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.