After the recent flood, the weather seems to have settled into a perfect Autumn week. Light frosts at night; clear, still days, and the garden turning gradually red and orange.
The hips on the ragusa rose ‘Frau Dagmar Hastrup’ are good this year. They are really the only point of this rose; otherwise it is a thorny, invasive horror with blooms a shade of pink that would be a bad mistake as a colour for your living room. When I tried to find out who Frau Dagmar was, there were ten pages of Google entries about the rose, but not one for the person it was named for. It’s a sad reflection on the passing nature of fame, when your rose is all over the internet, but you are forgotten….
The azaleas are colouring up nicely. What wonderful shrubs these are – rich flower colours, heavy scent, and a blaze of red in Autumn as a bonus.
The autumn gentians remain closed up on grey, rainy days, but the sun brings them out to display their pure blue to all and sundry. This is g.macaulayi – a little earlier than g.sino-ornata, which is not yet at its best.
Hydrangea paniculata is one of the few remaining shrubs in flower. This is a very old plant – stuck into the wet clay in 1962, and still going strong. Most years it loses branches to snow or wind, and it is so late into growth that I always think it has finally died. But no. Year after year its white flowers provide a last reminder of summer.
The beech trees are tinted at their tops. Soon the gales will strip them bare, and for days the burn will run copper with the fallen leaves. Then it will be winter.