Saturday, 17 October 2009

Flowering now!

We've been taking some pictures around the nursery today, not many, just a few - we just had to take a little time to capture all the Autumn magic that surrounds us, as the plants go through their colour transformations, with foliage ablaze in all shades, the deepest burgundy reds, scarlets, ochres, yellows and golds, oranges and even deep cerise pink. There is even a plant that has the colour of one of the more exotic dishes available in one of G.E. HQ's favourite tandoori restaurants! More of those photos to come later. But first, we just have to share what looks to be a wonderful planting combination - not just in our eyes, but also in the view of the bees and butterflies that have been sampling the sweet nectar provided by these plants for weeks.

Cat mint, Nepeta Sixhills Giant , combined with Sedum ''Herbstfreude'', a reliable performer in the garden, and a variety that is also known as 'Autumn Joy' for obvious reasons!

The spectacular cat mint has been doing it's job since June, flowering all through the summer. Beautiful powder blue flowers are produced in the hundreds by this plant that is a star for hot summers as it is drought tolerant. With it's drought tolerant nature in mind, we decided to team it with our friend the Sedum, which is also very resilient in dry conditions.

Over summer the Sedum developed its large plates of flowers atop of its fleshy stems and cool
(as a cucumber) green foliage, that set off the cat mint, with its silvery grey-green leaf tones, a treat. Since late August, as the flowers started to open on the Sedum, this partnership has been going from strength to strength, here we are nearly two months after the Sedum started to bloom, and we are still enjoying this spectacle, and if you go back to the start of June when the cat mint started to come into its own, that's nearly six months of colour from this perfect plant pairing, but it wont just end here in Autumn.

Those large heads of rusty red-pink flowers, that make the Sedum such a first rate garden plant, not only look fabulous now as other plants are running out of steam, but will give a lengthening period of interest right into the cold and icy Winter months. As the flowers inevitably fade, Jack Frost will be out doing his work, covering all in a fine layer of frozen water that will bedazzle as it glints in weak winter sunshine that gingerly cuts through the crisp winter air. These flower heads will jump out like diamond encrusted cushions of treasure, jewels in the winter wilderness when our friend jack has been out spinning his magical dusting of frosting.

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