There’s still plenty of interest in the garden if you look hard enough – here are the things that caught my eye this week.
Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’
This is a really lovely Acer with purply leaves in spring and summer – glowing up in autumn to bright crimson. It’s in a fairly sheltered spot but even so, it seems to cling on to its leaves long after other varieties in my neighborhood have lost theirs.
What I see here is a tree ripe for a bit of light shaping to introduce space between the branches and a more open base. This approach is popular in Japan where opening up space between branches to reveal a more attractive skeletal framework is a fine art. This is a job on my list for later in winter.
The Acer stands at the top of the rockery built in 2019. The rockery stones have softened in tone over the last couple of years and the plants have spread. I try to achieve year-round interest here but just one plant remains in flower – the Saxifraga fortunei. It’s a plucky little plant with very attractive lobed leaves above which pale pink sparkler-like flowers burst forth.
The next flowers to appear will be the snowdrops…
The warm weather continues and we still await the first frost. In a usual year, all the hydrangea heads would have turned burgundy long ago but the one at the centre of this picture still retains its blowsy high summer colouring.
Trailing prostrate varieties such as this provide stunning displays in pots but what this photo shows is that you should avoid cutting them to use in cooking. The pot at the front has a 3-year-old plant in it, which has been regularly scissored for the Sunday roast and has failed to regain its waterfall shape. The one at the back is only a year and a half old has been left alone to arch gracefully over the sides of its terracotta pot. I have had to plant a couple more normal rosemary plants elsewhere in the garden to which family members are directed for culinary purposes and they have strict instructions to leave the trailing ones alone.
I was given a few cuttings of a pink flowered Lampranthus a couple of years ago, which I believe is one called ‘Tresco Brilliant’. It flowered well in my rockery but did not overwinter outside. Luckily I took further cuttings which were planted in this large pot and clearly loved it this summer, spreading in all directions and smothered in flowers that opened exuberantly in the sunshine. The whole pot is in the greenhouse for the winter so that next year the display will be even better.
I can’t take any credit for this beauty as I bought it from the sales table at my local Alpine Garden Society meeting. One of the members has many and was selling off a few. He says they are hardy but may die back over winter. However, he chooses to keep them in a cold greenhouse, his only tip being to sit them in a saucer of rainwater.
This seasonal diary is part of a weekly link-up of garden bloggers from around the world, called Six on Saturday. For more information and links to other blogs crammed with gardening activity, check the blog of host Garden Ruminations.