After equinox

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It was a lovely morning, the morning of the Equinox. I let the chickens out around 7.00 and took a few photographs to record the turning year. Autumn never used to be a favourite season, but I have warmed to it with the passing years. Since we moved here 3 years ago I have been working to plant a garden with a longer season of interest than the spring garden we bought.

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All the work we have done in digging the new perennials border has been with this end in mind. That and creating a border that will be lower maintenance, nominally, when we have finished the initial preparation.
So on Equinox morning the new border looked like this. The new bed on the left is waiting for a final top dressing of organic compost and beyond it the straw bales are killing off the grass in the next area to be cleared. The bales are left over from the midsummer party and have done Stirling service as seating and grass killer! I’m hoping to do a little more planting before it turns too cold, but the majority will happen next spring when I’ve bought more plants and raised more seeds.

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Elsewhere in the garden, my collection of Bishop dahlias are still flowering really well and this season we are enjoying a great show from the sedums I planted in the spring. My favourite is the little “Red Cauli” for its beautiful deep colour, but I rather like the dark leaved “Purple Emperor ” and ” Xenor ” as well . Ever reliable, Autumn Joy is in bloom too.

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Quite a few of the hardy geraniums are still flowering, but a new star is the geranium-like Erodium manescavii , a storks bill, rather than a cranesbill. I got this at a plant sale in the village and it has been in flower since June and is spreading gently. It grows about 30 cms high with bright pink flowers about 4 cms across. Beautiful.

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And speaking of stars, I planted 3 little plants of salvia uliginosa in April and by good fortune or good positional placement, they have grown tall and elegant and produced a mass of gorgeous little sky blue flowers for weeks. I have them planted with Vebena bonariensis and the combination looks great- height without weight. I have taken insurance cuttings, but I hope they will overwinter in the garden with a good mulch. I can see them from the kitchen window waving in the breeze and backlit by the setting sun. It’s hard to believe the whole border was shaded out by a large tree cotoneaster we took out last year.

There are quite a few Michaelmas daisies, asters, symphiotrichum, call them what you will, in bloom too but as we are going to see the collection at Picton Gardens tomorrow, I thought I would save those pictures for after that visit.

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11 thoughts on “After equinox

  1. Your garden is looking lovely Judith. Spring gardens are brilliant for areas that are shady in summer I think. You are doing the right thing extending into all seasons. There are very few countries in the world where gardeners can grow the variety of plants that we grow so I think we should make the most of it (space permitting!) Looking forward to seeing your photos of Picton… never been!

  2. the straw bales are a brilliant idea and you can add them to the compost heap at a later stage – perfect! I agree with Gillian that it is great that you can have such an extended season, England really is one of the few places in the world where a garden can look lovely 12 months of the year. Spring planting is good (you are lucky that you can plant then, I have to plant in autumn if anything is to survive, but autumn planting does give the plants time to produce a good root system before top growth begins.

  3. You have made amazing progress, and those borders are going to be stunning by this time next year. The erodium is a little beauty, always good to have something so attractive and long flowering. I really must try salvia uliginosa, it would work perfectly in my front garden with the other blues and purples. Did you grow yours from seed?

    1. Thank you. We ordered 12 bales so have plenty of straw to use! Handily we can keep moving it around to new areas although the baler twine is beginning to slip and some of the bales are quite fragile. Interestingly, the bales are growing a fascinating crop of fungus.
      I love Red Cauli- great colour and non floppy.

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