In my three weeks away, I didn’t once switch on the TV or see an English newspaper and didn’t miss them one bit. On the other hand, I did miss my garden and it was a big disappointment to get back and find that the tomatoes had finished. But the flower garden, in spite of the onset of autumn, is still going strong. There’s colour everywhere, from the maples, which are turning a dark red, to the dahlias and cannas. At this time of year you expect the hybrid dahlias to start showing signs of wear and tear, but the tree dahlias are just getting into their stride and are covered in flowers.
I was particularly impressed by a clump of Begonia sinensis, pictured here, in full flower. I bought one or two of these plants a few years ago from Crug Farm Plants and they have spread so easily that they now provide ground cover in several shady places in the garden. They are called “Red Undies”, because the underside of the leaf is a dark red. They’ll carry on until they are struck down by frost, and in spite of their exotic appearance they are completely hardy.