This is definitely a favourite time of year in the garden for both myself and many of our visitors. The herbaceous perennials of late summer begin to die down but autumn colour has not quite arrived. It could be presumed that the garden would begin to look quite tired, however here in the gardens there are several truly spectacular flowers that choose this ‘sleepy’ time to flower.
Marwood’s Garden Tearoom is the perfect place to gaze at the tall, golden flowered Stipa gigantea, which really looks beautiful in the low afternoon light. The black leaved Actaea simplex, with its contrasting white fragrant flower spikes looks striking in the borders. The deep blue hooded flowers of Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Arendsii’ and Salvia ‘Amastrad’ contrast well with the silver foliage of Artemisia, Rubus tibetanus (Tibetan bramble) and Plectranthus argentatus (silver spurflower). Topping it all off are masses of pink flowering Clerodendrum bungei and magnificent clumps of Kniphofia rooperi (red hot poker). Its bright orange beacons lighting up the garden.
September Events, The Plant Heritage, Plant Fair
We were lucky enough to be part of the RHS Rosemoor, Plant Heritage Weekend. Marwood Hill Gardens hasn’t had a stall at this plant fair for at least 5 years. It was a wonderful opportunity to spread the word about our ‘secret haven’. We were very excited to meet other collection holders and of course share our own National Astilbe collection. Also, a great chance to get hold of some really rare and beautiful plants to bring to Marwood. For anyone who isn’t aware of the important work of the plant heritage in saving garden plants you can find more information on their website at https://www.plantheritage.org.uk/
New Plant – Astilbe Salmon Leap
As I mentioned in the last blog, we have been searching for a name for our new Astilbe and we can announce. Drum roll please , it is …. ‘Salmon Leap’. It has been propagated and hopefully will be available to buy early summer 2022.
The Old Oak
The oak died a number of years ago due to rising water levels. At the time, clever and artistic use of a chainsaw was employed, (by a local tree surgeon) to make the tree look as if it had been slowly decaying for many decades. The tree suited the location but being located at the top of the valley it dominated the surrounding landscape and arguably could be considered a bit of an eye sore. The tree had no natural cavities or decay so was of very little use to wildlife.
The area is now significantly larger, lighter and more inviting, but the gardeners were sad to see the old oak go.
A dip in the lake
This month we have been dusting off our waders and annoying the ducks and carp. The lake edge is always prone to erosion, so we have shored up the bank, utilising a nearby pile of old conifer trunks (unrottable) which have sat in the marsh for several years. These large pieces of wood were rolled down the stream and have been stacked up along the bank edge, creating ideal planting pockets and a very rustic look.
Top tip for September
As the days begin to draw in and the temperature drops, many plants start to lose their leaves. This means it’s the last opportunity to take cuttings of evergreen plants growing in the garden.
In our nursery, cold frames are being cleared, which will begin to be filled with frost tender plants and plants that wouldn’t like the excessive wet Devon winter.
Our Astilbe splitting continues at speed as we aim to grow and expand our collection. Normally we would only propagate 1000 or so astilbes per year but this year, we are approaching 4000, much for this is to meet increased demand for the versatile and increasingly popular plants. Don’t forget to check out our online shop, if you would like to add Astilbe to your own garden.