The Teddington Gardener

A round up of the week so far – mist over the Thames, oak-leaved Hydrangeas, Chillis, Lilies, Vines viniferous and Cup-and-Saucered, Dahlias of course ….

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A few days at Petersham Nurseries this week and with it, a cycle ride across Teddington Lock in the morning sunshine, ahead of days enjoying a rather fine Indian Summer as Autumn slides into technicolor view – with mist rising from the River Thames and adding a little mystery to Ham Fields

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While the cycle ride home …

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and if you put them together … (someone has found a new editing toy!)

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The days have been bright and warm, with an occasional sharp shower that the garden has very much welcomed. How long this season of goodwill (not that Season of Goodwill, I hasten to add) will last, is another thing altogether, but I’ve appreciated it day by day.

Autumn colours are myriad now, bright, deep and generally turning the landscape into a giant stained glass window. Perhaps it might be a little later than last year? A change to chillier weather will bring its nadir. Somewhere in these pages is a little essay on anthocyanins and their role in this annual pageant – I should look it up and re-read it.

Below – Beech trees, the very vigorous vine Vitis coignetiae and the colourful Vitis Brandt, with Rhus typhina Radiance the bottom slice

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The cup and saucer vine, Cobaea scandens has gone into overdrive while Gertrude Jekyll, below, is throwing out fragrant blooms still

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Dahlia Marlene Joy has been a magnificent doer this year and one I’ll be growing again

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Hydrangea quercifolia – the oak-leaved Hydrangea has the most daring Autumn garb and the best foliage colour of any of the family. It’s a big shrub though there are more compact varieties. I’ve just bought Ice Crystal which shouldn’t get taller than 1.5m. We’ll see.

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A haul of chillis from plants grown outdoors (sadly, helped onto the compost heap today – my indoor chilli plants have a reprieve for the time being, and an extra feed this afternoon). Now, Chutney, Pickle or Jam?

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Colchicum Glory of Heemstede (below) with such a delicate chequered lilac cup with blanched stems.

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Finally, sight of the lilies that I bought at the Hampton Court Flower Show this year, from HW Hyde – and they said I would have flower from them this year even though they were planted in July. Isabella, they are called, and these are strong, sturdy well-branched candelabra with plenty of these fragrant double flowers yet to come. I’ll be buying more for next year – and more of the dusky Pink Perfection that I teamed up with Salvia Amistad in a couple of huge container displays. And more Martagons, if my first bulbs survive through the winter. In fact, lilies for everywhere but first, Isabella takes her bow.

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