This final week of September is going to be a lovely one. The temperatures have dropped but there is plenty of sunshine for us to enjoy. I visited the garden yesterday and after a very wet & soggy weekend it was sparkling in the sunshine.
So I'm starting this month with the Colchicum autumnale in the Arboretum, photo 1. They have appeared all around the garden and add a touch of welcome colour. Although they are called autumn crocus they are not a true crocus which you can also see in the photo. They come from the Colchicaceae plant family unlike the true crocuses which belong to the Iridaceae family.
Moving on to the Courtyard the addition of all the plants have proved a huge success this year, photo 2. This plant in particular caught my eye, it's a Ochagavia carnea, photo 3 (courtesy of James). It is part of the Bromeliacae family which we will all recognise as the pineapple family. It is originally from Chile and you must be careful as the small hooks on the edges of the leaves are very sharp indeed.
The Yuccas are now all flowering well. Here they are in the bed in front of the house, photo 4, framing the clock tower in the background. To the left of the house is the Bowles bed which has been cleared ready for planting up soon, photo 5. I am looking forward to seeing this next year when it's had time to establish itself.
The Eremurus border is still full of interest, photo 6. The Sedums are all taking on their autumn colours of dark pink just now and provide a valuable source of food for butterflies and other insects at this time of year. Also in this border is this little beauty,Eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy' which looks very happy here, photo 7.
Moving on to the Kitchen Garden area there is still a profusion of colour everywhere. The border in front of the Peach House was sown with annual flower seed which has been flowering all summer and is still looking lovely, photo 8. The 'pumpkin patch' looks amazing too and is full of pumpkins and squashes ripening in the autumn sunshine, photo 9. This Turban squash is one of my favourites, photo 10. It is also known as Turk's turban or French turban which I think is very apt.
Walking through the Glasshouses is something I do on every visit. It is such a pleasure to stop and investigate all the little wonders that are growing there, photo 11. The Haemanthus albiflos, or paintbrush plant, is originally from South Africa and is a very suitable houseplant, photo 12. I love the flowers on this plant they are so delicate but you really do imagine you could paint with it. The Aeschynanthus has been flowering all summer, photo 13. This one is called 'Hot Flush' ..... say no more!! Next is this wonderful succulent that looks as though it has a spider plant sat on it's head! This is Pachypodium lamerei, photo 14. This is also known as Madagascan Palm and I think I want one! Outside the Glasshouses, the cut flower area is still flowering well, photo 15. I remember seeing Steph planting each one individually through membrane on a very hot day at the beginning of summer! So a big well done, Steph, it still looks fabulous.
There has been one casualty this summer, photo 16. Down in the Alpine Meadow this Incense Poplar fell down last week, photo 16. Not sure why but probably due to age & extreme weather conditions.
Still lots to see as the plants on the Pond Terrace continue to delight visitors and it is a very popular place to sit and while away some time before returning to the hurly-burly world beyond the garden, photo 17. The view as you walk away from the Pond terrace is equally enjoyable, photo 18. The trees here are showing a teasing glimpse of the autumn colour to come!
Finally, whilst walking around the garden I'm always aware of the other 'flora and fauna' hiding in plain sight. Here is a round up of what I have seen on my walks this month. First up is everyone's favourite, the Robin. This little bird followed me around the garden singing to me all the way, it was beautiful. Next is a bird I see quite often but proves very difficult to photograph and that is the Jay, photo 20. It is part of the crow family but somehow doesn't seem quite so menacing. The striking blue feathers on its wings are all you see usually see as it flies away because it doesn't sit still for long. There are still quite a few butterflies out and about and this one was enjoying the sunshine, photo 21. It's a Speckled Wood butterfly which has increased in numbers in recent years due to climate change. Last but not least is this bracket fungus I saw on one of the trees, photo 22. It's actually an edible mushroom and is called 'chicken of the woods' because apparently it tastes like chicken?!
Hope you've enjoyed this little meander around the garden.
See you next time.