Weather has helped pro­long colour show

Garden News (UK) - - Over The Fence - Tom Pat­tin­son

There has been no short­age of gar­den colour in re­cent weeks. De­cid­u­ous trees and shrubs have played their part, and rea­son­able weather has helped pro­long late sum­mer bor­der dis­plays.

A col­lec­tion of hardy Fuch­sia mag­el­lan­ica, with tubes of white, red and shades of pink, have ex­celled them­selves this au­tumn. There are also group plant­ings of fuch­sia ‘Genii’, whose pale green fo­liage turns al­most golden in late au­tumn. Soft­wood stem cut­tings are taken from them each year to re­tain vig­or­ous plants. We se­cure con­ti­nu­ity of bloom by prun­ing some se­verely af­ter leaf fall, oth­ers lightly.

There’s a huge crop of red-pur­ple berries on the shrubby Leyces­te­ria for­mosa this year. They’re vis­ually at­trac­tive to us, but ap­petis­ingly so for the res­i­dent black­birds. The stems are hol­low inside and do root from hard­wood cut­tings but, thanks to the birds, seedlings spring up ev­ery­where. Showy, pink flower spikes of Cal­luna vul­garis have now faded, but groups of win­ter heathers ( Erica carnea) are show­ing masses of buds. We’ve been pick­ing and stor­ing ap­ples since early Septem­ber, and the large au­tumn rasp­ber­ries are still pro­vid­ing the oc­ca­sional serv­ing for break­fast. Win­ter cab­bages, sprouts and leeks are grow­ing strongly in the veg­etable beds, and per­pet­ual spinach has re­sponded to a se­vere trim with hedge clip­pers with suc­cu­lent new leaves.

Sev­eral early chrysanths that were still in bud out­doors, have been lifted with a good root­ball and trans­ferred to bloom in the calm base of a green­house bor­der. Mean­while, two cell trays of leaf let­tuce, ‘Salad Bowl’ and ‘Lollo Rossa’, have ger­mi­nated and will be planted in the bor­der. Then we can en­joy fresh let­tuce on a cut-and-come-again ba­sis over win­ter.

Droop­ing blooms of Leyces­te­ria for­mosa turn into ap­peal­ing berries

Ap­ples ‘Brae­burn’ and ‘Redlove’ are healthy and nu­mer­ous

Creamy-pink chrysanths flower freely

A gar­den full of un­usual plants and a big col­lec­tion of fruit and veg­eta­bles in Al­nwick, Northum­ber­land.

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