Looking around my september garden, there is a strange melange of summer and autumn going on. In places autumn is here proper - ripening fruit on the trees, acorns and leaves scattered across the ground, coppery colours and barer branches exposed to the windy, wild weather we have been having.
In other places, flowers are still pumping out the blooms and scent, enjoying the mildness that still prevails. The acidanthera are the absolute heroes at the moment, so fresh looking, wonderful smelling and they look as good in the vase as the garden for over a week. Plant a few bulbs now for gorgeous blooms this time next year - I'm going to get a barrowload more in if I can. Some of mine are planted next to a particularly woo-woo dahlia, but I love the colours together, the dahlias bringing out the deep magenta at the centre of the acidantheras.
|if i was a more devoted gardener i would snip off the old flowers of the acidanthera for extra loveliness|
The dahlias are completely over the top, but I love their showyoffyness and the anemones and astrantia are still flowering their little heads off too. A few late sown poppies an calendula are still doing well which has reminded me how sowing seeds at different times is great for lengthening the growing season.
But everywhere leaves are yellowing, pollen is falling and decay is nibbling at the edges of everything. I can't help feeling the urge to clear up and move on, pack summer away in a suitcase for next year, when I know I should be appreciating the seedheads and delicious falling away of the garden as it gently crumbles in upon itself. To keep my gardening spirits up I planted five rows of annuals today to brighten up my garden and bouquets next summer. It is really something to ponder, the cycle of life and death in the garden, the beauty and the decay that makes up the year as it rolls around. And now we have the perfect pondering spot, a stunning hand carved stone bench at the end of our woodland path, made by the incredibly talented stone sculptor, Jennifer Tetley. We wondered what kind of bench to have, and decided that we would wait and save and get something totally simple in stone that would outlive us all, and provide a permanent feature of our garden and a place to enjoy quiet moments with a cup of tea or glass of wine. I can't wait to see how it looks in spring when the woodland is carpetted with flowers. It also catches the last of the evening sun which is perfect and is right by our river, so the sound of the water on one side and the field on the other makes it a really special spot. I find her work so lovely, take a look.