There is still a surprising amount of colour in the garden, mid-October, and not yet from turning leaves.
The long border continues to blaze with colour; Verbena bonariensis and Gaura lindheimeri still burgeoning.
At the front of this border, the ground-hugging carpet of Aster ericoides f. prostratus ‘Snow Flurry’ has begun to open its mass of delicate white starry flowers.
The field border opposite has been transformed by another aster.
I was surprised by the appearance of this plant here last year, which I have still been unable to identify. It stands around a metre high, with willowy leaves, red tinged stems and masses of mostly white flowers which are suffused with a pink-mauve blush, and have the brightest furry yellow eyes which glow in the sunlight.
It leans slightly haphazardly after the weight of a neighbouring Salvia turkestanica sprawled heavily upon it all summer. Whatever its name, and however it arrived here, it is a very beautiful addition to the October garden.
The dark leaves of Aster lateriflorus ‘Prince’ seem to have lost their purple colouring, as the first pink-centred flowers have begun to open. Aster frikartii ‘Mönch’ is still a mass of flowers, joined here by some pink snapdragons which have self-sown from nearby pots, although its stems are rather lax and will require staking in years to come. Further down the border, Aster turbinellus has opened its first delicate flowers in a much paler shade of lavender.
The sedum flowers have deepened further in colour; one of these sedums makes a pleasing tableau with the bronze foliage of Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’ (now more accurately known as Ageratina altissima ‘Chocolate’) whose clusters of pink buds are poised on the verge of opening into sprays of white flowers.
A pale lavender Phlox paniculata flowers on, as do various penstemons and scabious around the garden: glimpsed behind the penstemons are the ivory flowers of tall S. columbaria ssp. ochroleuca; the pale blue ruffled flowers of S. caucasica ‘Clive Greaves’ dance in front of Stipa tenuissima at the front of the border, and the unstoppable Knautia macedonica, which has barely paused for breath all year, remains awash with crimson buttons.
Japanese anemones continue to bloom around the garden; here the semi-double violet-hued flowers of Prinz Heinrich, and the pure white tissue-paper flowers of Honorine Jobert.
There are plenty of other flowers also still in bloom: roses, geraniums, salvias, dahlias, Nicotiana alata (although the white trumpets of N. sylvestris have subsided now, replaced by green seedheads), echinacea, rudbeckia, cosmos et. al. After our first frost this weekend, their days are numbered now, so I feast my eyes (and lens) upon them while I still can.
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