Six on Saturday – Autumn: Rain, dew and mists


We’ve finally had a day of continuous rain, hurray! The garden is very grateful for it and is looking a lot more perky as a result. Shame I was driving down the motorway (sitting in queues) in it though. Early mornings are starting to be a bit chilly, creating some fine views of misty sunrises and dew-covered flowers. We are definitely relaxing into an autumnal mood. There has been much leisurely browsing of bulb catalogues, on-going seed gathering, harvesting the final courgettes and even a start on leaf raking. Let’s have a look at some of the late season pretties from the garden for The Propagator’s Six on Saturday .

Here we go then:

1) I love ‘Amante’!

Last year my Sarah Raven order for Salvia ‘Amante’ was a casualty of supply failure resulting from pandemic chaos. This year I ordered it again the day I received her summer catalogue. However, they still took three months to arrive and so are only just starting to flower, but they’ve made good strong plants and I really do love them. There is something very appealing about the colour, with that gradation from cerise to purple down the neck of the flower, not to forget those attractive dark calyxes and cute contrasting anthers.


2) Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’

As with many things this year, Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ has been slow to get going from seed. It is finally looking good for autumn, but I am hoping that they will overwinter so that they become substantial plants for next year.


3) Leonotis nepetifolia

Last time I grew leonotis leonurus they grew very, very tall and flowered … not a bit! I ripped them out that autumn in disgust, only to read later that they can survive UK winters, with a little luck. I should have given them a chance. Live and learn! This time I’ve grown Leonotis nepetifolia, which is definitely an annual. However, it is flowering freely already and making me very happy. I adore the furry orange flowers. They do evoke thoughts of lions, with their mane-like whorls!


4) Schizostylis

Such a great name, I just had to use it! Of course, these flowers are now properly called Hesperantha. These are Hesperantha coccinea ‘Major’ and are supposed to be great vertical autumnal accents. Why are mine so floppy then? Maybe they need to be bigger, self-supporting clumps?


5) Aster time

Dewy-eyed asters at this time of year look wonderful! These are a Symphyotrichum novae-angliae cross and have grown to nearly 1.5 metres this year. This view is at head height!!


6) Sedums

Sedums are all buzz suddenly. They’ve been colouring up nicely over the last month, but yesterday I looked down and saw that they are covered in insects (mostly honey bees in this shot). This is the ubiquitous Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’, formerly known as Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ … which it truly is!


Well, unfortunately I’ve been pinged. Since we’ve been keeping strictly to the Covid hygiene and distancing rules at work, I am fairly confident it’ll be fine. My tests have been negative so far, but I am isolating. I expect to get a lot of gardening done in the coming week!

Meanwhile, remember that an array of other seasonal gardening goodies can be found via comment links on Jonathon’s post. 

Keep well and have a good weekend.


About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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23 Responses to Six on Saturday – Autumn: Rain, dew and mists

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    A lovely six this week – that salvia is worth the wait, I’d say! Hope your test comes up negative. This virus vigilance is wearing us down!

  2. Good luck!.Hope your positive attitude is rewarded with a negative test.

  3. Hope it’s negative! I’m beautiful pictures! I enjoyed looking at these flowers

  4. susurrus says:

    Those asters look amazing in the bud. You made me laugh with your ‘great vertical autumnal accents’ comments. It’s say to see a marketeer wrote that. They seem like great plants though. Even if they sprawl, their flowers are so perfect.

  5. fredgardener says:

    Are these Leonotis nepetifolia smaller and more hardy to our winters? It would be interesting to know. I also showed my aster novae-angliae on Twitter; it’s the season !
    Last thing, you too as N20, you did well to present these Hesperanthas, they are very pretty.

    • No Fred, sadly they are described as annuals, but at least I know that they flower well in the year that they are sown. They are about 1.2m high right now.
      Asters are a wonderful autumn flower, especially the mildew-resistant novae-angliae cohorts!
      Hesperanthas manage to look both exotic and dainty. Now I need to look out for other colours!

  6. Great Six. My Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ survived the winter and flowered well this year (it was a disappoitment last summer).

  7. shoreacres says:

    What does it mean to be ‘pinged’? That’s a term I’ve not heard, but it seems it must be related to the virus. In any event, I hope all is well.

    You gardeners just amaze me. I have a hard enough time keeping the genus and species of a few native plants in mind, let alone all these cultivars! But I’m proud of myself for looking at your Leonotis nepetifolia and thinking, “that sure looks like Monarda. Sure enough, both are in the mint famil — there is that square stem, and the spaced-out clusters of flowers. It surely is a pretty orange!

    • Oh, to be pinged is what we called being notified of close contact from our NHS Covid App. We’ve even had a ‘ping-gate’ when vast numbers of pings were issued at the end of the last lockdown!

      Yes, the extensive mint family is easy to spot from those stems.

  8. Well done on that gorgeous photo of the asters. And who can resist a Salvia that good looking? Hope it flowers well into autumn after the long wait for it. Enjoy your gardening time!

  9. pbmgarden says:

    Wishing you good health and happy gardening this week. The annual leonotis is new to me and looks like a rewarding plant to grow. The flowers on your Hesperantha are so dainty and lovely in color.

  10. Megan Hall says:

    Interesting to see your leonotis — it looks very good. I have the original l. leonuris, but since we don’t get frost, it’s fine all year round. Just need to cut it back smartly after flowering 🙂

  11. Cathy says:

    That savia is such a pretty colour but it looks as if it might share the same habits as Amistad, which I have had zero success with. I shall definitely look out that leonotis – where did you get your seeds from? And have noted what you said about Cherry Brandy – if they can survive the winter it perhaps makes up for the difficulty in getting them to germinate!

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