I always feel a bit gloomy as summer stumbles into autumn. I got a whiff of a lone sweet pea the other day and it really confused my senses. All around, I could see piles of leaves on the ground, but this most summery of scents got my hopes up for a second. This Salvia ‘Bethellii’ is another hope-inducing plant. How can such a thrilling bloom still be giving its all at the end of October?
This plant has been happily growing in the heaviest of London clay soils, and I’ve been intrigued (and delighted) by its ability to survive a couple of the coldest of winters and one of the wettest of summers (in 2012) we’ve had in recent years. On the RHS website, it advises to plant this half-hardy perennial in light, moderately fertile soils, but further research reveals that in its native Mexico, this plant grows at the edge of forests, so this may be a reason why it copes so well in this richer (and heavier) soil.
and although it’s starting to get rather rangey and floppy as we near the first frosts, arguably, it’s still the most gorgeous (and exotic) bloom around at the moment.
I say arguably, as I noticed a couple of other contenders in the garden today. This showy Camellia sasanqua was still looking spiffingly jolly and uplifting in the rain,
Three (shockingly pink) reasons to be cheerful , even if you do hate the fact that the clocks have gone back and it’s already dark by 5 o’clock.
This annual Persicaria seems to have caught a few eyes, so here’s some tasty combinations from other gardens. This first one is at Great Dixter with the Persicaria orientalis dancing round the heads of Rosa Florence Mary Morse.
And finally, combining with the beautifully airy Calamagrostis brachytrichum, Asters and the kinky white wands of Actaea atropurpurea in the Jardin Plume in Normandy. Dreaming of summer all over again!