The header picture taken today is Gladiolus murielae, aka Gladiolus callianthus, aka Abyssinian gladiolus, aka Acidanthera bicolor, aka Peacock Orchid. It is a half-hardy corm native to east Africa and is utterly charming. I have often described her, as she is surely female, as a demure young lady in a pretty white dress staring at her feet, too shy to look up to her admirers. Sadly, like all her bigger and bolder cousins, she has to be lifted and stored in a frost free place for the winter.
Everything is slowing down and gradually going to sleep for the winter. I have decided I am very much more a shorts and tee shirt gardener than hat, coat and boots. Does that make me a wimp? Not sure, but I know that there is no fun trying to work on sticky clay soil with mud sticking to your boots, filthy trousers, and cold wet hands. On the mild days I have managed to get most of the autumn jobs done but I awoke this morning with just one thought…must get the tulips planted! I bought a collection of 90 Lily-flowered bulbs this year and that is a lot of pots to plant. I adore tulips but it is pointless trying to grow them in my cold sticky clay. I also have Sammy the Squirrel and his friends to contend with who love tulips as much as I do. So, 6 large terracotta pots and an enormous mix of compost and grit later and they are all standing proudly in their new positions along the front of the bungalow.
I have no idea what this pelargonium is called, it was bought for £1 in our society plant sale with no label, but when it came into flower I was knocked out. The flowers are creamy white with salmon pink centres and have been going non-stop since early July. I am determined to keep it going over winter so it is now in the kitchen basking in 23° and sending up more flowers to show its appreciation.Today I was taking my Canna Durban, Fuchsia arborescens and tender evergreen Agapanthus africanus over to my friend Paddy’s centrally heated Hartley Botanic greenhouse for the winter. Did you catch the faint whiff of greenhouse envy as I wrote that?! Seriously, it is centrally heated with mains gas! Once his tomatoes and melons are over for the year there is plenty of space for his tender potted plants as well as few of mine.
Just got voted in as Vice-Chairman of our Horticultural Society so a bit chuffed.