Monday 20 August 2018

Roses and signs of Autumn.

 I grew up with roses.   My parents had little but what they did have they treasured.   Dads garden was full of roses.   Each week my dear Mother would pick a bunch, put them in the best vase and place them in just the right place.
 They brightened up the dullest room.
 Grannie and Great Grandma grew roses.   In  a cottage garden, they were allowed to spread this way and that.   
 Great Grandma would pick one every day for her lapel.     As a small child I would follow her around the garden, puzzled by the time taken to select the perfect rose.
 Now, I understand.   We all have our preferences and this is one of mine.   A new rose purchased last week.   A David Austin rose 'Golden Celebrations'.   It has been planted beneath a red climber.   The scent is amazing.
 But this is the rose I have always wished for.   David Austin's 'Imogen'.    It is pure white with a creamy centre, and has a subtle fragrance.
 And just look at the petals, like a small child's frilly petticoat.
I have planted it about a metre from Golden Celebrations.
They look pretty together.   I cannot wait to see them grow.
There are signs of Autumn in the garden.     Some mornings it feel as though it is but a breath away and yet by afternoon it feels like Summer again.

Am I ready for Autumn, yes I think so.   I am a lover of baggy jumpers, candlelight, soup, cosy evening with a log fire and most of all walking my dog through the woods as the leaves tumble before me.    Autumn is my favourite season, it is reliable, soft, and nostalgic.    Yes, I really am looking forward to it :)

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Cyclamen Hederifolium

 In a cottage garden by Carol Klein is one of my favourite gardening books.     There is a lovely passage in the book that talks about the arrival of Cyclamen Hederifolium in Autumn.   Carol describes its appearance beautifully, so I will leave you with her words and hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
 Occasionally you are aware what a perfect sense of timing plants have, as though they were waiting for  a specific window in the gardening year to make an appearance, determined to ensure they get the attention they deserve.    Autumn-flowering cyclamen are perhaps the archetypal opportunists.   Under the beech trees things are dull - apart from moss and the twisting leaves of polypody, it's all dank earth and dun leaves, but running through them are rivulets of pink and white, the massed flowers of Cyclamen Hederifolium.
 Their fat corns have been invisible since their foliage died down in April, gathering succour from the soil, but now with the rain and falling temperatures, they have been triggered into action, exploiting the vacuum and putting all their energy into flower production.
 In essence, Cyclamen Hederifolium is a shade lover, evolved with other plants and bulbs to exploit the conditions created by trees and make use of extra light  as the canopy thins out.
They make use of the same canopy that has kept its tubers cool, protecting them from fierce sun through the Summer.    As the leaves fall, light and rain filter through and flowers rush to capitalise ; pollinating insects are less frequent now.   The fallen leaves gradually rot down, providing the plants with humus rich leaf mould.   Leaves emerge, seed is set, the cycle continues.

The cyclamen in the garden are early this year.   The rain last week has pushed them into flowering.     At the moment it is just a trickle but over the next few weeks it will gather momentum, and the woodland floor will be dotted with large clumps of this very pretty little flower.