Gardening Week 26th Sept. – 2nd Oct.
The leaves are beginning to turn colour and the evenings are drawing to a close earlier, leaving me less time to work on the allotment, – to commemorate the beginning of autumn I decided to bring a taste of ‘autumn’ into the home. It is not just the flowers but also the leaves of this flower that differ from the normal summer flowers. Their succulent leaves giving them a sturdy appearance which keeps them strong throughout the forthcoming autumn cold nights. The flower I chose is the Sedum, the clumps grow with an abundance and to cut a few for indoor decoration will go unnoticed.
Flower of the week from YOUR garden to YOUR table: 26th Sept. – 2nd Oct.
Botanical Name: Sedum Spectabile. Common Name: Ice plant (or Stonecrop).
The sedum is a really easy plant to grow, its fleshy stems are too thick for the normal garden pests like slugs and insects to bite into, so once planted no further protection is needed. The leaves grow from the clumps from early spring, but the flowers only begin to emerge at the end of the summer. The flowers are a haven for bees and butterflies especially at this time of the year when their other supplies of food and nectar are depleting. On most varieties, flowers are quite a dull pink or red / green colour but the variety ‘brilliant’ has flowers with a much more exciting hot pink colour. The flowers grow to around 50cm, it is advisable to tie the whole clump together with string as otherwise the flowers can weigh down the stems horizontally. As the flowers die the remaining seed heads continue to show colour and are of interest but once the leaves begin to wither at the beginning of winter they should be cut back to ground level and the new foliage is quick to follow.
Buying and planting guide.
The best time to buy the plants is at this time of the year when potted plants are sold in full flower, however, being in flower they tend to be quite pricey, alternatively, wait a few weeks till the flowers are blown, and they will then be available at a fraction of the price. Now is also the best time to divide existing clumps from your plant (or your neighbours) and replant in new soil to make new plants.
Whilst placing the flowers in the vase this week I found that in contrast to the vibrant colours that we have been used to over the past summer months these flowers were missing colour. I didn’t think that adding green leaves would help, so instead I added a few bare cornus stems which although dark themselves, still liven up the bouquet. Being too tall for the dinner table, I left them on the window sill.
The seasons are changing and our gardening patterns will have to follow!