Plants in the Garden: September garden
Started by: Helen JohnstoneGo to latest contribution by Tim Ingram, 02 October 2012, 12:32. Go to bottom of this page.
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Kirengeshoma palmata is the star of my garden in September. I doubt if they count as alpines but maybe given they are woodland plants and there seem to be many woodland plants within the society's definition of alpine they might be allowed but its another example of the wide range of plants grown
Helen - a beautiful plant is a beautiful plant and lovely to see. This is one I have never had success with - we are just too dry - but I have seen it at Kew early in the year with its fascinating foliage associating very well with trilliums, epimediums and all sorts of other wonderful woodlanders. The best plant of it I have ever seen was in the moist soil alongside a mill stream in the Suffolk garden of Bernard Tickner (the director of Greene King brewery!). He also grows a fine collection of bulbs which benefit from the sandy soil and moisture at depth. One is named after him, a yellow form of Fritillaria pyrenaica, a good alpine. So the Kirengeshoma consorts in good company!
There are some intriguing plants that flower in the autumn - none more so than these two. The Tricyrtis came from a local garden centre under the name 'abdana', but looks to be a hybrid selection. These hate drying out and are loved by slugs, not a good combination, but they can give valuable colour very late into the year and the flowers are fascinating to study up close. The Asclepias is a Californian species, vestita, with as the name implies very woolly foliage. This is the first time it has flowered after several years from sowing seed and the flowers are even more extraordinary. Asclepiads are unusual in that their pollen is fused into pollinia rather like orchids. This one grows to a metre or so but there are a number of choice smaller species from semi-desert areas probably next to impossible to grow.
Not sure what happened there - try again...
The pictures are not loading so I will have a go later.
Tim, if you email me your pictures I'll try and post them.
I sent a private email to Tim offering to try to post his pictures shortly before Diane's offer. I've been working all day, but here they are.
This is the Tricyrtis.
Tim didn't say which species this is.
Correction. Yes he did - in the message above. This is Asclepias vestita.
This little cyclamen is one of the most delightful plants in the garden at the moment. Its tiny pink-flushed flowers are delicately veined, and the plant has seeded around a raised bed, associating well with many other plants. I had thought that this was the smallest of cyclamen but apparantly parviflorum is even smaller (but much rarer in cultivation). Our plants of intaminatum have plain green leaves but there are silver marked forms which must make very attractive foliage plants.
This last picture is totally fortuitous but somehow Nature at her most inspired! Cyclamen intaminatum is the perfect species for a trough where most other cyclamen would become too large over time, and it would be nice to see a selection of different forms.
A garden can swallow up thousands of bulbs and still have room for more and more. During the spring we have a patch in the lawn around the rain gauge full of crocus, Narcissus 'Thalia' and Tulipa 'Flaming Spring Green'. My daughter needs a little more schooling about gardening so here we are planting another hundred or so crocus. The dog is not a deal of help even though he does join in digging holes when I am weeding in the garden. Our great inspiration has been the bulb walk at Sissinghurst, which is astonishing in April and has taken very many years and careful planting to achieve such an effect, and we have another small bed in the lawn trying to emulate this in feeble fashion - at this time it is full of sedums and Cyclamen hederifolium steadily seeding around.
I agree wholeheartedly with John Richards comment about autumn in his diary. There is something remarkable about this time of year in the garden as everything comes to a crescendo and disarray seems in keeping. It is also a very good time to plant, take a lot of cuttings (especially of woody plants), and take in those occasional beautiful evenings with low golden light. And get your children interested in planting bulbs!