Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Garden Bounty

As September nearly ends the garden and allotment have become really productive.I went to the plot today and harvested a Unicorn Cabbage,and more Italian Carrots.I picked more Tomatoes from the garden and greenhouse.The Cheyenne Chilli's continue to go yellow.There are smaller purple Tiger ones growing on still but not on the plate.Also on the plate is a Maris Piper Potato from the plot,and Pink Fir Potato's from the garden grow bags.I made Carrot Soup, and Tomato soup with the bounty from the garden/plot. A surprise outside was this scented Abyssinian Gladiolus.It was blooming in the Moliniux Roses,hidden away.It has a drooping flower,with purple colours in the centre of the white petals.I planted about ten of these but only the one has bloomed so far.A volunteer plant is this Blue Lobelia that has grown between the paving slabs near the decked area.They are so bright and cheery.I planted them along the edge of the sunken border before.It has obviously self seeded.
Surprise plants in new places always bring a smile to your face.The weather has been hot and sunny.A late Indian summer?It brings the gardens colours out.
I have already started to visualise the work i need to do on the allotment over the winter.I have Runner beans,Parsnips,Swedes,Brussels Sprouts,Carrots,and Cabbages still growing.There are empty beds that can be dug over now.
I have to work tomorrrow before I can get to spend time outdoors.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Changing Seasons And Hot Chocolate

This flower represents a triumph for me this year.I bought some Chocolate Cosmos tubers which I have grown on.They were so slow to start with that I worried that they would rot in the pot.Just as I was giving up all hope when it sprouted leaves.I have the pot on the outdoor table so I can smell the sweet smelling flower.It is a Mexican Perennial and one of my favourite Autumn flowers.Its dark looks and chocolate scent make it a winner.I replanted two pots with the Petunia plug plants that had survived being left in the trays.I love the vibrant colours.The first pot has a Scabiosa in the middle.The second pot has a Japanese Painted Fern.
Interestingly I read that there are more rare Japanese plants growing in the UK than there are growing wild in Japan.The plant hunters of the 19Th century took a lot out to feed peoples love of new and exotic plants.
People now still love buying new plants,and exotic new species.At least there are examples here of Japanese plants that could be returned to the wild,or cultivated en Mass then returned.
I love these Simple Pansy's.They have a myriad of paintbox colours, and combinations.They seem to grow well in Yorkshire,and have a long flowering time.
It is officially Autumn now according to the calender.I'm enjoying the colours of the garden that remain,dotted between the newly formed seed heads.There are more replacement plug plants growing on for the baskets and the sunken border.I have to work this weekend before more days off.
I hope Autumn Watch will be back on our screens soon.Chris Packham will be reunited with Michaela Strachan.Like the Really Wild Show that I watched when i was younger.
I saw the Hedgehog in our garden last night snuffling around the bird feeding station eating the bits the birds dropped.He must be fattening up ready for the winter hibernation.I heard our resident Owls last night,and I think Foxes for the first time.Nature is bountiful at this time of year so everything is eating well before winter.I am trying to enjoy the gardens in this time of changes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pink Ballet Dancers

As the nights get longer,and the daytime temperature dips the time to blog lessens.I have been working lots,and the cold wet weather makes inside a more comfortable option.
I have been harvesting Tomatoes and Chili's over the past week.I need to get to the allotment to harvest the Cabbages,Pumpkins,and Carrots.
There are more plug plants growing on in trays ready for winter baskets.They are all hardy i hope.
The Fuchsias photographed (that look like ballet dancers in tutu's) need to be taken out of the summer baskets and grown on in pots over the winter in the shelter of the greenhouse.I will warm it with a paraffin lamp this year on below freezing nights.
I want to get out into the garden tomorrow to take more photos.The garden looks well lived in now,with many ornamental seed heads forming for the birds.
The leaves are slowly beginning to turn from green to oranges and browns.The leaves have not begun to fall properly yet.The calender says it is Autumn on Friday.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Harlequin Blue 2011

This first photo shows a plant that has been growing for two growing seasons before it has finally bloomed, the Streptocarpus Harlequin Blue.I saw this plant first at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2010 where it won new plant of the year 2010.It was the first Streptocarpus with bi colour flowers.Blue on top, and pale yellow below.I had to wait until the Autumn Flower Show to buy plant.It has taken all last year,and nine months of this year for it to bloom.I love the colours.All my Streptocarpus were killed last year as i left them in an unheated greenhouse.Trying to make room for Cat in the kitchen.The severe freeze killed them all.All that has survived is the Streptocarpus Charlotte but she is a bit sickly.The sun has been shining today.Cat has cut the front and back garden grass.It looks invigorated now.She topped up the birds food too.I was listening to the birds singing today in bed (in the loft bedroom).The grass is now beautifully cut,now the path needs cleaning up.It has debris on it,and soil left from the mole hills.This sunshine has given some of the plants a new lease of life.The Lady Emma Hamilton Rose has got more rose buds on it.She is growing between the grasses, and the Asters.The two Buxus are growing away nicely.I want to clip them into a ball shape but want them to grow a bit bigger first.Once they have decent size I can trim them to a round ball.It is cheaper to buy smaller plants and try to grow them on.The sickly Rose Wisley has a dainty little bloom on it.It has perfect flowers but has been looking poorly for most of this year.The little pink Rose made me smile when I saw it.Despite adversity it is still trying to flower.This wildflower clump is growing on the edge of the greenhouse.I love these sunshine flowers.these are loved by Hoverflys and late season bees.Another late blooming surprise is this Ceanothus.It has the most fragrant blue flowers that smell of honey.These attract the Bee's from miles.It bloomed much earlier in the season,so it was a surprise to find two flower spikes growing away.
It is the Autumn Flower Show from Friday to Sunday.I am working the next four nights so I will have to miss it this year.I will try to book it off next year.
The weekend is forecast to be wet.There was some greenhouse damage from the strong winds.The garden is quite densely planted so the plants just bobbed around but not too much damage was sustained.
The garden is looking a bit raggedy around the edges,but it still suprises me.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wind & Blooms

I finished my weekend at work and have been resting today.The Hurricane Katia has made its way across the Atlantic Ocean.The winds are now buffeting the west coast of Britain.Its amazing how a Hurricane that was in New York had enough steam to cross the big pond.The garden has been battered today by gusting winds.The bird table has blown over,and other debris has been thrown around the garden.These Butterfly flowers have been flowering away.I love the flowers facial markings.The Duchess Asters continue to attract Bees to gain some late nectar.The colour they add makes up for their slow growing.These originated in a packet of seeds my Mum sent me a few Xmas's ago.Their colours remind me of coloured Jelly beans.I will grow more of these next year.An addition this year was this Red Dianthus.It has more pink markings than the plant label photo showed!Maybe they used a red camera filter.This plant goes well with my container grown Dianthus Jazz ,that has been growing year after year.I love the colours and the smell of cloves from the flowers.
Cats Mum brought us some plug plants today.They need growing on in the greenhouse and will make some Winter Baskets.Normally the hanging baskets bloom until the first frosts.I would empty the baskets then stack them in the greenhouse.I hope that hardy winter plants can survive a Yorkshire winter.
I will try to keep the Fuchsia's to see if i can over winter them.I have six in baskets,and a climbing Fuchsia from Cromer that cats parents bought us this year.
I hope that the winds do not do too much damage to the garden.I can hear the wind gusting and objects being moved around.
It is a time to reflect on whats grown well,what has not,and what I can grow next year.The seasons keep turning slowly changing how the garden and surrounding Trees looks.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

As the summer draws to a close the colours left in the garden become more vivid.The unsettled grey Sky's cast everything in a bright light.The Bronze Fennel has become beautiful in its yellow flowers.This photo captures the ethereal light of the yellow and green.It has taken really well in the ground by the dogwood.Not to be outdone the Dahlia Bishop Of Llanduff glows like a Mongolian tent on the steppes.The light shone through the petals like a stained glass window.These have been a spectacular success and have bloomed really well throughout the summer.I am wandering about buying more Dahlias in the Autumn that will compliment the Scarlett red flowers and dark foliage of the Bishops?The baskets have gone over a bit,and some of the plants are a bit leggy.These Petunias have been a success.I love their sweet scent and their flowering potential all summer long.As long as they are regularly deadheaded these will flower deep into the Autumn.The birds have started to return into the garden too.This Baby Goldfinch looked so cute standing on the Teasel pecking at the seed head.They keep landing on the plants.They are so light they hardly move a stem.I will see if they feed on these seed heads over the winter?
The days seem to be getting shorter too.The sun rises later and sets sooner.We are heading into Autumn.Autumn watch will soon be back on our TV screens.I hope that the garden continues to draw wildlife.We are still under mole attack along the path.Bottles and Cat poo have deterred him a bit but not stopped him.He is providing me with lots of top soil free of weeds and pests..
The grass outside needs its final cut of the year.The birds are disappearing into it when they hop across the grass.
I made a batch of Tomato soup with my Tomatoes.There are still lots to be picked on the Outdoor Girls,and the Red Cherry's.
The Chili plants took a battering when the wind blew them off the greenhouse shelf.The strong winds wreaked havoc on them.I hope that I will get at least one Scotch Bonnet,and one Habanero Chili by the end of Autumn.The Cheyennes have fruited beautifully but not turned orange yet.I have a good ten purple Tiger Chili fruits forming too.They will keep me warm during the winter if i cook with them.
The garden is being left to form seed heads and to see what wildlife comes into it.There is still harvesting to do at the allotment and in the garden.Autumn will be a spectacular season to photograph and to write about.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Ice And Roses

I cannot believe it is September already.The year has flown by.As i'm writing this the wind is blowing hard outside shaking all the plants and flowers.It has rained for the past few days,and the trees leaves have started to change colour.It has an Autumnal feel to the day.The garden still has flowers blooming.This first one is the Ice Plant or Sedum.It is very attractive to bees and was brought from Fishponds drive.I love the succulent leaves and the small white flowers.These turn into brown seedheads which will stay over the winter.The plant regrows from the base in the spring.I look forward to seeing it as a sign that winter is nearly over.The Rose Wisley has one more Rose bud on it.Despite a poor start the rose has flowered,and the blooms are beautiful.It has an old rose smell,and the petals are so delicate.I love my Roses.I still would like to buy more in the winter.As the summer garden comes to an end I am already imagining the new growing season.It will be time soon to recieve the seed company catalogues,and gardening books for inspiration.The most outstanding Rose of this year has been the Harlow Carr.It has bloomed magnificently for months and stills smells lovely.The branches flop all over and needed supporting to show the pink cupped flowers off.
I have the next few days off to garden,and to go to the allotment.I hope it stays dry for some of my time off.