It seems to have been wet and windy for ever. The sultry days of summer (yes we really did have them this year) are a distant memory. The water butts are overflowing, the whole garden is squelchy and gardening is difficult. A few hours of sun on Friday gave a little relief and the solar panels did more than just sit there for a while but grey is the order of the days – all fifty shades and more. But, apart from a scary frost in September it has been mild and lots of plants are still performing. Most of the roses are blown to bits but good old ‘Stanwell Perpetual’ is made of sterner stuff and is still producing buds. More importantly they are opening and, despite the gales, the blooms are perfect, and sweetly scented. What a great rose this is. It is thorny and not the tidiest of roses, but it flowers for at least six months a year.
The old garden chrysanthemums are in bloom for a much shorter time but although they are dull for most of summer, they suddenly take centre stage and I am grateful for their flowers. When I wander round the garden I make a bee line for them.
A lot of these are old friends, like the pink ‘Mei Kyo’ and the rather straggly, yellow ‘Margery Fish’ (below)
‘Picasso’ is rather like a bronze sport of ‘Mei Kyo’ and is rather rare. I always consider it to be ancient but with that name I can’t believe that it is. If it is named after the only Picasso I know I can’t see why such a demure and conventional plant should bear his name.
My apologies for the awful photos; the sun just wouldn’t come out.
But even in the dull light the fruits of euonymus are bright and beautiful.
And a slight advert. I often write for Landscape magazine. I have a piece in about pittosporum this month. It is a great magazine, combining all sorts of ‘country’ activities including cooking and crafts. The Christmas issue is out now. As it happens, and not a lot of people know this, I was involved in its creation, being on the panel that devised it, when I worked for the company as editor of Garden Answers. I proposed a different name* and I still find the name of Landscape a bit odd. But, despite that, I think it is a good magazine and has something for everyone. (it is UK-centric)
*Because it was supposed to be a celebration of the countryside I wanted to call it Arcadia or Arcadian, but I was overruled.