Flowers that endure in autumn

Posted: Monday 11 November 2013
by Adam Pasco

Dodging the showers to take a brisk walk around the block with our dog at the weekend revealed some unexpected floral delights in my neighbours' gardens.

Dodging the showers to take a brisk walk around the block with our dog at the weekend revealed some unexpected floral delights in my neighbours' gardens. Despite nearly being the middle of November, the fuchsia 'hedge' cascading over a low wall at the corner of my road looks stunning. I think this might be hardy Fuchsia 'Mrs Popple', and with open flowers and buds literally dripping from every shoot I've rarely seen a better display.

My own fuchsia baskets have been quite disappointing this year, and although plants were pinched early to encourage plenty of side shoots to form, their flowering has been sparse. Still, I carried them into my greenhouse at the weekend to protect them from cold, and will try and keep them alive over winter. Perhaps these established plants will perform better in 2014. Otherwise... they're compost!

While much of the summer bedding is over, there are still flowers on the cosmos, and pots of pelargoniums have more to come. Imminent frost will put paid to the flowers, and probably the pelargoniums themselves, so I've carried my pots into the greenhouse along with those of melianthus, eucomis, agapanthus, echevaria, aeoniums and anything else that could suffer if left outside.

Most of my rose bushes also have a bud or two showing a little colour, and if the weather allows them to develop further I might even be lucky enough to have one or two to pick in December - possibly for Christmas.

Hardy gerberas in large patio pots are still producing flowers, though not quite as many as in their first summer in 2012, and I'll continue my trial by leaving them outside all winter to again test their hardiness.

With mild weather through October and the first part of November ensuring some summer displays are still putting on a show, it's great to see these being joined by several reliable autumn flowering plants now, from the Oregon grape to hardy Nerine bowdenii, plus bright berries on cotoneaster, pyracantha, callicarpa and a host of others. Yes, there's still colour about, but I know it will be short-lived.

What's still flowering in your garden?

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Talkback: Flowers that endure in autumn
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oldchippy 11/11/2013 at 14:52

There is flower and leaves on my winter flowering cherry and my mahonia has just started to show yellow flowers,there is still late flowers on my honeysuckle.I have some self sown marigolds and some buds on the roses.all adding colour to the garden.

gardenning granny 11/11/2013 at 17:15

Yes the mahonias (charity) are wonderful this year - I have two that I can see from the kitchen window and the blue tits love them (they peck off the flowers) and they smell so good.  I also have something called schistostylus which is like a red freesia on long stems - beautiful.

flowering rose 11/11/2013 at 19:28

mine are flower too and i have primroses and polyanthas out.The flowering jasmine the winter one ,yellow,is flowering lovely.just waiting on the cyclemen.

Jack B 18/11/2013 at 09:34

Some flowering plants only seem to have really come into their own rather late in the season...fuchsias in my Herts.courtyard garden being the best example. I have only just removed the summer window box display, not because it was over, but because I couldn't delay the winter planting any longer. Geraniums, fuchsia and scaevola all did well. Canna was a star in a tub (its first year) but I found rain repeatedly ruined the blooms. Rosa Penny Lane still has a couple of flowers.

Megga 18/11/2013 at 16:11

I still have a number of pelargoinums flowering in pots and bordes, my best and oldest plants have been put in the Greenhouse. Other plants still flowering are tall verbina and tobacco plants.

My 1.2 m tall verigated pelargoinum, which I have kept for at lest five years, has produced creamy white stems and leaves which looks quite strange. I've tried to upload a picture but not have much luck.

The greenhouse is now full of overwintering plants plus loads and loads of cuttings, I just love making new plants from cuttings, but now I have run out of space.

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