Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Flower Colors In Autumn

Mention autumn colour and people immediately think of autumn leaves - the deep golds and fiery reds of leaves ready to fall. Autumn in the Moosey garden can be very leafy, but this year I'm taking special notice of the autumn flower colours.
Pinks and Reds
I've just been on a pink hunt. No problem here - many of the Moosey pink roses just aren't ready to stop flowering. Ballerina by the pond is still blooming, as is the satin-sheened John Clare rose. Mutabilis by the house looks like it's covered with a host of pink-winged butterflies. Several anonymous deep pinkroses are brightening up the autumn gardens by the Willow tree.
The best pink tones, however, are seen on my various hybrid dahlias. They simply must get the best pink prize.
Go For Gold
The red prize for autumn flowers must go to the dahlias, too. All possible shades of red are on offer - from orange-red tones through to cerise, purply reds, and deep scarlets. The dahlias are so sneaky in my garden - suddenly they are there, fully grown, blooming madly, determined to last until the first frost.
First there are spring daffodil yellows, then the yellows of the dwarf daylilies and the summer flowering shrubs, followed by the yellow perennial daisies - finally in autumn the yellow Chrysanthemum by theglass-house door goes for gold!
The Best Blues
The best blue flowers in autumn are the Salvias I grow from seed. Mind you, they seem to have been flowering for months. As well there are scatterings of blue pansies, and lots of blue flowers on the subtle creeping perennial Convolvulus (don't panic - it's the well behaved one).
And my Delphiniums (which I chopped down after the first flowering flush) are blooming again - go, you beautiful blues! There's also the beautifully fragrant Rosemary, with its grey-blue little flowers. There's nothing wrong with the autumn blues!
Go orange! There's a dead-heat here between the cheery annual Calendulas (who will survive the winter) and the Nasturtiums (who won't). Both flowers are generous with seed and bring such a positive element into the shorter gardening days of autumn.
Of course I'm a bit spoilt for oranges in summer, with the large clumps of daylilies I grow. The weather would need to be a little warmer to grow real oranges!
And Lemons...
The best lemon autumn flower is the climbing rose on the pergola called Casino. How this name fits a delicate lemon rose escapes me. But at this time of year Casino is absolutely beautiful. The thornyMermaid rose which sprawls along the back fence comes a close second.
And there's a highly commended in this colour section - a lemon daisy which has taken all summer to finally flower in the middle of the vegetable garden. I must remember to take cuttings - and to rescue it before the first frost. These pretty Marguerite daisies are only half hardy in my garden.
Prize Purples
The purple and/or magenta prize is difficult to award. The large bushy salvia Black Knight offers a rich, deep purple velvet, in contrast to the subtle mauve shades of the spotty Toad Lilies by the glass-house. There are many purple pansies flowering defiantly in the middle of the gravel driveway.
Then there's my brave perennial bluey-purple Verbena. This hard-worker is ignored year after year, but is still growing strong, and seems to be flowering all the time.
I'll go for the Toad Lily - spotty and stylish!
A Whiter Shade of Pale
White is the purist gardener's colour, and I still have a lot of white flowers blooming. But the big white flowering Nicotiana Sylvestris plants (they would have won hands down a month ago) have annoyed me by now, and I've pulled most of them all out.
White roses like Iceberg are still blooming madly, though. There are patches of small annual white daisies, and the striking tall white cosmos have taken over the driveway border.
But the biggest, whitest (and floppiest) white flower in the autumn garden is my large almost-single white dahlia.
Autumn Apricots
An un-named apricot David Austin rose gets photographed every year in the middle of April. It was rescued from death-by-starvation on an unwatered sale table some winters ago. This is by far the best apricot coloured autumn flower I grow. But what is its name? It's another anonymous beauty.
This charming rose is also awarded the pastel colour prize. Many of the David Austin roses are spectacularly pastel.

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