In a Vase on Monday: Summer in October

Well another week of warm, sunny weather has passed and we have been basking in it; soaking up all that vitamin D and happiness the sun brings with it, and watching the garden go on blooming as if there is no winter approaching. Bliss!

October 31st? Yes! 😃

As a result of this mild and sunny month, I have a rather odd mix of flowers to share in my vase today. Odd in a very positive way, I must add.

As you can see above, a large pink cosmos has made a late appearance, possibly the ‘Double Click Cranberries’ which turned out to be single from last year. Then there is a blue Scabiosa, some pink Gypsophila which I thought had died in the summer, some pink Salvia (‘Icing Sugar’) and a blue Geranium…. and is that white flower on the left an anemone?  No, a Hellebore!

In the middle of the the three mini vases you can see a pink aster and my one and only reliable Chrysanthemum ‘Anastasia’. She comes back bigger and better each year, while others barely produce a single flower. I think I might try and take cuttings from her next year.

And on the right, more Geraniums (the pale pink one is ‘Apple Blossom’), a white Japanese Anemone, some purple sage and Aster ‘Ezo Murasaki’.

The temperature was 21°C yesterday (Sunday), but is forecast to slowly drop this week down to 7°C on Saturday. Oh well, it was a wonderful month and the garden needs a rest now, so November can come.

How was your October?

As usual, many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, who had the ingenious idea one November to share a vase of things from her garden and has since invited us to do the same every Monday. 😃

Have a great week, and happy gardening!



In a Vase on Monday: Red and Gold

A simple title for a simple vase this week, as I join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden with some materials gathered from my garden for a Monday vase.

Even before going out with my garden scissors, I knew which vase I wanted to use today – the bargain red glass bottle found at my local supermarket recently, with golden leaves attached. It just seems perfect for the season!

No blue skies in the background today, but the rain is doing the garden so much good that I will not complain.

I found the ideal flowers to put in it too. Some golden Chrysopsis from the Sunshine Bed and a couple of small sunflowers that are still looking decent.

The red flowers are Gaillardia ‘Burgunder’ and the red spikes are Persicaria ‘Blackfield’, both growing in The ‘Edge. I added a bit of Plumbago foliage as well – the flowers are over but the leaves are such a gorgeous shade of red at this time of year.

Three of these Gaillardia were planted together, but for some reason I also get flowers with yellow rings around the petals. Not sure if that is normal or my plants are trying to revert to their original colour… 🤔 I do prefer the solid red though.

The sun should be back tomorrow for the rest of the week, so this October really will have been golden. 😃

Hope your week will be full of sunshine too, and happy gardening!



Why I Love Autumn…

October is progressing, so it is time for an update from my autumnal garden. I really love this time of year, not just for the cooler temperatures and the special light or October sunshine. But the morning mists, the slower pace, the grasses, the asters, and a kind of ‘end-of-season’ feeling of satisfaction.

Apart from some slightly stunted growth (especially the Miscanthus), the grasses and asters seemed practically unaffected by the hot dry summer.

In the Oval Bed the rich purply pink Aster ‘September Ruby’ stands at about 1.8m tall. It has been the highlight for a few weeks now, along with the Miscanthus ‘Federweisser’, which is the only Miscanthus I have that has reached its full height and has flowered well. I love it!

Aster ageratoides ‘Ezo Murasaki’ is a small bluish purple one, about 60cm tall, spreading into a nice clump now….

Other asters have been planted in the Oval Bed but need a year or two to settle in, such as this pretty pale pink one called ‘Rosa Sieger’.

Moving across to the Butterfly Bed, this much pinker one is Aster novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Poetschke’.

Pink is an understatement for this flower! It is lively, vibrant, luminous – a great one to have if you only have space for one or two asters, or as a focal point as it really stands out.

(By the way, Poetschke is one of the oldest gardening companies in Germany and this aster was named after the grandmother of Werner Poetschke who ran the family business until the 1980s.)

In the Butterfly Bed the mice/voles had fun reorganizing everything last winter, so bits of asters planted there have moved and labels have been lost! The only one I can name for sure is the Aster pringlei ‘Pink Star’, seedlings of which have been put in the Oval Bed as well. 😀 Here it is pictured alongside a blue Geranium and the Chrysanthemum ‘Anastasia’, which is just beginning to open.

These are also flowering in the Butterfly Bed…


Now onto the Moon Bed, which focuses on blue and white flowers.

I had Aster ‘Mönch’ flowering here. for weeks, but it is finally going over. The current blue in this bed is the very tall Aster ‘Barr’s Blue’… not a true blue, but lovely nonetheless…

The Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Schottland’ is still a great backdrop.

The white asters in flower here right now are creating a stir… I would never have thought that white could be such a lovely ‘colour’, but at this time of year it brings light to the fading flower beds and stands out so well against the blue skies we have had recently.

This is Boltonia asteroides ‘Snowbank’ above, and below the slightly shorter Aster ageratoides ‘Ashvi’.

The other white aster I have is on the corner of the Sunshine Bed, which is extremely dry and exposed to sun and wind.

Aster ericoides ‘Schneetanne’ has tiny flowers, but major impact. It looks as good as ever, especially from a distance, like a little cloud in front of the yellow Chrysopsis.

Finally, The ‘Edge. This bore the brunt of the hot winds we had in July and August, and although the Miscanthus suffered, most of the other plants bounced back in September.

The Calamagrostis took it in their stride and the Stipa gigantea has remained standing all this time and is still very present.

I have got my final planting done, and bulbs in pots and in the ground, so I finally had time to sit on my lovely lounger last weekend and dream about the perfect gardening year we will have next year… plenty of rain, but lots of sunshine too. No wind. No heatwaves. No thunderstorms or hail and lots of butterflies and bees! 😉

Do you grow asters? Which have flowered well for you?

I hope you are enjoying your October gardens too.

Happy gardening!






In a Vase on Monday: October Snow

Okay, I caught your attention…. but not to worry. We have not had snow and it was a gorgeous sunny 20°C today! 😃 But the contents of the vase I am sharing this week do make reference to snow. 😉

But first things first. I wanted to show the lid of the ‘lotus’ vase I used before I filled it up.

It is so useful as I can place three or four stems in each hole and space them as I wish to create the effect desired. Here you can see I started with the foliage: purple Heuchera and Hellebore leaves.

The asters are all fabulous – as always! September rain and October sunshine helped. I chose the deep pink ‘Alma Poetschke’ (on the right) and the ruby/purple ‘September Ruby’ (left), although the ruby one really is more purple than red despite the photos suggesting otherwise…

The snow is represented by the white ones: Boltonia asteroides ‘Snowbank’ is the larger of the white flowers, and the small white flowers are Aster ericoides ‘Schneetanne’. (Clouds of white flowers adorn the garden, with bees humming everywhere. 😃🐝)

For height, I used some Miscanthus… they have actually started to flower, albeit very short and small flowers. They clearly like more moisture than I realised. And Persicaria. The darker one with the lovely markings on the foliage (see below) is Persicaria (Polygonum) Blackfield, which has turned out to be the most impressive flower of them all and the most drought hardy too.

We made the most of the good weather yesterday and chopped and stacked a lot of wood for the winter. This is one of our wood piles. 😃 We don’t use much as we have very efficient floor heating, but for emergencies…

Thanks as always go to Cathy, at Rambling in the Garden, for thinking up and hosting this Monday Vase meme. Do go and visit her today!

Have a wonderful week. And Happy Gardening!



Walktober 2022

Every year Robin at Breezes At Dawn invites us to share a walk in October – Walktober. I am pleased to participate this year as I think I have only done so once before in 2018. As soon as she does her post collecting all contributions, I will add the link.

17th October – And here it is: 😃

I realize that many of my readers do not get such intense autumn colour as we do. So I thought I would share some with you. In the mornings, old Anouk and I take a gentle stroll around the perimeters of the garden. Thankfully it is fenced in, or we would have deer directly in the garden. We often disturb some, sleeping just outside the fence in the tall grass between us and the neighbouring field. Especially here, where the Virginia Creeper has started covering a lot of the fence. It looks gorgeous right now.

As the name suggests, this colourful creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia ) is not native, but nowadays can often be found growing in the wild here. It is not considered invasive, and offers nectar and berries for the wildlife.

The hedgerows are full of berries; sloes on the Blackthorn, traditionally used for making sloe gin.

Spindle berries (Euonymus europeus), which (correct me if I am wrong) are of little use to humans but look incredibly pretty.

Viburnum opulus berries, again of more appeal to the birds.

And rosehips, which we must pick now if we want to make anything with them.

And the golden yellow patches of Jerusalem Artichoke flowers stand out well against the blue sky.

Close up, you can still see the morning dew on the petals…

Hopefully these will thrive next year too, as we are not harvesting the tubers.

Hornbeam trees line our driveway and are changing a lovely golden colour. They are renowned for retaining some of their leaves until spring, but each tree is different and some will no doubt be completely bare soon.

The pine trees beyond the fence also look wonderful when the sky behind them is that deep blue. It is nice to have evergreens nearby in the winter.

The grass has recovered from the summer heat and drought, but it is mostly weeds that grow here anyway…

Moon daisies, various types of dandelion, plaintain, clover and Prunella (self heal) are typical all year round.

Various funghi have appeared recently. I suspect many are edible, but since we are not familiar with them we will leave the mushroom gathering to the experienced!

A detour through the apple trees shows these are ready for picking… the only one of our trees to have produced any decent fruits this year, due to the combination of late frosts, strong winds and then the dry and hot summer.

I am looking forward to Apple strudel!…..

And one of the wild pear trees has produced lots of fruit. These have already been dried for winter snacks, as they are otherwise inedible – hard and sour!

I hope you enjoyed sharing our morning walk, and that you also have some pretty countryside near you to enjoy this October. To finish off this post I am quoting from a poem by Mary Oliver called ‘Lines written in the days of growing darkness’, which may sound dismal from the title, but is anything but!

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day…


In a Vase on Monday: Silver and Gold

October is behaving very well so far, with loads of sunshine and autumn colour. The nights are chilly, but we haven’t had a frost yet, so the garden is still looking fresh and ‘late summery’. 😃 So finding some materials for a vase, to share for Cathy’s meme at ‘Rambling In The Garden’, is still easy.

My Japanese anemones have all bounced back from being frazzled in August, albeit somewhat shorter than usual. I chose to pick some of the ‘Honorine’ ones, and mixed with the yellow Chrysopsis the golden ‘eyes’ stand out well.


If you are unfamiliar with Chrysopsis I can recommend it as extremely drought proof! It is almost as tall as usual – about 1.2m – and actually flowered a little earlier this year too. It is a reliable splash of sunshine in the autumn and even more welcome this year, as the Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ shrivelled up in the heatwave leaving a gap.

So I decided to stay with the yellow and white theme, with various white asters and some silver Artemisia foliage. Peony foliage also popped into the vase again – it is such a pretty golden colour this year, with hints of pink. The golden seedheads of Gaillardia ’rounded’ (😉) it off nicely.

The vase was a gift from my Mum a few years ago, but is one I rarely use as it is rather slim and does need refilling with water very regularly. But the golden heart seemed fitting for today’s contents. 😃

The sunshine is due to stick around a few days, so I shall be pottering around I expect. I do hope you also have the time and weather to potter in your gardens this week, and enjoy the season!

Happy gardening!

P.S. If you remember Jason from Garden In A City, he is celebrating his birthday later this month and his wife Judy has set up an address for us to send him a birthday card. You can find her post here.