September Glow

The days are now much colder, so much so that the log burner is already earning it’s keep and the woolly jumpers are back out! The garden is looking battered due to the high winds and persistent rain but I must say that there are a few flowers that remain resilient. The Agastache (above left) is a firm favourite already and the bees can’t leave it alone. Despite being a fairly tall plant it hasn’t required staking and it will be planted again next year. The Black-eyed Susan (above photos, bottom right) was very slow to take off this year but seems to making up for lost time now. I’m not sure about the name of the orange flower (top right) so help is needed please! It’s been flowering prolifically for a couple of months now but requires regular dead heading.

I’ve confessed previously that I have an unfathomable attraction to dahlias. These have been grown for cutting and are looking beautiful (and the slugs think that they taste pretty scrummy too…). The varieties above are all from the Venetian Collection from Sarah Raven (a Gardening Goddess!) and I’ll definitely be ordering more tubers from her again next year.

I love these words from Susan Branch!
There is a wonderful website that I have recently found that has the most delightful artwork and posts. There is an example (left) of Susan Branch’s work and I love it! I’ve always been interested in decorative words and I’ve toyed with calligraphy and watercolour paints in the past but Susan’s work really speaks to me. Her words dance and her art is simply beautiful.

It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly October and thoughts are turning to the Autumn and the cooler weather.

In the next couple of weeks I’ll be putting the garden to bed and tucking it up nice and tight ready for winter. I love this time of year as it holds great anticipation for the  next growing season and allows me time to reflect on the work already done… it’s been a great year so far despite the horrendous weather in the UK. I just hope that we have a few fairly dry weekends so that I can get some jobs done as it’s no fun digging in mud with my wellies filled with rain water!!

For the Love of Dahlias

There are certain things in life that I would happily collect indiscriminately  (herbs, pots, seed catalogues etc) but thankfully there is a little voice in my head that says “Enough! You don’t need anymore!”. I’m not generally known for doing as I’m told but I usually listen to this advice.

Just recently, however,  my thoughts have turned increasingly towards Dahlias and the strange thing is, the little voice has deserted me! I usually prefer my plants to be subtle, frothy perennials, understated and pretty, but all of a sudden I need a fix of acid brights and in your face brashness! Is this me intuitively knowing what will work well in my south facing plot… or have I simply lost the plot? 

My family bought me a great present from Sarah Raven’s Dahlia Collection  and the parcel arrived yesterday. Hooray! I know that Sarah Raven’s seeds and plants seem fairly expensive but in my experience the quality is excellent and the service is outstanding.

Dahlias

Unfortunately, this little bag of tubers is doing nothing to help my obsession – especially as it arrived so beautifully wrapped with two additional plant catalogues… full of dahlia pictures!! I’m already wondering how to recycle the hessian and ribbon as I love to re-use things. I can’t stop looking at the beautiful Dahlias!

This is what they could look like this Summer!

I’ve only grown Dahlias once before and I didn’t get to enjoy them properly before the slugs had a feast. It was a sad day and I vowed to grow only slug repellant plants after that, especially as I don’t use slug pellets or chemicals. So much for garden vows, eh?

Okay, I must go and order some more Dhalia tubers before the bossy voice comes back. I’ve seen a lovely magenta variety that the bees will simply love!