Days of contrast

Autumn has arrived. It is difficult to predict what the weather will throw at us from hour to hour. Yesterday was largely still and sunny, warm even, until I noticed Mount Leinster disappear under angry black clouds. A few claps of thunder was accompanied by a ferocious wind and large spots of rain. It is all to be expected and when I consider that, this day last year, we had had our first autumn frost I am not complaining at all. The garden is still full of colour.

But the wind has taken its toll on the artichokes which are now at a very awkward angle – awkward because they are blocking the path. They are just about to bloom, which was a nice bonus. They will have to stay at this strange position until I get really fed up with them and then reduce their height and allow the tubers to mature.

The wind has also been slightly unkind to Salvia uliginosa. I love this plant and it came through last winter unharmed and has made a broad clump in its second year. When the flowers start they seem almost insignificant but now that there must be thousands of flowers it makes quite a show. And I don’t mind that the stems are weighed down by the flowers in the rain, as long as the stems do not break.

And the heptacodium is doing its thing at last. I saw a wonderful plant in full flower at Mount Venus Nursery last week, just outside the walled garden. Mine is younger and a little behind but now almost in full flower. And you can see how wrongly it is named since the flowers are in sixes not sevens.

And I was delighted to see flower buds on the mimosa. The poor Acacia dealbata gets stripped of leaves in winter as the gales blow across the garden but it picks up in summer. These buds will need to remain intact if there is any chance of flowers next spring and I am not counting my chickens yet but the fact that there are any buds at all – the first time – fills me with hope.

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4 Comments on “Days of contrast”

  1. Meriel
    September 29, 2021 at 10:47 am #

    Lovely to see a couple of long shots of your garden looking so well and mature too. I have had a similar problem with my J. Artichokes. I re dug my veg area this year and I seem to have over fertilised and some have reached at least 10 ft or more! I was wondering about chopping them down by half – can I take it that this will do no harm? At least you have that gorgeous Salvia, I’ve planted it twice and it hasn’t made it through either winter. So disappointing, especially since it is so free draining here. My Heptacodium has grown so fast and is looking particularly stunning this year. A pity it’s in an out of the way spot that I don’t see too much. I had never realised it would grow so large. I must take cuttings.

    • thebikinggardener
      September 29, 2021 at 10:51 am #

      Yes the artichokes can be cut back a bit without doing harm though it is a shame when they are just coming into bloom. I am surprised the salvia does not survive with you – or rather I am surprised it did with me!

  2. Paddy Tobin
    September 30, 2021 at 9:23 am #

    I’ve never fallen in love with artichokes! Must give them a try again. This rain is welcome and we will get plenty over the weekend, it seems. It will give us a rest!

    • thebikinggardener
      September 30, 2021 at 10:06 am #

      I can’t say I love them but it is an element of trying to grow diverse crops! I am currently fed up with making squash soup. Yes we have had some meaningful rain and being confined indoors every now and then will be welcome, as long as it is not for too long.

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