If the forecast yesterday was right, last night was probably the coldest night of the autumn so far, though I have no thermometer outside so I don’t know how cold it went before it started going up again. It was raining by six o’clock. The Dahlias and Impatiens in the garden will tell me.
Yesterday was spent scurrying around getting tender plants under cover and setting up heaters.
My polytunnel. Did I attempt to make myself hostage to fortune by declaring on here that I was going to move my tunnel up to my allotment? I’ve backtracked and now plan to move it in the spring. For now it’s just too useful for overwintering plants. It’s 10 x 15 feet, which for someone who has spent years on a nursery with three tunnels around 10 times that in both directions, is tiny. In a small garden it’s a big area and holds a lot of plants which would have needed protection somewhere else. The picture was taken yesterday morning, it’s fuller now. The sides are actually vertical, the wide angle lens distorts things.
Camellia sasanqua varieties. You can see one of these, ‘Gay Sue’, flowering in a pot in the tunnel. The pots have been plunged in old potting compost to protect the roots from freezing, certain death for camellias. The other two are ‘Navajo’, again, and ‘Paradise Little Liane’, both in the ground in full sun at the front of the house. I know of two plants of ‘Little Liane’ growing in shade in other gardens, neither of them has ever flowered. Mine is covered in buds. Small flowers but pleasantly scented. ‘Gay Sue’ has quite large flowers for a sasanqua, semi-double and strongly scented.
There are odd things around the garden that are flowering out of their normal season, which is a bonus to be appreciated while it lasts. This Corydalis is one. If it had got really dry in summer it would have gone completely dormant then greened up again for autumn. As it was it stopped flowering and was looking tired, then the rain started and it’s happy as Larry. It’s Corydalis flexuosa but I don’t think I ever knew the variety.
Molinia arundinacea ‘Transparent’. This is seven feet tall and has so far resisted the gales. I wish I’d bought three rather than one but it’ll grow.
Talking of grasses, last week I bemoaned the unruly behaviour of my Miscanthus ‘Ferne Osten’ and this week I’m singing the praises of Miscanthus sinensis ‘Septemberot’, which is a stout upright tidy plant.
Cyclamen hederifolium ‘Rosenteppich’. I’ve shown this before but it’s back because it’s still flowering. I’ve only just cottoned on to the fact that some last a couple of weeks and some, like this one, at least a couple of months. I think the very early flowering forms tend to go over quickly, presumably because it’s warmer and dryer. I have a couple of later ones which have gone on and on; I must make a note of them and collect seed next year. This one is an exceptional colour too. I just bought another new one, ‘Red Sky’. Cyclamen are becoming a habit.
Right, let’s get this posted and go see what damage has been done. From what I can see of tender things from indoors, we escaped frost entirely and yesterday’s panic was unnecessary. Links to other sixes on The Propagator’s blog as ever. Philosophical musings on autumn abound.