GBBD - Fiery October

Autumn's well and truly upon us and this scene is the one I'm seeing from the back windows for most of the day. It's the ash tree by the side of the house, perfectly poised to eat up most of the sun's rays at this time of the season. Last year, oranges were the main autumnal hue, this one seems more fiery. Perhaps September's sun and drought have made it thus. Now we've had over an inch of rain in the past week, so we not only have the tints of Autumn, the earth now has that characteristic smell of decay about it.

I found a red admiral in the kitchen yesterday, angrily trying to fly out of the closed patio door. It was dangerously close to the cobwebs by the cat baskets and it was only a matter of time before they captured it, or Jess alerted by its mad fluttering would come and play catch. I hastily opened the door and gently cupped the butterfly in my hands so I could set it free. It may have had the most ragged of wings, but it flew away strongly up into the blue sky, then across the garden and over the ash tree.

My flowers this month are also ragged, but still going strong and most welcome even if they're sliding gently into decay. Whilst we've had the first of the ground frosts and an air frost is probably only a few days away, the daytime sun is still warm and it's a good time to be out in the garden. Besides, when looking at the overall picture I see their cheerful colours dotted around me, rather than noticing they're past their best. Let's enjoy them while we can, starting with my favourite plant this year, Cosmos 'Chocamocha' pictured above.

Now for the best of the rest...
Smaller pictures on left: Doorstep greeting with Cyclamen, then Dahlia 'Moonfire';
Larger pictures top to bottom: Terrace bed jumble - Centaurea montana, Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve', Helianthoides 'Summer Sun' and a tiny showing of pink Fuchsia 'Garden News', a plant which struggled initially after last winter's cold, but thankfully has fully recovered; Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' and Dahlia 'Arabian Night', my new and favourite combination this year;
Smaller pictures on right: Unknown pink Dahlia - I'm sure I didn't order that one! and Fuchsia 'Hawkshead'

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


  1. What a lovely tree to look at. I saw a Red Admiral this week as well which really cheered me up

  2. Hello VP I can see why the Cosmos 'Chocamocha'is the favourite plant this year, what a stunning red colour, love the name too.


  3. It sounds like fall is turning out to be lovely in Chippenham this year. What glorious days you must be having to enjoy red leaves, Fuschias & Dahlias at the same time.

  4. The ashes round here are all going red too - one in Nonsuch Park completely scarlet last weekend! I love the way you've caught the light through it.

  5. It's funny reading this because I've just left a note on another blog saying our autumn colours look set to be more interesting this year than last but there's a smell of decay instead of nice crisp earthiness. Your autumn sounds as if it is turning out the same as ours despite different terrain.


    Oh, that's nice. The WV is ViZZlid - in nice bold, one after the other letters in an almost straight line. It looks very satisfying and solid and dependable and stylish.

  6. I've become a big fan of cosmos this year, but your "Chocamocha" has to be the prettiest I've seen,VP. Looks like you still have quite an array of blooms for this cool time of year. But I am most excited by your first picture--we've had such gloomy and wet days here, I had forgotten what the sun looked like shining through autumn foliage:)

    I didn't make it here yesterday, but wanted you to know I enjoyed your clever answers to the meme, not to mention learning that there is an actual scientific definition for this term.

  7. I love the cosmos too. Being somewhat slow sometimes I have only just realised that the name is easy to say and quite memorable and not some strange Aztec thingy!
    Love your photos. Somehow my garden is much more lilac and pink than everyone else's. Note to self for more orange and red, maybe somewhere else, next year.

  8. That cosmos is stunning, Veep. Chocolate cosmos usually hates me, but I've put this one on my must-try list. A single bloom like the one you showed would be worth it. Thanks!

  9. I didn't see any raggedness, but know what you mean, because I have some ragged blooms, too. I love your cosmos and dahlias. Happy GBBD. Oh, and you have a lovely view!

  10. Every year is different. Cold air is bearing down on us from the north.

    Loved your photos, Dahlias are beautiful this year. Happy Bloom Day, a day late. I had server problems.

  11. PG - thanks, I love it at this time of the year. The red admiral cheered me up too :)

    Tyra - it also smells of chocolate and has featured regularly on this blog this year!

    MMD - yes, we're having an Indian Summer - lots of calm sunny days - until next Tuesday at least :)

    Scattered Gardener - thank you - but the people to thank are those that decided our house and the tree should be where they are! I just had to point my camera and click :)

    Esther - it's a pretty spectacular autumn isn't it? We seem to be having a few years of quiet Septembers with cool nights - that's what sets up the colours to be so good.

    Rose - glad you enjoyed the meme and the pictures. I'm going to try and overwinter this Cosmos. It's a tender perennial, so I'm hoping my insulated coldframe will be just the job for these and the bonfire begonias I've tried this year.

    Elizabethm - mine's been a lot hotter this year than usual. Last year's borders at the RHS Inner Temple show were my inspiration.

    Nan - I believe 'Chocamocha' is a more reliable than the original chocolate cosmos, but I can't say from personal experience as this is the only cultivar I've tried. Must be worth a try for you too?

    Sue - welcome! Shhhh - the raggedness was edited out, you should have seen my Clematis photos!

    Nell Jean - hello! That's one of the things I really love about gardening, you're much more connected with what's going on around you and how it's different each year :)

  12. I am so envious of your Cosmos 'Chocamocha' - I have managed to kill yet another one this year (thats 3 I have killed now)

    I do like H. Lemon Queen

  13. Karen - how are you managing to kill them? Perhaps trying them in pots is the answer?

    H. 'Lemon Queen' can be a bit rampant, but she's most welcome where I've put her as she's doing a grand job at cooling the Clematis roots and also disguising next doors garage!

  14. they are in pots - i kill them in their pots :(

  15. Karen - it's a little poem!

    they are in pots
    - i kill them in their pots


  16. Karen - Oh dear :(

    Esther - I knew it was Karen's poetry wot won her Best Artist blog!


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