I can’t quite get over this mild weather we are having and it is beginning to play havoc with my bulb planting plan, since I am loathed to tear out beautiful annuals or chop back flowers in order to make the space to do it. Winter will be long enough as it is, especially if the consequences of this year’s strong El Niño prove true, so for the next week or two I am prepared to continue to deadhead and tidy.
One such enchanting annual is Hibiscus trionum. The plants are looking as fresh as when they started to flower,
but now have the advantage of being much larger and more prolific. I love the buttery cream colour of their petals, the elegant oak-like leaves and how easy it is to grow. This annual manages to look as deliciously exotic as the perennial shrubby examples from hotter climes, but grows readily in the UK. It is hard to resist peering deep into the flowers to check out the amazing stigma. They look like little sea anemones waving around to catch the pollen.
Next up is echinacea. Having paused for a while, the echinacea is now flowering its little heart out again. It looks especially pretty with fog droplets on its florets.
The lateness of the season and weather seem to be affecting it colouring though, in interesting and attractive ways.
The weather is doing crazy things to the fruit trees in the garden too. I have odd instances of new blossom on the apple trees and medlars in flower.
Elsewhere there is a pleasant slide into winter dormancy. The strappy leaves of agapanthus are turning a wonderful amber colour that seem to radiate warmth in the low light levels.
Waiting in the wings for a coating of frost or (dare I say it) snow, unless the damp rots them first, are some lovely seed heads, including echinacea, asphodeline, monarda and rudbeckia. The seed heads of monarda were made for such a glittery coating and look so formal, like minaturized topiary trees:
I thought I would end with a flower that is no stranger to late autumn flowering, namely Chrysanthemum. I must admit to not being a big chrysanthemum fan, but I have a soft spot for ‘Emperor of China’. It typically flowers in November, so quite often the flowers are weathered and battered even as they open. However, this year they are looking particularly beautiful. Their leaves have had the time to turn a deep red and make a perfect foil for the silvery pink flowers.
The buds start as a strong pink colour, but as the petals unfurl the outer rings are paler and often quilled.
Converted yet? I have been.
This is just a small selection of the flowers looking good in the borders now. I am joining in with Gillian of Country Garden UK’s weekly Looking Good meme. If you follow the link you will see some gorgeous picture of Ginkgo and highlights from other bloggers.
What has caught your eye recently?