On a balmy late-summer morning I took my camera around the garden seeking auguries of the true autumn as opposed to the false one we experienced as a consequence of the heatwave of a month ago.
We have two crab apple trees in the front garden, the fruit of which have, until last winter, nourished our blackbirds throughout the colder months. During the last such season they eschewed these offerings. It remains to be seen whether these members of the Malus genus will this year fall untasted to the ground.
This blue lace cap hydrangea is borne by a regenerated stem on a plant apparently finished for the year.
Varieties of wilting phlox have also rejuvenated,
as have drought-dried dahlias, while
blooming begonias burgeon once more.
Dwarf sunflowers grown from seed have emerged from the soil.
Pale lilac colchicums, or autumn crocuses, nod to their season,
as do Rosa Glauca hips
and the barren seed heads of some clematises.
Virginia creeper’s mantle draping the south wall of the back drive is turning to its warm autumnal hues.
Crown Princess Margareta continues climbing over the rose garden covered bench,
and Special Anniversary has come round again.
White solanum and purple clematis clamber over the dead elm trunk.
This evening Jackie drove us all over to Spice Cottage in Westbourne where we dined with Becky and Ian. Flo, Dillon, and Ellie remained to stay with our daughter and son-in-law for a couple of nights.
I will feature this event with a couple of photographs tomorrow.
In an earlier post Tangental asked for suggestions for flowers that would be blooming in the last week of August when he hopes to host a family event. Although, he, the Textiliste, and Dog themselves have an enviable garden I promised to let him know what we have currently flowering. Needless to say they will be aware of most of what I have to offer, but, here goes.
This month does not finish until next Monday, the 31st, but this will be the last full week. We are predicted to be hit by another fierce storm tomorrow so I decided to post what we still have today.
The second of these two pictures demonstrates that gladioli are vulnerable to gusts of wind and need to be supported with stakes strong enough to see off Count Dracula.
Carpet roses come in a variety of colours and drape everything in sight. The red one might be appropriate for the special occasion.
Super Elfin is a fast growing prolific climber.
Given the occasion, the red Love Knot, might be appropriate; this one, and the sweetly scented peachy Mamma Mia and yellow Absolutely Fabulous survived our heavy pruning yesterday. The latter two are most prolific repeat flowering.
This is all that is left of For Your Eyes Only, the most prolific rose of all, but so resilient is it that all our snips will have prepared the way for plentiful new shoots within the next sennite (Archaic English WP).
At this time of year Rosa Glauca converts clusters of delicate pink and white flowers to rosy hips.
A variety of hydrangeas still thrive,
seen also with red and white dahlias and tall, strongly scented, bronze fennel, has come into its own.
This is of course the time for dahlias, of which we have a range.
Our Japanese anemones come in two shades of pink and in white. In the third of these images they blend well with pink pelargoniums and fuchsia Delta’s Sarah.
Pelargoniums and geraniums will grace any hanging basket,
as will begonias of any shape, size, or hue;
likewise sometimes scented petunias.
Provided you keep up with dead-heading, as with most of these plants, sweet scented phlox of many different colours will continue to delight.
We find rudbeckia hard to grow a second year, but this Goldsturm variety returns.
A number of crocosmia, like Emily MacKenzie and the yellow one we can’t identify for certain, are still blooming, although others such as Lucifer have finished, but, like Arnie, will be back.
The daisy-like erigeron and yellow bidens offer points of highlight throughout the garden. Erigeron thrives in paving, steps, and stony soil; all our bidens are self seeded survivors from last year.
Sedums begin to blush towards the end of the summer. The second picture has a backdrop of ornamental grass, some of which puts us in mind of Cousin It from the Adams Family. All good space fillers.
Eucomis, or pineapple plants, are a fun talking point;
nasturtiums trail everywhere until the first frost.
Nigella is a little blue flower.
This white solanum has flowered consistently for more than twelve months, far outstripping its neighbouring honeysuckle, now transformed into not very attractive berries. The solanum comes in blue, too.
Jackie produced a dinner this evening consisting of her special savoury rice served with prawns, some of which were spicy, and others tempura, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Saint-Chinian.
Jackie rose early this morning and sat in a chair on the patio with a cup of instant coffee.
In an instant Nugget was on a paving stone peering hopefully up at the rim of the cup.
Now, “Where’s Nugget?” (16).
Today’s weather was blustery and damp. The Test Match was delayed until after lunch. I spent the afternoon listening to the BBC Sport broadcast and scanning the first batch of a set of prints from negatives I have lost from a holiday with friends in August 2000. This was at the home of Sarah and Howard at Bembridge. Although we live so near the Isle of Wight this was the last time I visited it.
Jessica and Heidi towed Emily and Oliver in our dinghy;
along the shore
and helped Jessica into their small yacht,
while Michael took over dinghy duties.
The skies had brightened a bit by the end of the afternoon when we visited Otter Nurseries to buy two more bags of compost and somehow came away with four more phlox plants and another bag of tulip bulbs. We continued on for a short forest drive.
Many of the verges, like these along Sandy Down, are already carpeted with cyclamen.
This gnarled fungus has more right to be there than
this shiny drink can.
Moody skies glowered over Sway Tower.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy chicken jalfrezi and boiled rice, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank El Zumbido Garnacha Syrah 2017.
Jackie swept liberally scattered beech nuts from the Rose Garden this morning.
Scoobie kept her company. On the Back Drive he found a fossilised rat which I opted not to photograph.
We have a liberal supply of petunias,
and Japanese anemones.
Bees busied themselves gathering pollen, ignoring the fact that some plants remained dog-eared;
and competing for occupation of others.
cosmoses, and sweet peas remain in bloom.
Rose Doris Tysteman thrives in the Back Drive border.
Rosa Glauca hips hang over the colourful patio beds.
The hibiscus beside the Brick Path is really flourishing this year.
This afternoon the four of us visited the Beachcomber Café at Barton on Sea.
Gulls hung on the thermals overhead;
crows on the clifftop blinked and pecked at tissues which were eventually shredded;
and a fisherman angled on a breakwater
in view of the Isle of Wight and Christchurch Bay.
This was a day for ice creams.
We had become a little concerned on noticing an elderly woman alone in a wheelchair. After some time a younger woman made her way across the garden with two ice creams. She presented one to the person we then assumed to be her mother, and they sat and enjoyed them together.
After we returned home Ian and I listened to the BBC sport broadcast of the Ashes Test match first day; and watched the second half of the highlights after dinner.
Our dinner consisted of thick pork chops with mustard, brown sugar, and toasted almonds; creamy mashed potato; crisp carrots and broccoli; tender runner beans; and roasted peppers, onions and mushrooms. I drank more of the Garnacha Syrah while the others drank Wairu Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2017.
As we were both up before dawn this morning we took a trip to the coast to catch sight of the dawn over the Isle of Wight. There was nothing to see. It was raining and the sky was covered in grey cloud.
John Keats famously described autumn as “a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”. We haven’t had any mists yet in this delayed waning of the year. So I guess we must be patient.
Many flowers, such as
and nasturtiums continue to bloom.
There is, however, a certain amount of “mellow fruitfulness” in the form of
rosa glauca hips,
just a few apples on a tree that was laden last year,
and the seed clusters of six foot tall nicotiana sylvestris,
just one pod of which produced this cappuccino chocolate cloud of minute seeds on the poppy tray.
I cannot remember how to calibrate my scanner to the laptop, so the last two photographs I e-mailed to Emily were produced by
photographing the prints and uploading them.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s spiky pasta beef arrabiata and runner beans with which I drank more of the malbec.
A wander round the garden in this balmy morning’s light diffused by wandering clouds above raised questions about what season we are enjoying.
An industrious web constructing spider, seeking camouflage in the spent marigold seedpods
must have been confused by the plants’ fresh blooms.
By early evening the predator had moved house and wrapped its dinner.
Like many of our bidens, these have self seeded from hanging baskets and tubs.
The Small White butterflies still light on them and many other plants.
Some of the clusters on this lace cap hydrangea have turned blue.
Several hibiscuses are filled with flowers.
and begonias go on forever.
Others, like these antirrhinums in the Weeping Birch Bed
and alongside the Brick Path, are having a new growth surge.
Pansies and geraniums refuse to cede ground to the autumn crocuses,
and the little orange poppies and persistent lobelias really do think it is spring.
Digitalis cavorts with gaura,
and robins and other little birds swing along with rosa glauca’s hips.
It is difficult at this time to find a view that does not include Japanese anemones. Even here, one glows like a coal in the background shadows beyond the Weeping Birch.
Most of the roses are budding again.
Ballerinas are back on stage,
as are Mum in a Million,
Flower Power, and many more.
When admiring the view through the urn at the southern end of the Brick Path
I did my best to ignore the fresh pile of cut branches produced yesterday by Aaron, Sean, and Rory while cutting down the grizelinias.
Later this afternoon, Jackie drove us to Steamer Point, between Highcliffe and Mudeford. I will publish photographs tomorrow, because I think I have enough on this post today, and because, for reasons that will become apparent, we plan to return in the morning.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious lamb jalfrezi, and omelette-topped onion rice, with samosas and onion bhajis. I drank more of the Fleurie and Jackie drank Le Héron Gros Manseng 2015.