Late October Colours

I am a bit late recording my best October blooms, but the fact they are still blooming at such a late point in the month says a lot about their stickability, especially as many of them have featured a number of times in this informal meme hosted by Chloris at the aptly named The Blooming Garden blog. The next few days will test them further, with temperatures last night close to 0°C and several similar nights forecast. Despite its untidy sprawling and my grumbles at its excessive height Cosmos Dazzler (above) has done exactly that, but I shall not be as sorry to remove them from the cutting beds as I will be when the dahlias have to be lifted, which is likely to be very soon. Below we have Willo’s Violet, Dorothy Rose, Nuit Été, Happy Halloween and an unnamed and variable single yellow one, most of which are currently flowering at their absolute maximum:

This fuchsia, F ‘Voodoo’ is one of four hanging from the walls bordering two of the bold borders and all four will need to be potted up and brought inside soon to avoid the winter cold. The baskets were barely noticeable during the summer months, partly overshadowed by the contents of the borders but also because they struggled in the heat and have only begun performing in the last few weeks. I spent ages deciding what to put in these baskets that would be appropriately neighbourly in these bold borders and it is a shame that their boldness has been out of sync with everything else.

Appearing numerous times in these monthly round-ups, indicating just how much of an impact they make in the garden, are Salvia ‘Neon’, Persicaria ‘Blackfield’ and Persicaria ‘Inverleith’, superstars all of them. This salvia was the first I had any real success with, and by the time I realised how hardy it was it had grown both leggy and woody; last spring I cut it back to lower new leaf buds but I think I can afford to cut it to the very lowest signs of life to help keep it more compact – and of course I have now learned not to let other salvias get out of shape like this. I do already take cuttings and if need be I could start afresh with Neon. The two persicaria have formed such delightfully attractive clumps, unlike varieties in  other borders where I am trying to improve conditions in the hope of achieving similarly successful clumps.

To the right of Blackfield are the lanky stems of Rosa ‘Falstaff’, one of a pair either side of a bench on the paved area; these were planted as bare root roses a year ago and were slow to get going, struggling as many new plants did with the heat and lack of rain. Damper conditions since then have boosted their growth and although lanky they have produced both more stems and a late flush of blooms and should respond to pruning early next year by producing bushy plants for the new season.

Also tall and responding to the end of the drought is Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’, bought as a small plant in a 9cm pot this time last year, and now towering over me at the back of one of the main borders. I don’t yet know how hardy she will prove to be, but she will be mulched generously and then cut back as low as possible in the spring to encourage bushiness. With a supposed flowering period of July to November hopefully she will deign to flower rather earlier for me next year, but I suspect she will not waver much from her maximum height of 2 metres.

Finally, but as an afterthought as I had just cut the last of them, is Helichrysum ‘Bright Rose’ which must have been flowering from June onwards in the borders as well as the cutting beds. This is the first time I have grown any ‘everlasting’ flowers and regardless of the longevity of the blooms this has been a fantastic and effortless annual to grow and I shall seek out additional varieties to grow next year when I shall find out if our exceptional summer contributed to its success.

Assessing this year’s seed sowing will be a job for a wet day in the  coming weeks, but I shall be reducing the number of varieties I grow and concentrating on those I know to be reliable and garden worthy – or at least that is the plan! In the meantime, thank you to Chloris for giving us the platform to share our monthly stars and do pop over to her blog where she has been sharing her lovely dahlias this week before they get nobbled by the frost.


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39 Responses to Late October Colours

  1. bcparkison says:

    Everything still looks pretty good. the rock and brick help retain heat so maybe a few more days will bless you with color.

  2. Heyjude says:

    Lovely to have another look around your garden before the frost hits it.

  3. Peach6972 says:

    wow,Beautiful color n pics😍💕👌

  4. Look at all those pinks! Your garden is gorgeous. I miss growing cosmos. I had an amazing, self-seeded crop one year, then never again. Hmmmm

    • tonytomeo says:

      Yes, there is definitely a tendency for those rich pinks.
      I have never been able to limit colors to a range. When I lived in town, yellow and orange worked on the home I lived in, but I am not so keen on yellow and orange. White is my favorite color, but it is not good for much outside of the dark forest. Many of my favorite plants are very incompatible with each other, but I grow them because they are my favorites, and I have grown them for so long.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I hadn’t twigged that there were so many pinks in the post! Never had self-seeded cosmos here…

      • The pinks are beautiful. It’s funny, I’m not one to wear or decorate with pink, but I love pink in a garden. It’s so cheerful.

        Years ago I bought one of those mixed seed packets with cosmos. I didn’t get much out of the packet the first season and frankly forgot about them. When I saw this huge plant, I wondered if it was a weed I’d never seen before. My friend, Doug, who’s a nurseryman told me they were cosmos. I let them be, and by summer’s end they were taller then me. It was a stunning display. That year I made gift cards with cosmo seeds for local friends who also get good results. I’m not sure why mine didn’t reseed.

        • Cathy says:

          That’s really interesting – and strangely I have found that many of the things that DO self-seed don’t do so for a couple of years, then appear as if out of nowhere. So perhaps your rogue cosmos will be back next year!!

  5. Ali says:

    I find ‘Falstaff’ very frustrating too. I have the climber and thought that I don’t have the knack with training them, but its neighbour ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ is much bushier and produces many more flowers. I do love Falstaff’s flowers more, but wish he would behave.
    Your Salvia ‘Neon’ is beautiful. Love these jamensis hybrids.

    • Cathy says:

      It’s too early to assess Falstaff properly here as he is still new, but if I recall correcly he is meant to grow to about 4 feet – didn’t know there was a climbing version though

    • Cathy says:

      Oh, and thanks for telling me Neon is a jamensis hybrid; I didn’t know that and it will help me seek similarly hardy varieties

  6. LisaDay says:

    Beautiful. I would be sad, particularly as everything here is covered in snow. Also sad.

  7. Lovely! Just cut the last of straw flowers yesterday too and they are drying in the kitchen. Will definitely grow again for all the reasons you mentioned.

  8. Still looking great

  9. Ju says:

    Hi new follower here. You still have a lots of colour in your garden.. beautiful.

    • Cathy says:

      Hello Ju and welcome to Rambling in the Garden. The garden is certainly not awash with colour but it is good to have these splashes here and there

  10. Chloris says:

    Lovely selection Cathy, thank you so much for joining in and showing your October beauties. I can see why you love persicarias so much, yours are gorgeous. Wow, Phyllis Fancy is enormous. I like Neon, it is very similar to Water Melon. Your tall cosmos are gorgeous, mine are long gone.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris. Cerro potosi which I recently acquired from a garden visit seems similar too. Certainly wasn’t anticipating PF to be such a monster – no need for a salvia to be that tall!

  11. Your dahlias are positively glowing and singing Cathy. I expect that tonight’s predicted minimum temperatures could well polish these lovely flowers off for 2018. I will also miss my dahlias more than my cosmos. ‘Falstaff’ is such a fabulous colour but it was a challenging year for any new arrivals. I hope that he flourishes next year

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna, it fertainly was a challenging year for newbies so it is good to see many of them starting to flourish once the heat and drought were over

  12. Cathy says:

    Your dahlias really are lovely this year Cathy. I just got a link to an online preview catalogue for Chiltern seeds and there are so many gorgeous plants, but Cosmos beat them all as summer annuals. The Persicarias have had another good year too. 🙂

  13. Pauline says:

    So many lovely pink blooms, your garden must look lovely at the moment.Th cosmos are looking beautiful, such a stalwart for this time of year.

  14. Cathy your Dahlias are beauty and a wonderful and beautiful treasure. They are pure and precious colors: I love them. I like your Cosmos a lot like the Persicans that are beautiful. So many Roses in your garden make it very special. All your beautiful plants make your garden a beauty in all seasons. Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you. I have already added more roses with still more to come so I can look forward to even more rose blooms next year!

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