Waistcoats and Breeches

waistcoats.breechesThe fuchsia on the left (‘Swingtime”) has amused me this summer, as the flowers always look as if they are bursting out of their shiny red waistcoats – you can see the shape of the inner petals bulging under the red outer petals of the bud second from the left. It’s been a really floriferous variety too, so there have been a whole army of red waistcoats – the Bennett sisters would have loved them!

CIMG2200I am sure the acanthus (Bear’s Breeches) above right  had put up a flower spike earlier in the year, but I just noticed this one today – may or not be the same one as it is tucked at the back of a border against the fence. Having a closer look, I found the lower part of the flowers (or perhaps they are sepals?) were quite prickly and I was also intrigued by the swelling seeds inside the flowers – or are they actually the ovaries? I may have had a Grade 1 Biology O-Level but that was quite a few years ago and it still doesn’t equip you with a detailed knowledge or the idiosyncrasies of every species! Whilst inspecting the acanthus I took the opportunity of plucking leaf and flower samples from the adjacent artemisia as I am hoping someone can identify it. The leaves are really silvery earlier in the year and form a low clump until growth begins in earnest pushing its full height up to 3ft or so. Over to you ….

We are still experiencing sunshine between the greyer and damper episodes and this combination felt just right for planting out some of the young plants that ended up in my new nursery beds, as well as moving a few ill-placed plants. Sown from seed, Aquilegia ‘Green Apples’, Pennisetum thunbergia, Campanula punctata and Polemonium linifolium all moved to their new homes, along with some dierama I had from Hayloft a few weeks ago, their respite in the nursery bed rather than remaining confined to pots seemingly paying off as they all seem sturdy plants although still small.

Although the weather HAS ‘turned’ (meaning more clothes, like the garden’s cardigan) it is quiet comforting in a way – we have been there before, done it before and know what to expect. The dampness, the darker night, the leaves falling – it comes round every year and brings with it so many other pleasures, like the changing colours, the late flowering blooms, picking tomatoes and making chutney, wearing that cardigan again for the first time in months…. No, I shall not grumble about it at all.

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11 Responses to Waistcoats and Breeches

  1. rusty duck says:

    I’ve been doing some shifting of stuff around too, and it’s great to feel that when the garden comes back to life next year it will look better for it. I’m not too familiar with artemisia, so sadly can’t help there. Do love your acanthus though!

  2. Annette says:

    Don’t know the Bennett sisters but your Fuchsia do look quite cute. I only grow one variety called “Schwarzer Ritter” (=Black Knight) which I fell in love with years ago and it still keeps me company, good fellow. Just googled Pennisetum thunbergii as I didn’t know it. Looks nice – did you put in into the border or in a pot?

    • Cathy says:

      Bennett sisters? Pride and Prejudice, dear girl! All the seeds I mentioned excluding the aquilegia were RHS allocation so chosen unseen other than a very brief description, and the pennisetum went in the border but I suppose I better check it’s not a spreader!

      • Annette says:

        Alas! How could this happen to me? I’m such of lover of Austen books but I was somewhat thinking more in terms of a music. Forgive my ignorance, dear Cathy 😉

  3. Loved your comments in the last paragraph, Cathy. Am so ready for some of that fall deliciousness to begin here. Enjoy your lovely gardening days. Blessings, Natalie

  4. Anna says:

    I would be happy to see one flower on my acanthus which has flowered just the once in goodness knows how many years 😦 I keep trying to dig it up but it always comes back. Still the foliage is quite attractive. Now those fuchsias remind me of crinolines Cathy 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Or tutus? Sorry about your lack of acanthus flowers – at least they might have partially made up for its thuggish tendencies. Mine has not spread enough to be thuggish yet – no doubt that time will come…

  5. hillwards says:

    Love those plump fuchsias. My acanthus flowered this year for the first time, such a stunning plant.

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