Hats off to cyclamen or autumn roses
mountain rocks and along gritty roadsides throughout the Mediterranean, where summers are arid and winters more temperate.
Many cyclamen bloom, as a result of that climate, in the autumn and are hardy enough to cope with our winters.
Essentially a woodland plant, as the trees above them shed their leaves and early autumn rains reach the earth below, the plants spring into life, flowers first, pink and white heads nodding on fragile stems.
Then as they fade, the delicately- patterned, highly decorative leaves give verdancy to the increasingly barren soil. In fact, it is the foliage which give a common autumnal variety its name – cyclamen hederifolium – ‘ivy leaved’.
For years, I have planted spring bulbs everywhere I can so that they will give me the first hint of wakening up of the soil and warmth in the air, announcing the coming of longer days and more sunshine, and I have completely overlooked softening the edges of the colder, shorter days by planting something which will cheerfully and robustly bloom in September. From now on, though, I will build up my beds of wild cyclamen and will look forward to them as much as I do to daffodils.
To everything there is a season.