Androsace lanuginosaAndrosace lanuginosa

Last year this was my new baby and flowering in a tiny pot.  This year it’s staging a take-over of the rockery and is smothered in pretty flowers that look like mini bouquets smelling of swizzels sweets.Androsace lanuginosa

Here’s a close-up of the flower heads.  I call this the traffic light plant as the centres of the perfect little flowers change from green to amber to red.  Each cluster has flowers at each stage of colour development.  It’s bizarre but beautiful.

Saxifraga fortuneiSaxifraga fortunei

Last week I admitted to composting quite a nice penstemon.  Here’s another plant I had my eye on as I was feeling it wasn’t earning this prime spot in the rockery.  It’s redeemed itself this week, breaking out in beautiful starry pink flowers.  If I hadn’t lost the label I may have read up on it earlier and would have known that it was an autumn flowering plant.  It’s forgiven and can stay.Saxifraga fortunei

Dahlia ‘Karma Fuchsiana’Dahlia 'Karma Fuchsiana'

Sunglasses on!  This is the sort of flower which could well divide opinion but in a week of dull weather and difficult news its sheer jollity and optimism are more than welcome.  The name is interesting in a 70s hippy sort of way.  I was finding it difficult to say out loud until I trained my brain to think ‘fuchsia’, like the bedding plant, instead of something a bit more offensive.

Vitis coignetiae – Crimson Glory VineVitis coignetiae

Glory by name, glorious by nature – this is such a fabulous climber.  I planted it against this wall a year ago this summer and it’s already stretched itself along the wire.  You can love it just for the summer’s green heart shaped leaves but its main season to show off is autum.  The leaves go orange and red in a multitude of patterns and variations.Vitis coignetiae

Greenhouse is filling up

Overwintering plants in greenhouse The weather has been wild and wooly recently but fortunately not too cold.  Even so, the move of tender perennials into the greenhouse has begun.  I don’t want to be caught out by a sudden early frost.

Memorial Woodland under threatMemorial woodland

This memorial woodland, a few miles from my home, was planted up 10 years ago by Rennie Grove Hospice Care.  The tree planting was funded by families in memory of loved ones for whom the charity had cared.  They’re growing well and putting on a lovely autumn show.  The sad news is that this is being taken over by HS2 limited as part of their works compound for constructing the high speed train line.  It’s not forever, but the timetable is unclear and they warn some trees may be lost.

Here’s a picture of the neighbouring HS2 compound.  The tents make it feel like a military encampment, an attack impending. It certainly felt that way.  This week HS2 felled the famous Cubbington Pear tree and many sections of ancient woodland have already gone or are waiting on death row.

I wish I could be sure that HS2 is a good thing, will be worth the money and really will benefit my native North.  When I see how the destruction is playing out I find it very difficult to feel positive about it.  Arguments that many more trees will be planted to replace those lost don’t go far to reassure me.  The trees in the memorial wood have taken 10 years and still are mere whipper snappers.  It takes so many years for a woodland ecosystem to develop.


This seasonal diary is part of a weekly link-up of garden bloggers from around the world, called Six on Saturday.  For more information and links to other blogs crammed with gardening activity, check the blog of host The Propagator.