Pottery Gardens In September: The Best Month For Gardens?

The Dahlia Border

Blink and you’ll miss it...

Spring and summer have passed by again for the year, taking their moods and their blooms with them. It might seem strange to associate plants with high speeds but at times a flower’s beauty can be fleeting, requiring great diligence to care for and appreciate. In many ways it can be a stunning reminder to always be observant of what is around us. Though nature waits for no one it’s so easy to forgive when it delivers that unbeatable shock of flowers or the inimitable flavour of home-grown produce.

So summer is officially over but there’s early autumn to look forward to. For the biggest bounty of the year it’s September, a great opportunity to celebrate autumn and and make the most of its gifts. At the pottery all five borders are giddily peaking, in great cascades of luminous colour. So with no further ado here’s our garden blog for September, with news, gardening tips and stories blossoming from the seeds of spring.

What to expect from the Garden in September:
A quick tour and some special things to look out for

As you enter the pottery from the road look to your left...

The Dahlia Border is an explosion of colour right now with 360 dahlias (128 different varieties) are in flower. This arrangement is complimented by a variety of asters which will come into their own between now and mid October.

From the Dahlia Border look ahead down the gardens to the path that cuts through the middle...

You can stroll down the Hornbeam Walk towards the summer house contains some special treats, including the rare and notoriously difficult to grow Lobelia Tupa from Chile. (More on this later in the post). Other highlights include the multi-hued pinks, reds, blues and purples of 20 different aster varieties.

At the end of the Hornbeam Walk surrounding the summer house you can now see…

The Hot Bank: much like the rest of the garden you can see a lot of bees here, getting ready to make what must be some amazing honey on a diet like this... look out for the Ricinus (with big purple leaves), Canna Lilies and Eucomis.

Turn to your left and walk along the Hot Bank. The Annual Border is now ahead of you. You can walk back towards the rest of the gardens and the shop with this on your right...

The Annual Border: three plants to look out for here that prove popular with visitors are the bright orange Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower) with extremely vibrant flowers against a mass of velvety, green leaves. Then there’s also the purple leafed Amaranthus Hopi Red Dye as well as mauve and pink Cherry Queen Cleomes.

There’s still more to see as you head through the gate towards the entrance to the shop...

The Main Path is lined with purple eucomis Sparkling Burgundy and agapanthus headbourne hybrids. Tall pots have marigold varieties Kew Orange and Burning Embers.

And to the right of the shop entrance...

Main Road Border: a traditional style border with Rudbeckias, Eupatorium, Solidago, Inula to name but a fraction of the whole. A favourite is the blue salvia Uliginosa. The first flowering is this year so it’s a the opening premiere for this plant ahead of its potential release across other areas of the garden.

See something you like in the garden? Why not share you pictures with us on social media #astonpottery?

The Annual Border

Gardening tips we’ve learnt you can apply in your own garden for a great autumn display

So you can enjoy even the most fleeting of flowers, and also get the best chance of a long display, here are a few tried and tested tips you can use in your own garden.

Things to do this month:

De-heading penstemons and heleniums: cutting back the flower heads when they start to die away gives them a new lease of life. If you you look after them and cut them back now they will continue to flower into late October. It can be time consuming but you may find like we do that the results are well worth the extra effort.

Feeding the agapanthus: giving agapanthus a good helping of tomato feed at this time is an investment in creating a strong plant. Doing this now will ensure they put on a good show next year.

Look out for more tips in the next garden blog!

Success story:
Stephen’s struggle to bring the Lobelia Tupa from Chile to our visitors

Chile is a long way from England, geographically and climatically. Making the journey from seed to flower both a challenge and an adventure for the exotic Lobelia Tupa: a unique and irresistible treasure in the garden, whose long, decadent fountains of raindrop-like flowers provide beautiful red plumes at the forefront of borders, without obscuring plants set further back.

Though the thought of having this magical plant on display was initially exciting, the seeds are notoriously difficult to germinate and nurture. Come the first winter the eighty carefully cared for specimens were wiped down to just three. A bitter blow for any gardener.

However after persisting for a further year another small group of the plants were consolidated and ready to plant. In order to have the best possible chance the Lobelia Tupa needed special attention to make them as strong as possible. They were also planted in a careful mix of grit and good soil to provide the drainage that is essential to these plants.

It’s been a good year for them, but despite Stephen’s urge to keep his favourite plants happy and healthy previous experience counsels the need for caution and care. Cuttings from healthy plants are being taken, the hope being that the numbers can continue to grow in the Hot Bank next year.

Have a great September!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our garden blog for September, with news, tips and stories from the garden.

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If you enjoyed this post why not have a look at our previous blog post with information on how to make the special rye brownie recipe from the cafe?

Also pick up a copy of Country Living for October 2017 to read about our gardens there!