In a Vase on Monday: Herkules

Despite a dusting of snow and the cold temperatures (-10°C when I got up this morning!) I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her weekly meme. As you can imagine, there is nothing flowering outside now, but I do have a beautiful Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) indoors. Technically, it is not ‘In a Vase’, but since Cathy herself cheated a little bit this week, I am sure she will forgive me! 😉

This is Herkules, one of two I have planted this winter.

In these photos it is standing on the floor in front of my Christmas Tree, with the ‘skirt’ I crocheted to cover the base. 😃

I love this colour – a pale coral red, festive and cheerful.

The other one I planted at the same time (‘Red Peacock’) is showing no signs of life yet. Timing them seems to be impossible!

If you are in Northern Europe I hope you are staying warm and cosy. Have a great week!

 

 

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: Helianthus tuberosus

Helianthus tuberosus is making a statement in our garden at the moment. 😃

In winter, my Man of Many Talents decided to try this plant as an alternative to potatoes (which did not do well last year due to the wet and the mice). The two long strips of ground used for potatoes last year were tilled once more and he planted the tubers in early spring.

 

The tubers are edible, and are known as Topinambur or Jerusalem Artichoke. I must be honest, the flavour does not appeal to me much – earthy, nutty, and rather strong, they overpower other flavours if added to a dish. But sliced thinly and fried or baked they are a nice accompaniment to a meal. If you have eaten them and have any good ideas of how to enjoy them, please do let me know.

So the tubers are not a big hit, but the flowers ARE! They were slow to get started but by August the plants were enormous, and about two weeks ago they started flowering….

The tallest must be about three metres, at least.

So my vase today is jam-packed with these gorgeous perennial sunflowers. They create the wonderful effect of a burst of sunshine indoors on a cloudy day. 😃

The tubers can stay in the ground over winter and be harvested as we want them, or simply left to produce flowers again next summer. They were watered once in the middle of the drought, but I think you could definitely label them as very drought-tolerant. But be warned. Given ideal conditions they can take over, so should only be planted where they can spread happily. 😃

 

I do actually have two more vases to share today as well. This one is leftovers from last week – annual sunflowers, Chrysopsis and some Golden Rod.

And my last vase is rather an incredible one. Back in August (the 8th to be precise) I posted this photo of a vase full of globe-shaped flowers and seedheads.

Well, after about ten days I removed the water and a couple of wilted pieces, and let the contents simply dry in the vase. And this is how it looks now…

I haven’t dared move it, and just dust around it, as the grasses and Echinops are very fragile. I am impressed with how well everything has lasted.

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme. Do go and visit her to see what gardeners are picking from their gardens today! 😃

This slideshow requires JavaScript.