I have heard complaints about our unpredictable English weather from many of my customers throughout the summer. Some argue that it has been too dry, others too wet while almost everyone agrees that it has been too cold!
Now we go into the late summer and autumn period which has an amazing capacity to surprise us with bursts of summer and winter all contained within the same day.
This is the time of the year that I love most. I think that it is a dramatic time of year which brings out striking and sensational views of our plants and gardens. I think that it is a challenging few months for gardeners.
The countdown to the first frost has begun and many of the sensational perennials that have become favourites during the summer are starting to look tired. However, these months also provide a great opportunity to the gardener.
We are gifted with very artistic and dramatic lighting as the sun gets lower in the sky. We are also provided with a fresh layer of frost or dew most mornings to make our autumn Plants glisten and really show off.
During September and October plants for ‘autumn and winter interest’ really come into their own. The Curry Plant (Helichrysum angustifolium Dartington – is a particularly good variety) looks simply magical on a frosty and misty October morning.
A combination of hazy low level sunshine and the glistening dew combine well to bring out the best of the Curry Plants silver foliage.
As I look out of my kitchen window my favourite plant of the year is just beginning to flower. The Pampass Grass (Cortaderia Selloana) will produce beautiful feathery plumes from mid September onwards. Last year despite all the horrific weather my favourite plant kept these plumes until early February.
I love the defiance of the Pampass grass – saving its best display until the weather begins to turn and most other plants are tiring. Like the Curry Plant the Pampass plumes look amazing on a wintery morning.
I hope you enjoy the drama of this season as much as I do and are encouraged to build yourself a garden that will look great as we go into the autumn and winter!