In the Chairman’s Garden

As summer fades in the memory and autumn is becoming more of a reality, there are still plants in the garden giving their all; in some cases they have been doing this for quite some time. Many of you are aware that I don’t really ‘do’ yellow in the summer garden and am a fairly recent convert to orange.

Until this year the only Helenium I had was ‘Moorheim Beauty’ AGM which, I must confess, has been poor this year.  However, I have added a few more this year, most noticeable of which has been ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’ AGM.  What a revelation it has been, and how aptly named, starting to flower in June and still going well, with more to come, at the end of September.

Another plant that has been absolutely outstanding is Diascia personata, again flowering for months.  Unfortunately the picture does not accurately portray the vivid, almost shocking, pink colouration, but it has been a real ‘eye-catcher’.  I am particularly thrilled as this plant, and its sister on the other side of the bed, are both from cuttings taken last year.  My original plant has not thrived, perhaps because it is in the wrong place, and has gone steadily backwards, so I am pinning my hopes on these babies, and some more cuttings I have taken.

Amongst the plants to come in to flower more recently are two Asters (yes, these are still Asters) Aster x frikartii ‘Monch’ AGM and Aster amellus ‘Rudolph Goethe’.  The latter is in its second year with me and has bulked up well, having been bought for the princely sum of 70p from The Old Bridge Nursery in Ilkley – offshoot of Reighton Nursery .  Very slightly darker in colour than ‘Monch’, ‘Rudolf Goethe’ certainly rivals, if not outdoes, ‘Monch’ for sheer impact and floriferousness.

The sure sign that autumn is approaching is the change in leaf colour on some trees and shrubs.  For my money, and you may well disagree, the best red foliage of all is on Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’ AGM.  I have to say that mine is not as compact as it once was, but has taken almost ten years to get to about 5’ in height.  It is a stunning colour already, and will only get brighter in the next week or two; it quite takes my breath away whenever I look at it.

Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’ AGM

So, those are my ‘stand-out’ plants at the end of September which I need to keep in my memory as we head towards the leaner months to come.

Harrogate Autumn Show 2017

The autumn show brought a well-deserved Silver-Gilt medal to the West Yorkshire Team. The switch to a circular stand worked very well and showed off the plants very well. The location was better than we have been given in previous years too – close to the main entrance of the Societies part Floral Pavilion.

The main theme was Persicarias, interlaced with many complementary hardy plants and the result drew many appreciative comments from Show-goers. Many commented on the fact that these were plants they could reasonably expect to grow in their own gardens, and how helpful it was to see what could be achieved ‘in real life’.

Judges’ comments indicated that the stand missed Gold only because they would have liked to have seen any bare soil covered in moss (why?) and they would have enjoyed more trailing plants hanging over the sides. All in all a very impressive performance by the team!

Here are some detail pictures of the stand, by Ruth Baumberg: