GBBD - Golden September

I love the quality of light in September. It's a warm, golden colour which slants through and highlights the plants in a most wonderful fashion. And there's still plenty to highlight, even though the garden's beginning to look a little worn around the edges. The Dahlias are still on song and many of the early flowering Clematis are now producing a welcome second flush of blooms.

I'm taking a slightly different approach with my Blooms Day post this time: there's no slideshow or collage. Instead, I've selected just a few photos - which you can click to enlarge - to show some of the differences in my garden this month. If you'd like to see more, the slideshow I produced last September will fill in a lot of the details as will this post from last month and my pictured Chrysanthemum from yesterday, which is brightening the area by my front door.

First up is Cyclamen. I always choose a different one each year and Franks Plants has made my task slightly easier by producing trays of a single colour this time. Apparently, they came through a little earlier, thus enabling this to happen. It's the first time I've seen a white cyclamen with a tiny ring of pink, so I had to have it.

I believe I planted this Aster 3-4 years ago, so of course I now have no idea of which one it is. It's the first time it's bloomed, on stems around 2 feet high. It's usually been heavily shaded by my Teucrium fruticans, but this was severely checked by the cold winter, so it seems to have given the Aster sufficient room to reach its full potential this time.

I bought this Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' at a charity nursery plant sale earlier this year. As you can see the bees love it. It's also a reminder of my visit to the Inner Temple garden at last year's RHS Show, where I saw this plant for the first time. It reminds me of the superbly planted autumn borders there as well as a grand day out.

I also bought this Cosmos 'Chocamocha' at the same plant sale. It's always been in flower since May, still has lots of buds, and smells deliciously of chocolate every time I brush past it. No wonder I think of it as my 'plant of the year'.

I've had this Clematis 'Kermesina' for quite a while and I planted it to add some late season interest to the Rosa Rambling Rector' clothing my side fence. It's a really bushy plant for the first time this year and has made a determined bid for freedom outside my garden. Here you can see it scrambling through my winter flowering honeysuckle and into the ash tree on the public land next door.

And finally, I know it's not a flower, but I couldn't resist taking a picture of our native wild Clematis vitalba aka Old Man's Beard. The sun was backlighting it magnificently this morning, where it's currently serving as a curtain to walk through from the front garden to the side of the house. It's totally dominating a field maple tree on the public land and is probably the last opportunity I'll have to take this photograph. The tree's beginning to touch our house, so I need to get the council to come and do some maintenance before the winter winds are upon us.

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


  1. Happy Bloom Day, VP I do love your selection and photos. Cyclamens, just haven’t been happy in my garden for some reason but I do love to see mass plantings like yours… that is a nice plant colour too although I am partial to the cerise ones :-)

    I agree it’s the September light levels that really make the garden sparkle at this time of year. Ah… I do love that ‘Lemon Queen’ and the Cosmos is brilliant too although another that couldn’t take our winters… even in my greenhouse :-(

    Ah… just love the Old Man’s Beard! Great sneak in… I hope to do the opposite later… with a GBBD vid at the end of my Cambo posting :-;

  2. Hi VP, I really like to hear details about each plant, although the collages are beautiful. We also grow Lemon Queen and the lighter yellow stands out against the susans and other rudbeckia hues well. Your plant of the year is well chosen, it looks good enough to eat! ;-)

  3. Hi
    Like Frances I prefer this style of GBBD to the slideshows, although I know I have done some slide shows and in the summer it is difficult to choose.
    My chocolate cosmos hasnt flowered this year, I think it is being shaded by other plants but them I have had it for about 5 years and it is the first time there havent been flowers

  4. I like the cosmos. It has a nice color to it. Ours are all pink right now and while they look good I'm not a pink fan! I like the 'Lemon Queen' and the aster also.

  5. LOVELY blooms!! I was thinking of you whilst on my hols and took loads of municipal planting schemes for you in Brittany, boy to they know how to do it right. I'll send them over you way soon.

  6. pretty Lemon Queen! I love those sunflowers.

    at least you've got light... it's pouring down here. But I had some fun anyway - the garden looks lovely all covered in dewdrops.

    Happy GBBD!

  7. I agree, the light at this time of year is so beautiful, and you've captured it perfectly in the shot of the Old Man's Beard. I can see why Cosmos 'Chocomocha' is your plant of the year. Now I want some. It's a great color, and having a chocolate scent must be wonderful.

  8. My little white cyclamen come up each year. And every year, cats roll around on them and squash them. The cyclamen don't seem to mind much and keep flowering regardless - and churn out more flowers. I wish the cats would stop doing it though. And if they aren't rolling on the flowers . . . they are sitting on them like chickens incubating eggs. I suppose shooting cats isn't encouraged on this blog?

    P.S. The word verification is ciology . . . a new science studying the organistational politics behind the olympics? (Comité International Olympique)

  9. Particularly impressed by the white flames of cyclamen!

  10. You have got to love the variety names of plants! Old Man's Beard is great. And the picture is spectacular, I definitely see why you included it. Happy Bloom Day!

  11. Happy Bloom Day, VP! You've chosen some excellent specimens to highlight for September, and the lighting is just perfect. I can see why you are so taken with that delicate cyclamen; I love white plants with a tinge of pink. And the cosmos! Oh dear, I think you've just added to my plant addiction:)

  12. Lovely photos, still so much in bloom and although autumn well and truly making its presence known there's still wonderful light and photos to be had yet!

    The Chocolate Cosmos is lovely, and you have done well to resist eating it ;)

  13. Gorgeous blooms -- I love that red cosmos! I agree, the light this time of year is spectacular. :)

  14. Hi VP, what a lovely parade of blooms, the Cosmos is the favourite with its remarkable colour.



  15. I love the cyclamen. I keep trying to grow them here and see no reason why they won't so haven't given up yet. I love your Lemon Queen too!

  16. Hi everyone - glad you like the selection on offer this month.

    Frances and PG - that's interesting feedback re slideshows and collages. I've preferred to use them in the past because I'm using GBBD as my own garden diary and putting in individual photos eats up my blog space very quickly. It would also make my blog much slower to load if I posted 15-30 pictures in 1 post, so there's a reader friendly issue to contend with too. I also find posting lots of pictures can break up the flow of the writing, so I try to post just one picture for most of my posts and then tell the story. Of course that's impossible for GBBD, but this time I found what I've posted last month and last year's slideshow takes care of the diary element of what I do with GBBD, so this time I was able to focus on just a few images and tell you a bit more about why they're special.

    Shirl - these cyclamen are quite tender. I find I can usually successfully overwinter the ones planted close to the house, but the ones further away tend to suffer. I have got some of the hardy ones, but they're spring bloomers - must get some of the autumn flowering ones too...

    Dave - welcome :) Your Cosmos are a different species, so perhaps you could try some chocolate ones instead?

    Carrie - ooooooh, I look forward to seeing what you come up with for OOTS! I hope you're feeling better today.

    CG - we went all dull here after I'd run round the garden. Sometimes it's advantageous to have a husband who goes swimming training very early in the morning!

    MMD - the light was so good, I couldn't resist taking that picture and showing it off! I'm hoping I'll be able to overwinter the Cosmos in my coldframe.

    3C - I've got some pure white Cyclamen too - I had to cover Skimble and Jess' eyes when reading your comment so that they're not corrupted by your cats' antics!

    Helen - I do love Cyclamen. They almost make up for the end of summer.

    Hilery - welcome! Isn't it a great name? I also love the name for Persicaria orientalis - Kiss Me Over The Garden Gate!

    Liz - it's been tough sometimes because I love chocolate! I must come over to yours on a visit - I have some Sheffield links you might be interested in seeing :)

    Nancy - it's the best light of the year, so I bet you're out and about with your camera a lot at the moment :)

    Tyra - I never thought I'd go for red/brown flowers, but I've been drawn to them this year. Dahlia 'Arabian Night' has been another favourite and I'm coveting PG's 'Chat Noir' at the moment...

    Elizabethm - Lemon Queen's lovely - she's a bit more restrained than her perennial cousins elsewhere in the garden!

  17. Hi VP, The September sun is lovely. I have the chocolate cosmos and it does smell divine. I hope I am able to save seeds. I can't recall where I found it last spring! ~I love when bloggers showcase a few of their favorite flowers on Bloom Day. The collages are often exquisite, but individual blooms or long shots are my favs.


  18. Hi Gail - thanks for the feedback! That Cosmos is divine - I'm hoping I can overwinter it in my cold frame :)


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