Sizeable amounts of fine and persistent rain have fallen finally. And now the River Adour looks like a river, not just a large puddle. Not normally a gratifying experience, rain, but I have been quite enthralled by it, as has the garden. Although it is becoming very chilly at nights, plants are still growing, and many have made a remarkable come-back from the arid conditions of the summer and autumn. I have been wandering about, as well as doing more practical jobs, mainly noticing how much has in fact recovered. One or two plants have gone beyond recovery and have actually mistaken all of this for Spring. Both the Rosa banksiae, the yellow and the cream coloured one, have sporadically flowered.
The cooling temperatures, and a couple of frosts, more predicted for tonight, have brought out the colours in some plants- something which I had thought we might miss out on owing to the dryness. Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’ is rightly one of those Autumn starlets, and the cold and wet, have given the leaves an almost glossy finish.
The unknown orange Abutilon which I love very much for the endless supply of soft orange chinese lantern-type flowers, is still going, but the Berberis, with the very long name, has abandoned itself to scarlet, scarlet drop-shaped berries and the leaves.
Having looked very sorry for itself most of the last few months, my small and experimental Stumpery is enjoying the cool and the wet. The Persicaria is turning buttery, but the two ferns at the front, Dryopteris atrata, are growing back, and the blue-green fronds of the new Mahonia, well, new this year to me, Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress’ have handled the year well and are looking fresh. This is a slow spot for growth, shady but often dry, and tough, tough stony, poor soil, but like everywhere else, I am just trying to see what will work, and grow, even in less than ideal conditions.
Today, one of the Salvia confertiflora flowers finally began to open, with small, cream-lipped orange-red flowers pushing through the red velvet bracts. Now there’s something you don’t often see- even if it is inside in our cold, but not freezing hall.