Flower of the Month: October

There’s not a lot in flower this month so I thought I’d take a look at October birth flowers which are Calendula and Cosmos. I have already featured the lovely Cosmos so I have dipped into my garden files to find some of my Calendula photos.

Marigolds and Borage

Calendula officinalis, the common or pot marigold, is a popular annual plant with yellow to orange daisy- or chrysanthemum-like flowers. The common marigold is still widely used around the world to heal cuts and bruises. Its flowers and leaves are edible, and can be used in soups, salads, and other dishes. It also makes a spectacularly eye-catching garnish.

Marigolds

Because of its resemblance to the sun, it is associated with warmth, love, and creativity.

Flowers on Friday

Ginger Lilies are striking perennials and highly prized for their exotic-looking foliage and brightly coloured flowers.  They will thrive in full sun or light shade where there is a reliable source of moisture in summer and will survive outside in warmer parts of the country if the crown is protected by a dry mulch. In colder areas bring indoors and keep dry throughout winter, or lift the rhizomes and store in a cool, dry place until spring when they can be replanted. They are commonly seen in the gardens of Cornwall where they can grow into very large clumps.

Hedychium gardnerianum Large cylindrical racemes of sweetly scented yellow flowers, each with protruding red stamens, put on a very showy display from midsummer. A vigorous species, the bold foliage will often have a slight blue tint.

Hedychium densiflorum Forming a slowly spreading clump of lustrous foliage, this compact ginger lily is one of the hardier forms. The slender spikes of fragrant, orange-red flowers appear early in the season and tend to open in one impressive flush.

Hedychium flavescens Tall stems are clothed in pointed, lance-shaped leaves, which can grow to 60cm long and have a softly hairy reverse. In late summer or early autumn these stems are crowned with clusters of spicily-scented, creamy-yellow flowers.

 

Flowers on Friday

I have featured this flower before, but couldn’t help photographing some recently in the Lost Gardens of Heligan. I love these flowers and how the petals droop as they age. With their swirling skirts I always think of them as ‘little dancers’.

Helenium ‘Riverton Beauty’: Tall, upright and robust with clear, butter yellow flowers and a central brown cone.

Helenium ‘Riverton Gem’: A tall and robust selection forming a large bush of upright stems with mid green leaves topped with a magnificent display of orange flowers with yellow tips in mid to late summer.

With Storm Lorenzo hitting our shores (my little Aussie grandson thinks it is hilarious that he has a storm named after him), these flowers will probably be finished by the end of the weekend. But hopefully the pictures will brighten up your Friday.

 

Flower of the Month: September

This is the month of the Michaelmas Daisy, or Aster or Symphyotrichum or whatever name has been decided upon this year.  I mean who is going to remember Symphywhotsit! The feast day of St Michael the Archangel on the 29th September coincides with the peak flowering season of autumn flowering Asters. Which is how they come by their common name, Michaelmas Daisy.

There’s a colour to suit every garden – they come in shades of white, blue, purple and pink and they can flower for weeks beginning late summer and into autumn.

Asters

They look great in cottage gardens but also work in more contemporary schemes – they associate well with ornamental grasses. They’re extremely popular with bees and butterflies, too.

Some are compact and clump-forming and suited to the front of a border or a container, others are taller statuesque specimens reaching 2 metres and look best at the back of a border where they can waft over the other plants.

One of the best places to see these plants is in Worcestershire, close to the beautiful Malvern Hills. The Picton Garden is a plantsman’s garden that holds the National Plant Collection of more than 400 varieties of Michaelmas Daisies creating a jewel-like tapestry from mid-September. I published a post about this beautiful garden in 2014 so please click on the link and head over there for a visual treat.