We have reached the midpoint of November, and a series of clear sunny days, though the air is cold and the sun’s trajectory noticeably lower in the sky.
The garden is a little subdued now; the last sweet peas have been cut down and many of the faltering cosmos plants removed, while those which remain have fewer and smaller blooms; more of a pavane than the fandango of summer.
The Cardoon buds are still poised on the cusp of opening, although unlikely now to unfurl their flags before the first frosts.
There are small flares of colour still; by the terrace, the antirrhinums continue to provide a little jazz, alongside the last few stems of the Salvia nemorosa Caradonna, muted sedum heads and small clusters of Verbena bonariensis high above.
There are a few lone flowers still shyly showing their faces across the garden; Gaura lindheimeri, fading Larkspur stems of pink and purple, and small blue Nigella blooms.
The Rudbeckia fulgida var. speciosa are still flourishing; in the top picture you can also see one of the occasional trumpets of a lone Penstemon flower that accompanies this late show. These Rudbeckia had a disappointingly low germination rate, but their initial reluctance has been shaken off with vigourous growth since; they have really lit up this part of the garden and bring me great pleasure. Definitely worth the wait.
But the undisputed star of the garden this month, with its generous sprinkle of lavender umbels starred with ivory pollen, is the Eryngium planum ‘Blue Glitter’.
In such an open border, and prey to the strong winds that blow across the fields unfettered, it does require gentle staking; I hope that as our hedge grows and deflects the winds the stake may no longer be needed.
Regardless of the unknown quality of its uprightness, this plant captivates me still. How cruel that it is only a matter of time before Jack Frost scampers across and pinches out these blue braziers. But what a star performer it is!
Onward then, we march towards Winter: only five weeks until the Winter Solstice, yet the garden is still unmarked by frost and clinging on to Autumn’s skirts.
Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.