Don’t let the sun go down

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We are well into autumn, the days are getting shorter and the colours around have never been more striking. The contrasts between the vibrant colours of the changing leaves and the darker moodier sky captures the imagination..  Keep the colours trooping and add in some pots or hanging plants to enhance the vibe.

Pansies and violas are the perfect plant for this.  They will bloom well into November.

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Colourful potted pansy keeping the interest in the Autumn garden
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Potted Pansies in shades of autumn

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Deadhead (remove faded blooms) if you want to have blooms a plenty during the first weeks of potting.  As the plant starts to loose energy leave the flower heads to die back on the plant. Collect the seeds, after the flower heads fade, from the remaining pod  and replant in a cold frame or in early spring to enjoy their colourful display all over again.

pansy seed head
Faded flower head

 

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Extracted pansy seeds

 

 

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Haul in the Harvest

Bag up any seeds that you collect from fading flower heads this time of year.   Store them in a dark dry place.  You will then have an abundance to hand ready to plant early next spring

Autumn is a great time for harvesting seeds to help you get your annual planting pots in full bloom for next year or for increasing your stock of all ready existing perennenials such as the lupin.  It is a natural by product of an end of summer clear up essential in all gardens, to refresh  for the autumn  blooms yet to come.  Collect the seeds now and plant in a cold frame frame in late winter or early spring for a beautiful blooms in late spring and summer. 

Amongst the favourites I am collecting from the garden this year are

Lupins

The stems where the flower heads have faded and died have now dried out and left behind the seed pods

 

Pick each pod from the stem and split open

The seeds will spill out from the split seed pod

 

Each seed will produce a new plant for next year

All of these seeds were collected from one faded flower head and will produce many plants for next year. Plant them in some moist compost early spring and water regularly once they start sprouting

When the seedlings are big enough transplant them into large deep pots or straight into a semi shady spot in the garden (beware! protect them as slugs love them too)

 Await the  joys to behold in the summer

The lupin in bloom

 

Marigolds

The seeds can be pulled from fading flower heads, each one containing multiple seeds. 

If you look closely, individually the seeds look like tiny little paint brushes.  To think each seed will produce a plant if it grows to fruition, you could grow yourself a field of marigolds from just one plant!  Plant the seeds in some compost early spring , keep them watered and grow them on for flowering plants in the summer.

The fruits of your labour will be evident throughout next summer and fall

 

The last of the summer apples got picked this week, and I’ve still got room in my tum for some more apple crumble

 

I “heart” apples

 

All this gardening is making me thirsty – cuppa cha?

Still al fresco – for how much longer I ponder

 

Indulge while you can

and it’s not even my birthday yet! Well you know what they say all work and no play…..

Thanks to our visitors from Paris and yes they do taste as good as they look!

Think I will be spilling over some recipe books after this little lot have been demolished……..

Summer Days Drifted Away……..

Where did they go to? Now we are well into September and many of the summer blooms have faded it seems that we hardly had any summer days at all – but my photos of a blooming garden earlier this month are telling me something different……………..

Summer Patio with white geraniums, purple agapanthus (african lilly) and lemon tree planter with white million bells planted beneath

The white geraniums are still blooming well into September.  Once it gets a bit colder I will be taking them indside to a sheltered spot otherwise they will die off in a hard frost over winter

It’s September but the marigolds are still blooming like it is mid summer – they have a fantastically long blooming period, feed them and they will keep on going long after others summer blooms have faded.  Their deep orange colour looks fantastic in the late September sunhine. Once the last blooms fade I will be collecting the seed heads to plant in early spring to produce me some more summer blooms for next year.

 

The feel and colours of the garden have however distinctly changed to darker deeper colours

 

 

The deep red chrysanthemum pot produces  early autumn blooms-a-plenty. It will bloom for several weeks on end and well into the autumn, dying back in winter only to sprout forward again starting in the spring

 

 

The beautiful deep orange of the chinese lanterns has appeared following on from it’s deep green stage – this rewarding perennial brings a very seasonal touch to the garden.  They can be invasive and travel underground via rhizomes but they are easy to control by pulling up any unwanted ones.  They give a great display in the border early autumn when most of the summer bloomers have died back. Each year they die back to ground level and sprout forward the following spring.

 

 The red berries have also started to appear on the pyracantha grown from a slip taken from my mums garden. Berries are great to encourage wildlife  into the garden.  Grown against a wall in full berry bloom it is quite a spectacular sight when maturity is reached.

 

 

The yellow pom pom dahlia bobs about gently in the autumn breeze another favourite perennial that dies back each winter and re-emerges the following year to give late summer, early autumn blooms

Geranium and Bacopa hanging basket

Would you believe a display like this could keep on going from late Spring right through to late September with no signs of fading just yet – just feed and water on a regular basis – what a reward for very little effort

 

Now is also a good time to think about getting spring bulbs down be it in pots or straight into the borders especially snowdrops if you want them popping up in late winter.  Check out the category “spring blooms” on the blog under the “about” page for memories of spring sprouters and flowers you might want in your garden next spring.

 

As the summer moves off and autumn falls quicker and faster the planetary pull on the earth will be affecting us all in a physical and psychological sense.  I came across this book about mindfullness and even if you only read the excerpt  you may find it revolutionary.

http://www.beatinganger.com/docs/angermindfulextract.pdf

 

Marigolds basking in late September sunshine