Autumn Flower Colour
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 pink roses 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 the glass-house door goes for gold!
The Best Blues
Electric Blue Salvia
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!
Lemon Climbing Rose
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 thorny Mermaid 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.
Magenta-Purple Toad Lily
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.
Pastel Apricot Rose
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.
The Grass is Greener?
There definitely needs to be a prize for green. Serious contenders are the shiny green Angelicas in my rockery, and the frilly green winter lettuces in my vegetable garden. At the moment, however, the greenest green is seen on my lawns. They weren't even in the running a month ago!
Technically the lawns are ineligible, so I'll patriotically give the green award to all my shiny Phormium Cookianum flaxes - the cleanest and greenest of the New Zealand natives in my garden.
So there's so much colour still to enjoy in my garden. Autumn flower power - the autumn leaves can wait!