End of month view: September 2015

IMG_0150IMG_0149IMG_0148At first glance, not a lot appears to have changed since last month’s view. The cosmos are still galavanting, the roses are still blooming, even the sweetpeas continue to produce, although the pace has slowed somewhat.

However, look closer, and you’ll see that signs of autumn are nibbling away at the edges of the garden. Seedheads have been appearing where once there were flowers, the hostas are looking tired and pockmarked, each crocosmia spike is nearing the end of its tangerine trajectory, the tiny leaves of the meadowrue are browning at the edges… and a barely audible trilling close to my left ear tells me that Mr Robin has returned from South Africa and is back in his hedge. (By the way, I know it is exactly my same robin as last winter, because I got so used to it that I can actually recognise his voice. When I hear other robins in other people’s gardens their songs sound really quite different.)

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‘Tess of the D’Urbevilles”
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‘Tess of the D’Urbevilles’

Roses have been the most impressive stars of September. I have five, which I bought bare-rooted from David Austin last January, and they have astonished me by how quickly they turned from muddy brown twigs to these gracious beauties. My last Wordless Wednesday shot was of ‘Tess of the D’Urbevilles’. Now, I am not normally a fan of red roses. They remind me too much of those terrible things in cellophane that appear each mid-February. But I have a very dear old friend back in London called Tess, and so I was impelled to buy this ‘Tess’, which I thought would look especially good climbing above our back door (more about our back door soon), and I am very glad I did. In spring, ‘Tess’ had to be dug back up and put in a pot to get her out of the way of the builders who were building the back door, and she didn’t like that at all and sulked for at least a month before rallying and putting on the most abundant display of roses of all for the rest of the summer. And she really is gorgeous, and nothing at all like a Valentine’s rose at all. Now that the builders are finished, ‘Tess’ can go back in to the ground by the back door, although I will wait till January before making this transition.

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‘A Shropshire Lad’

My other climber is another literary character, ‘A Shropshire Lad’. He made a slow start and has not been as prolific as ‘Tess’, but has produced a couple of lovely pale pink blooms. I really need to tie him in, but have not had time to research the best method of attaching a climbing rose to a sandstone house wall. My first idea is wires, but they do need to be secure, and to mark or damage the stone as little as possible.

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‘Boscobel’

In the flowerbeds we have a rose which for some reason I keep calling ‘Berlusconi’ but which is actually ‘Boscobel’ and is a rich, antique, pinky yellow. There is also the ‘Lady Gardener’ which is supposed to be an apricot or peach colour, but which has been 1) such a pale pink that I even checked the tags to see if I’d accidentally swapped it with ‘Shropshire Lad’ when I was planted them; 2) a vibrant coral orange. At no point has it been the yellow rose I thought I was buying.

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‘The Lady Gardener’

Tranquility is the final rose, but I have no pictures from September because it has not produced a bloom this month, although it did reasonably well in July.

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Cotinus ‘Dusky Maiden’

Elsewhere, my Cotinus ‘Dusky Maiden’ has put on a spurt in its large blue pot, which my mother gave me for my birthday in the spring. I first saw and coveted this plant on Angie’s Garden Diaries, and since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery she won’t mind that I copied her and went straight out and bought one for myself.

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‘S. Cambridge Blue’
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S. stonolifera

My Salvias have given off another little burst of activity. I especially love the tiny orange windsocks of S. stolonifera; the other is S. patens ‘Cambridge Blue’ and has a subtlety that I am aiming to repeat more of throughout this garden.

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Osteospermum with pink pelargonium, names both uknown.

Finally, less subtle is the combination of my coral pink pelargonium with this magenta Osteospermum (apologies, I cannot find its label in my label bag, which one day I shall organise).

September was a feet-up month in my garden, by necessity and design. Now the gardening jobs are stacking up for October: planting out my poor overdue remaining seedlings of delphinium, foxglove and honesty, sowing seeds for the spring, mulching with horse manure and leaf mould, and ordering and planting my bulbs, not to mention working on a brand new and quite large project that I have started on and which I will tell you all about in a post in the near future.

End of Month View is hosted by Helen at The Patient Gardener, and I have begun to collate all my End of Month Views on this page, where you can see the progress of this garden through the past year.

7 Comments

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  1. Your Lady Gardener is a beautiful shape and colour, but both really do look wrong. The outer petals have faded to pink rather than the creamy colour of the ones on the David Austin web site. I recently had a similar puzzle about a hydrangea which was supposed to be white, and turned out pink. I wondered whether the clone had deteriorated and asked the RHS for their advice; they couldn’t have been more helpful, and explained why they were sure I had been sent the wrong plant. So it does happen, and I think you might show your picture to David Austin’s and see what they say. If none of your flowers have been the shape and colour of the ones on the DA web site it would certainly seem to have been mislabelled. My yellow roses are inclined to throw up pink petals in the second flush, but your flower is uniformly pink all through.
    Love your Tess, she is so lush and velvety; I don’t have much success with red roses. And nice to see the smoke bush in its pot – it’s got quite a bit of growing to do to fill it properly.

  2. Interesting that we share a couple of plants. Los Angeles, California, is very far away from Edinburgh. My Lady Gardener is very pale pink also and the interior of the small, sparse flowers is a curious one-half orange and one-half pink. Your cotinus is much darker than mine, but that is most likely because it is a different variety. That first picture of Tess makes me swoon with envy. I like your garden very much. The collated page is very useful. You’ve done well.

  3. I was intrigued by your comment on Robins migrating as I had always thought they did not travel far even in the uk, so googled robin migration, the RSPB site reports some females migrate to southern Spain and Portugal in the winter. So some are off having a lovely time! Lovely to see your garden too, you have so much still in flower, hopefully frosts are some way off for us all.

    • Yes, I too read in a wildlife magazine that the robin in your garden in the winter is not the same bird as the one visiting in the summer. I knew this anyway… Mine has a very specific character and voice quite individual to him and I honestly can tell him apart from others. I hope he has had a nice holiday in Portugal! (Wouldn’t it be amazing if I came across him while I was on holiday in Spain or Portugal myself! No one would believe me though…)

  4. Boscobel is gorgeous, my favourite rose I think!

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