Wednesday, 2 October 2013
A few years ago, autumn replaced spring as my preferred season, perhaps its something to do with getting older and October is my favourite autumnal month. September often still feels like summer and November can be wintry but October is pure autumn.
I like the soft gentleness of the light as the year quietly moves towards winter. Of course it isn't always quiet, I remember the Great Storm of 1987 which was far from quiet and caused so much devastation.
In the garden the cyclamen reliably flower at this time of year. The one below is amazing and has been covered with flowers for the last month.
Cyclamen seeds are catapulted out of the seed pod when it bursts and now I have many smaller plants surrounding the original.
Inside the giant colchicum is in flower. I will plant this in the garden when the flowers fade, the leaves will appear during the winter and it will flower again next year. The packet clearly stated that allowing it to flower indoors in the first year would not affect it flowering in future years but I did try this a few years ago and it seemed to disappear from the garden completely.
October is also the month for paperwhites. I used to plant these in a pot of compost but they tend to grow quite tall and collapse everywhere so for the last few years I have been growing them in an inch of compost at the bottom of a tall jar. The leaves and flower stems grow to 12 - 15 inches and will be supported by the jar without the need for staking.
I have hyacinth bulbs ready for planting but those will wait another couple of weeks so that they will flower in the New Year after the Christmas decorations come down. There is something very comforting about doing the same tasks at the same time each year and noticing each month as it passes.