As September draws to a close, the long border is still holding stubbornly on to summer, unperturbed by the recent heavy downpours.
Pinks and purples dominate this side of the garden; all the cosmos whose flowers float above this border were self sown seedlings from last year’s plants. Sadly, the cosmos that I intentionally raised from seed, having been rather neglected during our grief-stricken spring and planted out far too late, with feet already tightly bound, have struggled. I planted them, eventually, into the narrow borders of the front garden, where they were soon subjected to further trauma with the erection of scaffolding for a week’s work on the roof, and those that survived are still a mass of ferny foliage with tightly balled buds only just forming. Perhaps they will still flower before the first frosts, but in the meantime it’s the self-seeded specimens in the back garden who steal the show, all shades of pink and white dancing above the deepening sedum heads.
Aster frikartii ‘Mönch’ is still our only aster in full flower; its beautiful slender lavender petals seem designed to sparkle with dew in September’s light.
Aster ericoides f. prostratus ‘Snow Flurry’, an AGM holder which I bought last autumn as a small plant, has spread well through the year, covering the ground with its heathered foliage (already collecting the first fallen leaves from the trees above) and its first small starry flower. Soon it should be smothered in a flurry of these white flowers, earning its title.
The field border, meanwhile, has surrendered to the season and is already dressed mostly for autumn. Tawny seed heads stand proudly on spent teasels, daisies and scabious, replacing their former bright colours with muted shades of umber and sienna. As the herbaceous plants die back, the turning leaves and stems of the dogwoods and euonymus here should be revealed in all their finery, although still small plants.
This border is home to two further asters, whose small buds, along with those of A. turbinellus opposite, are just beginning to open as September passes the baton to October. We have another small perennial aster which I planted in the kitchen border this spring, but it does not show any sign of flowering this year, alas, so I may have to wait another year to share that…
In the kitchen garden, we are still picking runner beans, courgettes, chard, fennel, beetroot, greenhouse cucumbers and occasional mini carrots. As the weather cools we are keeping a watchful eye for forecasts of frost, so that we can harvest our squashes undamaged, leaving them to ripen as late as we dare.
Thanks to Helen, the Patient Gardener, for hosting the end-of-month view again.