It’s all over now

ipomea-bona-nox

The final night flowerer attempting to open on a cold October evening, this is as far as Ipomea Bona Nox got, sadly it didn’t have the energy to fully open. It may look a lot like your common or garden pestilential convolvulvus at first glance but isn’t. It’s been in the greenhouse since May, slowly building up its buds but it’s too late in the year now. Perhaps we’ll have a better summer next year.

I’ve had this in flower once but that was indoors. Why grow this convolvulvus a-like you might ask? For its scent! Plus it has seeds the size of a grapefruit pip and when it germinates, satisfyingly large leaves heave up through the soil leaving you in no doubt that it has arrived!

Bravely the Epiphyllum oxypetalum did manage one final night flower  in the unheated greenhouse this week, she’s ready to come into the conservatory for the winter.

The first colchicum are up, a little rain battered but the rain is good as the ground is still so dry in places. This past couple of weeks autumn has really hit, leaves are colouring up and this week I’ve been chasing the light home. The chickens are borderline putting themselves to bed in their day house.

One big frost and…

The last vestiges of summer are clinging on, we’ve had a couple of grass frosts but it only takes one closer to the house to knock out the final dahlias and bedding plants. Perhaps then I’ll feel inclined to start planting the bulbs sitting in a box in the kitchen to keep them away from ratty attentions (I lost over 40 tulip bulbs over two nights last year to rats in the workshop).

october-dahlia-imperialis

This will be another year when Dahlia imperialis fails to flower (to the right of the tree). The cluster of round tubers gets larger and heavier to lift every year once frost cuts the foliage down. Salvia Guanajuato in its autumn second flush (foreground). A slightly cock-eyed bobbly flowerhead of Eryngium pandanifolium Physic Purple is in front of the dahlia and the brown flowerheads of Molinia stage left (this perennial grass will collapse with the first hard frost).

melon-cantalun

Melon Cantalun from Garden Organic seed in the unheated greenhouse, (complete with slug trail – they keep mining into the peppers, very annoying). The three melons only set about a month ago and are cricket ball sized, I fear they will not ripen despite being planted in May.

saxifraga fortunei

I know it’s October when this saxifrage flowers in the woodbed, I think it’s S fortunei or a selection thereof, possibly Wada’s. Susceptible to Vine Weevils if kept in pots.

And I have fond memories of driving back from Northumberland, the car filled with the marzipan scent of Colletia armata also flowering now. Still only a small shrub at the moment, it was bought from Cally Gardens Nursery on their last day of opening for the year a few years ago. We drove from Wiltshire to Northumberland and next day drove all the way over to Gatehouse of Fleet in Scotland to Cally.

Woe betide you though if you get too close, it’s spiked me in the bum a couple of times when I’ve been weeding – Ow!

colletia-armata

 

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