Six on Saturday: Disgraceful!

As autumn progresses, it brings with it a range of changes within the garden as annuals turn up their toes, herbaceous plants cast off their earlier finery and trees don their autumn outfits before casting them off like an eager lover. Some changes involve glorious transformations from green to reds, oranges and yellows, but sadly not all seasonal deaths and hibernations are graceful and attractive experiences.

Hostas, for example, begin with a hopeful yellowing of the foliage before giving up trying and shrivelling and shredding instead, and I don’t know what has happened to the pot of Busy Lizzies shown below. They haven’t all collapsed like this, and I showed one of the better ones yesterday; I thought at first watering had been neglected too many times, although they still usually pick up perkily once they have been watered. It is almost as if they have been caught by a frost – which they haven’t, but perhaps they felt the brunt of a cold wind? It seems unlikely so late in the season that they could have suddenly been stricken with the downy mildew that removed Busy Lizzies from our gardens for a number of years. Anyone else had this issue, I wonder?

Echinops never age gracefully and I allow the local bird population only a short window to get any seeds they want before I take them out. In fact, having had two sets of friends visiting over the last two days and no more planned, I will probably start taking out the worst of the dead material in the garden very soon.

Behind the vibrant zinnias, rudbeckias and Cosmos ‘Double Click Cranberries’ that I showed yesterday lurk other cosmos, not at all a pretty sight and definitely ready to come out as soon as time permits. Although both from the same Double Click series these others haven’t grown as tall, and adjustments will need to be made in next year’s planting plan.

Amidst the late flowering clematis, some of which were also featured yesterday, many stems have already dried up ready for hibernation, with some plants valiantly doing both, like Clematis ‘Princess Diana’, which also sports seedheads as a bonus.

It would be a shame for all six my Six on Saturday photos to be disgraceful, so I shall end with the exuberant display of Clematis viticella ‘Walenberg’, which only emerged a few weeks ago after a delayed start but has more than made up for it with its remarkable ‘zero to hero’ growth. What a great display for the end of September, and popping over to visit SoS host Jon the Propagator‘s blog you will no doubt find many more fine displays.

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26 Responses to Six on Saturday: Disgraceful!

  1. Love it, Cathy. Truth in gardening. Lovely writing about plants and attire. You wouldn’t believe how dreadful the gingers in my garden look right now.

  2. Heyjude says:

    My hosta has suddenly given up and totally collapsed! I need to try and excavate it from its pot this year.

    • Cathy says:

      I repotted all of those at the ‘back’ of the house last year and meant to do those at the side this year this year, but managed to keep busy with other things! The others certainly appreciated fresh soil and sometimes a bigger pot, as most of them had been in situ for several years – generally there were so many roots and they were so dry that they came out of the pots easily

  3. hb says:

    It’s that time of year, isn’t it? The Clematis is gorgeous!

  4. bcparkison says:

    Hostas here are ragged too. Do you cut yours back or let them go.

  5. Argh my hostas look like yours. Eek the echinops are too. Some of the cosmos are brown sticks too. No idea about your Busy Lizzie but I would dispose of it soil as well. Thank goodness for the clematis

  6. Paddy Tobin says:

    Yes, such scenes will be commonplace in coming weeks. We have had our first frosts though the days can be bright and cheerful, if cold. It is a pleasant time of the year, I feel.

  7. Jackie Knight says:

    Have you checked for vine weevil in the busy lizzies? They do like them.

  8. pbmgarden says:

    The clematis is beautiful. When things start dying back I just long for spring. Hope it comes quickly.

  9. Anna says:

    Whenever I think of plants that die disgracefully Cathy I think of the black leaves on my clematis jouiniana ‘Praecox’ when it decides to call it a day. Hostas can look rather sorry for themselves too 😢

  10. I think perhaps it partly has to do with daylight hours, in addition to temperatures, at this time of year. My Impatiens are still looking OK, but they are starting to brown around the edges. My Hostas are collapsing, yes, but this is always even more dramatic after the first frost, which will happen very soon for us here in the Northern Midwest U.S.

    • Cathy says:

      You are probably right, Beth. We were close to having a frost last night, although last year our first frost was the beginning of November

  11. tonytomeo says:

    Busy Lizzie was supposed to be ‘new’ cultivars that were resistant to the ‘new’ mildew, but they had the same names and were indistinguishable from the popular cultivars that had been available for years. I do not know what to think about them or the disease. Someone at work grew a few, but they did not worse than before.

  12. Cathy says:

    Lovely clematis, Cathy!

  13. Noelle M says:

    I’m all for cutting back disfigured foliage to give late bloomers a clear stage. Walenberg has such an attractive habit..nice to finish on a positive note.

    • Cathy says:

      I can’t believe the growth it made in such a short time – I ws fairly sure it was still alive but didn’t expect it to try again until next year!

  14. I do enjoy seeing a real garden, Cathy, rather than instagram shiny-ness with all the imperfections edited out. I think all our gardens are at that shaggy stage now and starting to slide disgracefully into autumn. We just need a hard frost and autumn sunlight to transform it into something more artistic!

    • Cathy says:

      I would always tell it how it is Claire, as this blog is as much a record for me as anything else. In some ways I am quite looking forward to a frost, partly for the reasons you gave, but won’t say it too loudly…!

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