Around this time of the month Chloris of the Blooming Garden invites us to share our top ten or so blooms, so on this damp and grey October day I am sharing mine; thanks to Chloris for facilitating this.
Firstly, and I have shown it many many times before, is Persicaria ‘Inverleith’; quite rightly, for this is definitely a plant that dances all night. Its cousins, ‘Red Dragon’ (left) and ‘Painter’s Palette’, are latecomers in terms of their blooming habits, just popping into the party to pay their respects before nipping home and going to bed for the winter. Their token attempts at flowers are more than made up for by their glorious foliage, which has been to a different party.
Many of the remaining roses have been affected by the dampness of the month, but Darcey Bussell, Susan Williams-Ellis and The Mayflower still have some perfect blooms on display:
I had a cutting of Chrysanthemum ‘Mrs Jessie Cooper’ (right) from Chloris and this is flowering prolifically – how best to keep hardy chysanths in decent shape though? Another blogging connection is dance-all-nighter Erodium manescavii, highly recommended by Ali the Mindful Gardener; as promised it has flowered non-stop from May or thereabouts:
Salvia ‘Neon’ (left) has danced seemingly non-stop throughout the season and has reliably come through every winter; unlike the more well-known S Amistad which sulks every year, turns up its toes if left outside over winter and has only just produced its single flower spike. S ‘Phyllis Fancy’ (below), however, flowers well but not till Late September or October, and didn’t come through last winter but grows quickly from cuttings. At Wollerton Old Hall their Phyllises were stockier than mine, which tend to be overly tall – I will try mulching it this year and hope overwintering it will produce shorter and chunkier plants.
I cut back all my astrantia after flowering, and A ‘Bloody Mary’ (right) and ‘Buckland’ have both rewarded me with more flushes:
I suspect my tentative Chelsea Chop of Sedum spectabile was just a little too tentative, although perhaps it has sprawled a little less than normal:
In the Coop I have had a modicum of success with nerines for the first time, but only about 5 flower spikes over four or five pots. I love the deep pink of Mr John (right) but will still be well chuffed when N Bowdenii ‘Alba’ (left) and ‘Isabel’ (below) open fully:
And finally, to the bottom of the garden for what might be the last hurrah for the dahlias – they deserve a symphony of hurrahs for their staying power: