is D. ‘Art Deco’. If you want to see Art Deco at its best, it featured on 15th August.
The cotoneaster at the side of the house has been cut back so many times but it’s still doing its own thing and has now taken on the appearance of a small tree. It’s now growing through and over the fence. At the bottom though, it’s growing again where it was chopped back and if it doesn’t get that treatment again it will start crawling across the patio. There’s no stopping it.
That’s all from me this week, take care, stay safe and enjoy whatever you’re doing in the garden this weekend.
ABOUT SIX ON SATURDAY
To join with other garden enthusiasts from around the world, and see how they garden, just take six photographs and post them to Twitter and/or your blog each Saturday. You can get all the details from The Propagator who kindly set it all up.
All photographs copyright of Catherine Wood unless otherwise stated