That Time of Ease

The rush of the summer is over; autumn has moved along gently and winter is not quite upon us. It is a time of ease in the garden. That rush of growth is gone – and, thankfully, that applies also to the weeds, the grass and the hedges – so routine maintenance is much less at this time of year.

Rosa 'Compassion'
Rosa ‘Compassion’ – certainly looking autumnal
Rosa 'Frensham'
Rosa ‘Frensham’
Rosa 'Mary Rose'
Rosa ‘Mary Rose’ 
Rosa 'Graham Thomas'
Rosa ‘Graham Thomas’ 
Rosa Olivia Austin Rose
Rosa ‘Olivia Rose Austin’
Rosa 'Souvenir du Docteur Jamain'
Rosa ‘Souvenir du Docteur Jamain’

Piet Oudolf’s appreciation of plants all the way through the seasons of their growth and death is less applicable in our climate. We very seldom have the dry, crisp, frosty conditions so common on the continent which show the skeletons of dead herbaceous plants in a new and attractive vision. Here, our Irish climate – exacerbated by our garden being in a river valley where fogs and heavy dews are normal – very quickly turns our dying herbaceous plants to a soft mush which is not very attractive. Because of this, it is our custom to clear away the dead material in late autumn or early winter – as soon as they die down for it is easier to do it at that  stage. However, we have not reached that time of the year yet and we can sit back for a little while, taking it a little easier in the garden, and appreciate those things in flower at the moment.

Nerine x bowdenii
Nerine x bowdenii – you really must love pink to enjoy these!

Nerine x bowdenii with variegated phlox

Nerine bowdenii (1)

Nerine near seat in front garden

Nerine light pink near pond
A more delicately coloured cultivar – without a name in our garden; gifts from friends’ gardens. 

Nerine very pale pink (1)

Nerine white

Nerines and colchicums are giving the best displays in the garden at present while there are some roses still looking well. Sedums continue though are fading and snowdrops remind us that this is not a season ending but simply a turning and a new season beginning.

Colchicum under Aesculus mutabilis induta (4)
Colchicum ‘Lilac Wonder’ always gives a big display – because I have it in big numbers. It is floppy but wonderful.
Colchicum parlatoris
In contrast, Colchicum parlatoris is a very small and dainty species, less than 10cm tall. 
Colchicum 'Nancy Lindsay' (2)
Colchicum ‘Nancy Lindsay’ is beautiful and holds itself up very well
Colchicum 'Waterlily' (1)
Colchicum ‘Waterlily’ gives a great display. These were not doing as well as they had many years previous – the roots of nearby trees had swamped them and made conditions very dry – and I moved them last year to a new position. 
Colchicum 'Waterlily'
Colchicum ‘Waterlily’ 
Colchicum 'Benton End' on raised bed (1)
Colchicum ‘Benton End’ has a good strong colour
Colchicum 'Dick Trotter' (4)
Colchicum ‘Dick Trotter’ 
Colchicum 'Harlekijn (2)
Colchicum ‘Harlekijn’ with very striking contrast in the colours of the petals.
Colchicum speciosum 'Album' (1)
Colchicum speciosum Album – showing signs that it is tasty to the slugs!
Colchicum 'Old Bones' (1)
Colchicum ‘Old Bones’, an old and very elegant cultivar. Quite small and needs to be minded in the garden. 

And, a time of beginnings – the first snowdrops of the season. These are cultivars of Galanthus reginae-olgae, a Greek species which flowers in the autumn. They are a challenge for me to grow in the open garden as they need to be very dry and very hot all summer. I can only provide these conditions by growing them in pots in the glasshouse. It is always a pleasure to see them coming into flower and it won’t be long until those grown in the garden begin to appear. In the meantime I will continue to enjoy the ease of this time of the year in the garden.

Galanthus reginae olgae 'Rachelae' (4)
Galanthus reginae-olgae ‘Rachelae’ 
Galanthus 'Rachelae' (2)
Galanthus reginae-olgae ‘Rachelae’
Galanthus reginae olgae 'Tilebarn Jamie' (1)
Galanthus reginae-olgae ‘Tilebarn Jamie’
Galanthus peshmenii (2)
Galanthus peshmenii 



4 thoughts on “That Time of Ease

  1. Ease me a___e!Paddy Tobin. If ye both have any break it’s because ye both work Soo hard all the time. As for meself if I could leave those bl___y rocks alone I might get time to get around to the chaos that surrounds me everywhere.
    Next time I say ‘ now if that were.. I’m gonna stop meself !!!!!!
    Keep up those beautiful pictures. They are a reminder of what strong steady continuos work can achieve. Both of you BE Proud!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This ease may well last until the weekend – that’s a whole three days! LOL Then, the list will appear and I’ll be off again.


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