The garden in September

Sunflower Earth Walker (Helianthus annuus)

Sunflower Earth Walker (Helianthus annuus)

Despite being surrounded by commercial sunflower fields, I still like to have sunflowers in the garden.  Some we sowed from the wildbird seed and are remarkably successful and are still flowering.  The sunflower Earth Walker seeds were free with the “Amateur Gardening” magazine.  I would never have bought them but are much more attractive than I imagined.   I will keep the seeds for next year (if the birds spare me some) as I have been charmed by their multi-headed plants.

Hemaris fuciformis on buddleia which is still flowering

Hemaris fuciformis on buddleia which is still flowering

I am still in denial about the autumn and I think the garden is with me.  The wisteria has been flowering since the beginning of the season, not as abundantly, granted, but there have always been flowers.  Now some other flowers are deciding to re-flower.

Pale blue delphineums

Pale blue delphiniums

I’ve never seen my delphiniums flower at this time of year.

Bell flower,  Platycodon grandiflorus

Bell flower, Platycodon grandiflorus

I am particularly fond of this plant as I bought it as a Heliotrope (complete with label) it took me a couple of years before I realised it was fooling me.  It usually flowers once in early summer so a second flowering is unusual.

Astrantia

Astrantia

My Astrantia are doing well still.

Yellow flower

Yellow flower

These are early to mid summer flowers but are still going strong.  They thrive in the hot sun and dry soil.  I was given them by a friend who called them black-eyed-Susies.  I think the error in this name is very clear but they are a great summer flower for my garden.

Clematis "Helios"

Clematis “Helios”

My yellow clematis is still in full swing and has only just started to have some fluffy seed heads.

Hemp Agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum)

Hemp Agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum)

This is a weed, or wild flower if you want to be kind.  It appeared on its own but it was so well placed near my bee hotel I had to leave it; it attracts too many pollinators.  I didn’t know then it would be a convenient re-fuelling spot for my leaf cutter bees.  That was because I did not know I had leaf cutting bees in the garden but more about them later.

Pumpkin patch

Pumpkin patch

A garden doesn’t let you stay completely in denial.  We planted two types of pumpkins this year Rouge Vif d’Etampes and Giraumon Turban.  It’s our most successful year yet.  They are well away from the potager and it looks as if the Rouge Vif d’Etampes will supply us with enough pumpkins for the season.

Turban and impostor

Turban and impostor

The Turban pumpkins are coming along nicely but another type has appeared that I have not planted.  I’m not sure where it has come from.

Red hazelnut tree

Red hazelnut tree

I took this picture in July.  The hazelnuts were just forming but we have saved them from the red squirrel which had just started to eat them and leave us the shells a couple of weeks ago.  The rapid rescue mission left me no time for a more up to date record.  We harvested a good bowlful which is a very good reward from such an attractive little tree.

Vines

Vines

Our grapes are ripening too.  They are not as good as last year, unhappy with the late summer probably.

Reine de reinettes

Reine de reinettes

Our oldest apple tree is a Reine de reinette and full of apples this year.  The apples have been the most successful of the fruits apart from the dark blue plum.

Golden Delicious

Golden Delicious

The Golden Delicious is also having a very good year and we have a small pear tree in the front and in the back garden which will provide enough to eat and probably make some compote.

Storecupoard

Storecupoard

This all brings me back to why I am in denial.  All this fruit has to be usefully preserved.  I have started but there is more to go and I still haven’t got round to gathering some brambles for jelly!

Advertisements

47 thoughts on “The garden in September

  1. The odd squash that you have got looks to me like a Spaghetti Squash…
    there are two types…
    one has the threads running lengthways…
    the other across…
    so, no matter which you have a 50/50 chance of getting it wrong.
    I cut them in half across at the middle to scoop out the seed…
    that way, if it is a lengthwise one, you still end up with reasonable length “spaghetti”.
    Then place the two halves back together and wrap the beastie in foil and cook in a low oven…
    [150 Centipedes]… for around an hour [check as below after 45minz].
    At the end of this time, carefully unwrap and see if threads of flesh come way easily.
    If they do, you can remove the threads with a fork and drench them with butter [or Vigean’s “Fruitee et Noix”…
    salt and pepper to taste…
    serve!!
    Scrummy!!!

    Love the pix, as usual…
    I am now leaving the Hemp Agrimony if it is not in an awkward position…
    for the same reason as you!!
    Everything seems to like it…
    we had a Flambé and an “ordinary” Swallowtail, at the same time…
    on the one outside the lounge window.
    Needless to say, they both flew as I focused!!!
    That’s the way the cookies crumble.

    Like

    • My neighbour says it is a spaghetti squash but I have never had any. Thanks for the recipe as I had no idea what to do with one. I have only seen one Swallowtail butterfly this year they don’t seem to be as numerous whereas the other types are plentiful.

      Like

    • The fruit is a lot of work as the trees/plants have to be cared for throughout the year, pruned mainly. So to be honest it is my husband who does most of the work and it is him that loves the fruit trees. He does a lot of the juicing, compote making and helps with the jam too.

      Like

    • We have not been lucky with pumpkins until now, they can be a bit temperamental if the weather and watering is not to their liking. I get a lot of different bees and bumble bees in my flowers so I know pollination is no problem. We have had a lot more flowers than set fruit on the pumpkin plants.

      Like

      • Okay, I am going to blame my pumpkin issues on weather…hahahaha. Actually this year I noticed several issues with plants that I have successfully grown in the past. So sad. But on a happier note, my tomatoes grew so well, in fact, I’m still getting wonderful fruit. Your garden inspires me!

        Like

  2. As your garden matures, Amelia, have you looked at it from above… using Google Maps and Yahoo Maps?
    Currently there is a difference of about 5 years between Goggle Maps [who are using old IGN data] and Yahoo Maps who are far more recent… only two years old, not seven!
    But it really shows the differences here.
    And the Yahoo pix are much more detailed as the technology has moved on!!

    And are those wonderful bottle lables “in house”?

    Like

    • I have only used Google Maps and never tried Yahoo Maps, so thanks for the tip, I will have a look at Yahoo. I have my husband to thank for the labels, he always uses a photograph of the original fruit. We give quite a lot away to friends and family so he likes them to look nice.

      Like

  3. What a packed post. I always know that autumn is on its way when pumpkin soup starts to appear on menus – its one of my favourites. I planted butternut squash this year (from seed) and its doing remarkably well – Im rather proud of it.

    Looks like you still have a lot of lovely colour and interest in the garden.

    Like

    • I love pumpkin soup and also roast pumpkin. I haven’t tried the butternut squash. I haven’t really got a piece of land in the sun that is hidden away to grow too many varieties. My chief colour at the moment is from the Altea, the Hibiscus and the bees love them too.

      Like

  4. Lovely to have the up date on your garden. So much is happening. Love the home-made labels on the jars. Do you have any traditional storage spaces eg cellar where something like apples might keep for a long while without being preserved or cooked?

    Like

    • The Reine de Reinette keeps well. I have an outside building that is well ventilated and I will layer them between sheets of paper. I find this a problem with fruit. I only ever ate raw fruit before I came here, never canned, sweetened fruit. Now we eat quite a bit of compote but with very nice zero fat yoghurt. I have dried my apples and pears and it is delicious but it takes overnight in the oven. Actually you have reminded me, I must do some more this year.:)

      Like

      • Good that you have that outside storage. I was curious about drying fruit in the oven, so I googled the process and discovered along the internet highway, that one can dehydrate fruit in the microwave! I must try these tricks as I often end up with too much fruit and more jam than I need.

        Like

  5. Great to see so many flowers, fruit and veg. Don’t think the summer is over yet as many pretend. Here it is usually nice until after christmas. It looks a little dry in your garden as well. I’m so glad it rained for us.

    Like

    • Rain is always our problem. My raspberry canes are dwarfed as they don’t get the water they need. Some of the fruit would swell more if it had more water. The apples have done the best this year as I expect their roots must reach some deeper water. The rest of the fruit has only given low amounts.

      Like

    • I find the fruit and veg. demand the most work as it can’t be put off, the decorative plants often survive even neglected for some time. I find I am choosing more and more plans for the bees, I must try also to work that in with style too but that is not a strong point of mine.

      Like

    • I’ve never seen any grey squirrels in this area. The grey squirrels were introduced to England by the Victorian country gentry who thought they were cute. My experience is that the French are more interested in animals that they can eat so perhaps this has been to the red squirrels advantage over here.

      Like

    • Thank you. At the moment our apple harvest is becoming a glut and it is apple juice, stewed apples, apple chutney, apple sorbet…I don’t grow melons but there has been a glut of melons too but I am winning here as I have such nice neighbours .

      Like

  6. I missed seeing this post when you published it, I think; glad I discovered it. Pumpkins and squashes are very promiscuous so it is easy to get different seed than you expect. Have you eaten it now, was it good?

    Like

    • I haven’t eaten any of the pumpkins yet but I will let you know if it is good. I am trying to use up my apples by making compote, apple juice, chutney and even drying some. The pumpkins will come next.

      Like

  7. “Black-eyed Susie” is the American common name for rudbeckia. You were given a cultivar that has lost the black central eye. Perhaps yours is Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’.

    Like

    • Thanks for that, I’ve had a look at Google Images and it could well be. This year masses more have appeared so I can also confirm that they self-seed very efficiently! Amelia

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s