October Flowers

There is still a surprising amount of colour in the garden, mid-October, and not yet from turning leaves.

Part of the long border, still blooming mid-October

The long border continues to blaze with colour; Verbena bonariensis and Gaura lindheimeri still burgeoning.

Aster ericoides Snow Flurry

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, mid October

The field border opposite has been transformed by another aster.

Unknown 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.

Unknown aster

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.

Asters: CW from top left A. lateriflorus Prince, A. frikartii Monch, A. turbinellus

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.

Sedum Herbstfreude & Eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate'

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.

October Flowers: Phlox, penstemon and Scabiosa col. ssp. ochroleuca; Scabious 'Clive Greaves'; Knautia macedonica

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.

October Anemones: (l-r) Prinz Heinrich and Honorine Jobert

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.

Verbascum chaixii Album, Nicotiana alata, Penstemon Blackbird, Salvia patens, Dahlia David Howard

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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20 thoughts on “October Flowers

  1. Your garden certainly doesn’t look very autumnal yet. The first Aster looks very similar to one I have as A. ‘Monte Casino’. I’ll post some close ups in the next few days and you can let me know what you think. Christina

    • If you don’t look too closely at the trees or the leaves starting to collect on the grass, then it hardly looks autumnal at all in our garden. Thanks for the thoughts on the aster, I’ll investigate Monte Casino and other A. pringlei a bit closer, though our flowers and leaves both seem a bit ‘chunkier’ than the images i just brought up. Does yours have the pink flush? It’s quite pronounced this year in most lights. I was pondering A. praealtus for a while, but again I’m not quite convinced…

  2. Your garden is looking gorgeous. We had a bit of frost on Saturday morning but not enough to finish off the flowers, which is nice. Leaves have started to turn on my acer and liquidambar but the garden is still holding out. Some more of this gorgeous sunshine would be nice over the coming weeks.

    • Thanks. Yes, the frost here on Saturday night wasn’t enough to damage anything, more of a warning shot, but I suspect some harder ones are not too far behind now. It would be lovely to prolong the sunshine for a few more weeks, wouldn’t it?

  3. My Japanese anemones continue to bloom their heads off but the sedums have now long gone over. Surprisingly-or it is to me, the foxgloves have had another flowering-albeit on shorter stalks but the flowers are very welcome in the Autumn garden nevertheless. And yes had a frost here at the weekend-time to start protecting some of the more delicate plants now…

    • I like the thought of a bonus second flowering from your foxgloves, I don’t think ours is so obliging. Definitely feels like time to bring the last tender plants under cover.

  4. We had our first frost of the year a couple of days ago, and I keep expecting a heavier one, which will put an end to all but the hardiest of my plants. Your garden still looks almost Summery!

    • The garden’s surprisingly colourful still, isn’t it? Our first frost didn’t seem to affect the plants either, but it does feel like a matter of time now till another frost cuts them down.

    • Thanks, I was really pleased with the last photo.
      Part of me is almost looking forward to a quiet winter garden, and then watching the plants creep back one by one in the spring…

  5. Gosh – still so much going on. Most of my ‘stuff’ is over and certainly knautia finished yonks ago. And my salvia patens never really got going. I thought your growing conditions were meant to be tough, eh? Dave

    • Funnily I’m not sure our knautia has stopped flowering all year, it was still pushing out odd blooms in the winter – I worry that it will wear itself out and keel over soon! I’m amazed by how much is still flowering too.

  6. I’m jealous you still have so many blooming flowers. Even our asters and Honorine Jobert have faded, though not completely gone. Have to satisfy myself with foliage – and catalogues!

    • We must be a little behind you, as some of the asters have only begun to flower in the past week or so – hope they’re not cut off in their prime by a turn in the weather. Ah, catalogue season…

  7. Your October garden is still positively glowing with colour Sara. I’m off to investigate aster ‘Snow Flurry’ forthwith 🙂

  8. Your field border is still looking lovely, and you have such a lot of colour around the garden. I definitely need to invest in some asters for next year, although I did find I had one I had forgotten about, probably as it hadn’t flowered before, and unfortunately without a label.

    • Thanks. I do love asters, especially those close to the species. A little frustrating to have an unlabelled one – I can definitely sympathise!

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