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 ….



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



While the cycle ride home …


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


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





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



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


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.



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?


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


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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