There’s still a little colour left in the garden, but only in patches. Crocosmia is a mainstay at this time of year. Here it is with a very old yellow potentilla providing the background:Then there’s the willow gentian, gentiana asclepiadea. The reason you have a close-up of this is that it is one of the floppiest plants around, and the clump actually looks a complete mess. Garden catalogues describe it as having elegant arching stems. What they mean is that it falls flat on its face at the first breath of wind. I’ve tried giving it one of those wire zimmer frames, but that just makes it look like an unhappy animal in a cage. If you tie string round it instead, it takes on the pathetic aspect of a beautiful girl forced into a corset. So I just let it flop.This is primula capitata, one of the last primulas to flower, and a wonderful dark violet. It’s normally a little earlier than this, but I found an overgrown plant in a garden centre and managed to split it into six separate offshoots. This held back the flowering a bit. P. capitata is a nice easy primula – largely evergreen, and shallow rooted, so you need to watch it in frost. Like most primulas, it can disappear without warning, but usually doesn’t.
On Other fronts:
The bank is now halfway cut. Overnight, the volcano opened up a new fumarole. Here is a view into the crater:This inevitably happens with a grass smother, but the hole needs to be filled as soon as possible, or else significant amounts of heat are lost. It has rained heavily in the past 24 hours, so the grass is wetter than is ideal, and I am cutting it faster than it burns. I’ve added a second fire adjacent to the first to cut the backlog, so I now have twin active volcanoes. At night, there are eerie spurts of flame.