It is too early for much autumn leaf colour but the garden still seems dominated by shades of yellow and orange. The chrysanthemums have yet to open and the Michaelmas daisies are only just starting. They both seem so late this year, perhaps because of the summer heat halting growth or because I seem so keen to get summer out of the way and to get into the business of clearing up the garden. I spent the other morning pulling up annual bedding and I am sure I have never felt so glad to see the back of it.
One plant that will not be pulled up and I wish could bloom forever is this orange bidens (probably described as red by the breeder). These low bidens, probably derived from B. ferulifolia, are treasures. The species itself is a great plant but sets seeds and is a bit rangy. The new hybrids include amazing orange shades and are more compact. I bought this in spring and I am not sure but it could be a Beedance (R) bidens. I am not sure because several companies have produced similar series. If it is a Beedance it is sterile but does produce pollen. My plant has not produced seed and the flowers are slightly fragrant. Pollinators certainly like it, and I do too. It has not stopped blooming all summer and is better now than when it was planted, wide and neat and covered in flowers. I have taken cuttings so I will see if it roots easily. The older stems, where they touch the soil, have formed roots and there is no reason why it should not root easily. It is ‘protected’ but I am just taking cuttings for personal use. There is a chance that it will survive outside in a mild winter. This was one plant and is now more than 60cm across and about 15cm high. A good plant.
The Rosa eglanteria hedge is in its second season of interest. The pink flowers are rather fleeting but the hips last for months. Birds don’t seem to show much interest in the profuse, orange fruit, which I find rather ungrateful of them, but they are very showy and a different shade to the sea buckthorn behind the seaside shed.
I moved most of the ‘Papaya Popsicle’ kniphofia this spring, to a sunny, sloping bed near the pond. They had been in the ground three years and needed to be divided, but the dry summer rather slowed their establishment and they struggled. But being good old (or, in this case, quite new) red hot pokers, they took it all in their stride and are blooming away, albeit at least a month later than usual. I rather like the combination of their fiery display and the adjacent strobilanthes. The young forsythia, which needed a quick home, will have to be moved this autumn, but this colourful pairing will stay.