September Review

As September draws to a close, the long border is still holding stubbornly on to summer, unperturbed by the recent heavy downpours.

Colourful end of September garden border

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.

Part of the long border, end of September

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 frikartii 'Monch' flowers

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.

First flower opens on Aster ericoides 'Snow Flurry'

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.

Field border donning autumn colours, end of September

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…

Courgette (Defender F1)

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.

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23 thoughts on “September Review

  1. Sara that first photo of your long border is fabulous, the flowers seem to dance and as you say float, your other borders are all looking good in their autunm dress too and veggies, yum, I think I must try more veggies next year, Frances

    • Thanks Frances, that view down the long border from our little terrace has been one of my favourites all summer, I’m thrilled that it’s still so full of colour.

  2. I made runner bean chutney today with some of the more woody runner beans…. and it has worked really well 🙂 Thought I would share in case you have a surplus 🙂

    • Thanks. What I call the long border is a little over 12m long I think, the longest in our modest garden, though it would be short in comparison with most herbaceous borders of note!

    • Thanks Christina, there are some real workhorses in this border that just keep flowering their hearts out, without so much as a bit of deadheading from me. The Gaura and V. bonariensis have been particularly long-flowering, I’ll miss them when they finally get hit by the frosts.

    • Thank you, a little sunshine and it’s hard to believe we’re moving into autumn already. I’ve been so pleased with this border – I only planted most of it this time last year!

    • Thank you, Karen, I’m really enjoying the muted colours of seed heads that are taking over the field border now (but still love the colours across the garden, fickle me!)

  3. I do like your borders so colourful and full of movement which I really like in a border.

    Thanks for joining in again this month

    Helen

  4. I do love the way you write about your garden Sara, I now have an image of geisha girl cosmos! Your long border is so very pretty. Have noted down Aster ericoides f. prostratus ‘Snow Flurry’, having never come across an aster with such lovely foliage.

  5. Your borders are looking lovely, even in this late period and I am a big fan of seed heads. Mine need to be cut back, there is sadly little of beauty in them this year but never mind, there’s always next year 🙂

  6. I enjoyed your end of month view Sara. Glorious colours and shapes. I imagine that the field border will soon fill out as the shrubs mature. With a backdrop like that you can’t go wrong 🙂 Is it cosmos ‘Purity’ that is just budding? I remember reading somewhere that there can be problems with this performing well in our summers – something to do with light I think. I will try to remember where I read it – maybe one of Christopher Lloyd’s books. I know that some years it has been very late getting going for me.

    • Thanks Anna. No not Purity, but several different types – they did just stay in 7cm pots for far too long, and having scaffolding poking into half of them once they were in the ground didn’t help. There are a few flowers starting to open now, and if the weather’s kind we may have a month of flowering yet.

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