I

With Ali­son Green­halgh of Ground­work South

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GREEN SPACES -

AS I write, it is a damp, murky au­tum­nal day which lacks much colour at Iver.

The sun­flow­ers have fin­ished and are cov­ered with many birds en­joy­ing a feast of seeds, the last of the gera­ni­ums are look­ing sorry for them­selves in the var­i­ous pots and the nu­mer­ous orange pump­kins have been gath­ered in for the win­ter.

So, this makes me think, what should I have done dif­fer­ently to pro­vide a bit more on­go­ing colour to cheer us as win­ter ap­proaches?

It’s easy to plant for spring and sum­mer colour and for­get about the au­tumn, es­pe­cially as a veg­etable grower fo­cused on har­vests, in­stead of year-round colour in the flower bor­der. We mostly as­so­ciate au­tumn colour with leaves, but there are plenty of flow­ers that con­trib­ute at this time of year.

Last week, I was down at Thrive’s lovely gar­dens at Trunk­well House, south of Read­ing, which in­spired me to write this col­umn.

There were sev­eral lit­tle gar­den ar­eas which made a big im­pact. The first was a yel­low raised bed full of rud­beckia (cone flower, pic­tured) and co­re­op­sis, which couldn’t fail to catch the eye. The lovely large golden yel­low blooms with dark vel­vety con­i­cal cen­tres were in­ter­spersed with the more le­mon yel­low of the dainty Co­re­op­sis.

The sec­ond area which caught my eye was a small show gar­den with a lovely pink and pur­ple haze of tall, grace­ful, ver­bena bonar­ien­sis blow­ing in the wind with a back­drop of cos­mos.

Of course, the aster fam­ily pro­vides another great source of late sum­mer and au­tumn flow­ers in­clud­ing michael­mas daisies. It’s worth a trip to Up­ton House near Ban­bury at this time of year which houses the Na­tional Aster Col­lec­tion in its stun­ning flower bor­ders sit­u­ated on a south-fac­ing slope.

So, I shall make a note to in­cor­po­rate more au­tumn flow­ers in my gar­den for com­ing years, just to make sum­mer feel as if it lasts a lit­tle longer.

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