SIX ON SATURDAY – OLD AND NEW

The first week of Autumn brings a sense of both old and new; sadly many flowers are now spent for this year and leaves are started to gather on the ground – but exciting preparation for next year is beginning with bulb planting season upon us! It’s also time to plant out young specimens grown from seed, this week all the foxglove ‘Apricot’ plugs I grew from seed have been taken from their cosy pots and sited out in the garden and I’m preparing to do the same with the wallflowers (both new from seed and cuttings from last year) this weekend. However, this year is not yet over – there are many flowers continuing to light up the garden and I expect them to carry on doing so for weeks yet. Here are my six for this week:

Aster frikartii ‘Monch’ has a delicate beauty that belies its hardy and reliable qualities. It’s a must in a wildlife friendly garden – bees, hoverflies and butterflies love it. This perennial comes into flower in August in the Midlands and will continue to bloom into the beginning of October – a star indeed! Another bonus is that it doesn’t seem to suffer from powdery mildew – this can be a problem with some asters.

This stunning dahlia “Honka Black’ is a new addition to the garden, having been purchased recently in a 70% off sale at Wyvale – it is most certainly not past its best and should flower until first frosts. Once the leaves have blackened, I’ll cut it back and put the tubers in a dry safe place until late Spring next year.

Another favourite with bees – one of the dahlia ‘Bishop’s Children’ I grew from seed this year. I’m hoping there’s been some tuber development in these plants – if so I’ll be treating them as per ‘Honka Black’.

Crocosmia ‘Emily Mackenzie’ flowers about a month later than the ‘Lucifer’ I have at the back of the hot colour border. This one is much shorter – about 50cm and is great for growing in swathes if you have the space. It also looks good planted with a purple flower such as salvia ‘Amistad’.

Another aster – I’m not sure but I think this one is ‘Wood’s Pink’. It’s smaller in height and flower head size compared to ‘Monch’, but it’s delicacy is just as appealing. Again, this is a reliable plant and returns every year with very little attention!

Finally, helenium ‘Red Shades’. All the flower heads in the picture (including the yellow ones) are from one plant – or so I thought when I bought the pot! Having done some research, it seems that the flower at the top of the picture is ‘Red Shades’. My theory is that the pot had more than one variety of helenium in it, grown from seed. When the flowers are finished, its rootball is going to undergo close inspection!

That’s my six this week – for more, please visit the home of SoS at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/

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