There is no doubt about it. Summer is coming to an end.
Still, September has been an amazing month and even after the occasional early morning mist the sun burnt through later on to give us sunshine.
I have to thank my husband for venturing into the back garden in his pyjamas to capture these images! I was too happy contemplating the mist from inside over my second mug of tea.
In fact, I’ve been doing quite a bit of contemplating about the garden. I’ve been happy with my sunflowers Vanilla Ice and the darker ones which are the offspring of my last year’s Earth Walker.
I can’t get enough of sunflowers. I like the early single head ones and these multi-headed ones really brighten up the garden in the late summer.
My new Salvia coahuilensis is going to be success against the Cosmos sulphureus once it has got established.
My Salvia guaranitica has flowered again. I have to thank “Arthur in the garden” for the ID as I thought it was a Nepeta last year!
It grows so tall. I never knew Salvia could grow so tall. I would not have a chance of getting any close up photographs of bees on them unless I had a very tall ladder!
I have another beautiful tall Salvia grown for me from a cutting by my friend Linda. This is not so tall and has very fragile stems and several stems bearing flowers have been snapped off – I presume by birds landing on them. At least the broken stems seem to catch well as cuttings. I’ve seen no bees on these flowers and I wondered if the flowers were too long for the bees to reach inside them, but I have now seen a hummingbird hawk moth happily flitting from flower to flower. It stayed at each flowerlet for a long time drinking the nectar – long enough to get a really good photo – but I did not have my camera.
I have some really lovely tall plants now but I feel I am not showing the tall plants off to their advantage.
Of course, the plants themselves don’t play fair. These Cosmos have burgeoned to more than a metre and a half tall. I grew the seeds from a packet and then transplanted some here and others grown from the same packet I planted elsewhere but those were much shorter.
I tenderly cared for my Aster “Sweet Lavender” which flowered for the first time last year. I bought it a fancy plant support in the early summer but that turned out to be ridiculously too short. It is tied up unceremoniously to the fence and looks very sad as if I am trying to garrote it.
Plants don’t do what I expect of them. This year the tomatoes in the vegetable garden put up a poor show but we let a little tomato plant that had seeded itself down the well continue to grow, to see what happened. Actually, it has managed very well (sorry about the pun).
I don’t understand how an uncared for plant can grow on a stony well wall and then provide us with tasty tomatoes long after the ones in the vegetable garden have gone.
I must try and sort out my taller plants, I would be grateful for any ideas or suggestions.
A plant I have been very impressed with this year is the Common Fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica).
It is a wild flower but in late summer it is a magnet for all sorts of insects.
I have collected lots of the seeds and I want to introduce it to the wilder parts of the back garden.
I think this might be a Fritillary butterfly. The Common Fleabane does attract lots of different insects, it is just I tend to photograph the bees. I am a little nervous of introducing a wild flower into the garden in case it gets out of hand but it is as attractive as many cultivated flowers.
My only worry is that it too may behave badly once it is inside the garden.