It Ain’t Half Hot

itainthalfhotClearing spent foliage from the right hand hot border yesterday makes it even more obvious that the border isn’t even lukewarm, let alone half hot – the foliage of Vitis vinifera ’Purpurea’ is now dark red and there is a solitary nasturtium in view and a couple of splashes of red from the now reinvigorated red salvias in the baskets but that is all, other than some soggy orange dahlia and a young Rudbeckia fulgida out of shot. Earlier in season there was Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, some hemerocallis and a fairly new kniphofia – oh, and Aquilegia ‘Oranges and Lemons’ too, all tall contributors to the supposed heat. The border desperately needs some more colour throughout the season (although I am sticking to taller specimens as smaller ones would be swamped) and in the absence of choice in the appropriate colour palette for perennials I shall be poring over seed catalogues for the first time in many years looking for red, orange and (a few) yellow annuals.

The left hand side is looking decidedly warmer, with rudbeckia, geum, dahlias, inula, crocosmia, tagetes and nasturtium still going strong and overlooked by the crab apple ‘Golden Hornet’, all set off nicely by the brick wall behind. Still room for improvement here though!

IMG_0337Some parts of the UK have gales forecast for tomorrow evening, although I think the Midlands may escape the worst of them. It has been decidedly breezier in the last day or two though and the wind had conveniently tidied up the piles of leaves I had roughly swept up yesterday, making it easier to collect them up today. In the stone circle by the blue & white borders the wind had made an equally good job of collecting up stray amelanchier leaves, depositing them in a rich red and russet swathe – aren’t they beautiful?

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12 Responses to It Ain’t Half Hot

  1. I have Rosa Glauca, for hips, and Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’ going strong at this time of year, also various heucheras (ok not tall) and salvias, and a pale yellow cornflower type flower which I can never remember its name. Also pot marigolds still in full flower, any help?

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Debbie – I did grow some pot marigolds for the first time in ages but they are mostly over although should self seed, and I shall look into some taller marigolds next year. Using some foliage plants would help plug gaps though – but really it would be better if I ‘planned’ the border rather than adding things as I go along. I have a red climbing rose on one of the walls but both walls could benefit from climbers for added colour, I suppose…

  2. Great post and AWESOME photos!

  3. Holleygarden says:

    Good luck with your search. Red and yellows are some of my favorite colors in the garden. The red leaves against your stone circle really are lovely.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – yes those leaves are lovely, aren’t they? They tend to fall as soon as they turn red and falling on the cobbles really sets off the colour

  4. Sally says:

    Your garden wall is so beautiful. What a wonderful haven you’ve created…..

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thanks Sally – I do like brickwork in the garden, and I love bricklaying too. Not sure I have space for any more walls, but who knows….!

  5. Annette says:

    Why not put in a species rose which flowers AND bears showy hips? I love the Vitis vinifera Purpurea, maybe I’ll find a place for it somewhere. Autumn leaves are so cheerful, wish they’d stay a little longer but then I can’t complain as the garden is still full of flowers and interest. Hope the storm doesn’t hit you too hard. Mind yourself!

    • Cathy says:

      All OK here and not even much wind either. I will think further about another rose – I have Pardirektor on one wall which is beginning to establish properly after some neglect, but I could certainly use the walls to better effect and at least I will plan the baskets in advance next year instead of just adding them half way through the summer.

  6. Anna says:

    Most envious of the wall Cathy. How about tithonia for a tall orange flowered annual? Have you come across Sara Raven’s book ‘The Bold and Brilliant Garden’? If you haven’t there are lots of suggestions there for hot borders 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks do much for this info Anna – I have not come across either Tithonia or Sara Raven’s book before but will check them both out. As I haven’t really bothered with sowing much in the way of annuals for a very long time I am sure there is a whole world of new flowers to discover!

  7. Pingback: End of Month View: the Clock is Ticking | Rambling in the Garden

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