Six on Saturday

Autumn has arrived in style and the Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’ is putting on her beautiful display. I always marvel at the way shorter days trigger dormancy and leaves stop making chlorophyll causing them to change colour and fall off the tree.

Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ has been rather shorter in stature this year, only 150cm tall, probably due to the dry summer we have had and the adjacent hedges and trees sucking up the available moisture. They don’t need much water but if dry, they don’t wilt like other plants, they just don’t seem to grow as tall.

The Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’ have been extraordinarily good this year and we have taken armfuls of flowers into the house and given bouquets to friends and family, but still they go on! Twisting and pulling rather than cutting does seem to stimulate more and more flowering shoots as the advice suggests. It’s a bit like pulling rhubarb!

We have a squirrel problem. They are always on the bird feeders and are costing me a small fortune in sunflower hearts which, incidentally, have increased in cost by 50% since Brexit! However, the new ‘Squirrel Buster’ feeder really works and the squirrels have given up and gone somewhere else for their daily fill. I would highly recommend it, very well made, sturdy and weatherproof. £30 well invested!

The very last Phlox flowers nestled amongst the agapanthus foliage. It has been a wonderful year for garden phlox and they have given me a lot of pleasure, although I am gradually reducing them or banishing them to less front and facing positions. I love the flowers but hate the foliage and their weedy appearance. Too old fashioned and a tendency to get mildew unless constantly moist makes them a bit-part player nowadays.

In just three years this Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ has gone from a self sown seedling in a 9cm pot to a 3m tall giant! What a performer. It must be its common hedge cousin genes which makes it so prolific. I stupidly planted it close to the driveway so it’s going to need hacking back in the early spring. Knowledgeable gardening friends tell me that ‘coppicing’ produces better foliage but less flowers so maybe a more selective approach is in order!

That’s my six. I look forward to seeing yours.

Have a great weekend

David

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