Chronicle August 2010 | Chronicle October 2010

September 2010


Greetings to all of my friends interested in life and in love with gardens.

This is Stefan here in A Gentleman´s Garden in Tumba, Sweden, and autumn is now on the doorstep. The date is 9 September 2010 and I’m just about to go out and take a final round in the garden for today. I like to go around the garden a couple of times each day, to look, see what’s happening, and ponder.

The light might be changing but scents are still with us, just as they were in August. At the moment, the white phlox are diffusing a heady scent. They’re such a wonderful plant that I really don’t understand why they’re not much more popular than they are.

This month we’ve been doing quite a bit of harvesting. We’ve been enjoying cucumbers, runner beans, tomatoes and, on the sweeter side, blackberries (the bushes have been growing rampant and need to be cut back drastically). The apple season isn’t yet underway and the pears are slowly beginning to ripen, but will need another few weeks yet.

I always think that the beginning of September has something of an exotic feel to it – the air is high and humid, and the humidity diffuses scents in a very different way than in the springtime. At that time of year, there can be a great deal in bloom and the days are longer, but the scents are not the same as at this time of year, late summer here in the Stockholm area.

I look around and think, “Dear summer, where have you gone?” I’m so grateful for everything that has bloomed. I notice the large pots housing plants that will soon have finished flowering for the season; do they know that soon they are destined to spend many months in the darkness of the cellar? Yes, autumn is a portent of darker times, but one shouldn’t forget that autumn in Sweden (which more or less means the end of September until the beginning of November) can be a wonderful time. Not only will be there be some extremely wonderful autumnal colours (the red-mauve-purple range of the palette), but there are many plants which are yet to bloom, such as the bright orange-red crocosmia and the purple Colchicum autumnale, commonly known as autumn crocus.

A garden is a living thing, reflecting a cycle of birth, growth, degeneration and death (or sleep, lasting many months before a reawakening in the spring). Our garden, too, is a living garden from start to finish, even when the plants are no more. When the winter arrives, spreading its thick blanket of snow, remember to keep the garden alive through adornment and decorative devices.

One way of adorning the garden is with lighting. Take a look at the photos for August and September. A few torches lit with paraffin, some lights and lamps here and there, create a wonderful atmosphere. Don’t be like everyone else –dare to make your garden a bit different, and remember to make it cosy. Cosiness is such a lovely word.


Four thousand autumn bulbs have now arrived from Holland and need to go down in the ground. My wholesaler asked me “Stefan, are you going to plant only 4,000 bulbs this time?” and my answer was, “Yes Simone, 4,000 will do, we’ve already got so many.” One of my mottos is “Always plan ahead”, so I know exactly where I’m going to plant them.

The, Sweet Joe Pye Weed, Eupatorium purpureum is now blooming in the big border in the front garden. With their height (well over 2 meters tall) and profusion, their dark lilac colour provides the dominant theme for the entire border. When I look up in wonderment at this amazing plant, I feel like a little child.

The lilac colour theme continues with sedum flanking the steps and the path up from the road, which have just begun to change colour from green to dark lilac. The trellis to one side of the path is laden with black and yellow runner beans. The beans, though, don’t have the trellis all to themselves, but rather share it with grapes, cucumber, mulberry and honeysuckle

Garden, garden beloved garden, the grass is damp and smells heavenly. Reflect on seasons that have already passed, but don’t forget the future and things that are still in store. As a gardener, one lives on hope – hope, planning and planting. Bear those things in mind and it’s possible to go far in life.

Thank you for accompanying us on our journey of creating a garden here, on our little plot of earth. It’s such fun – and encouraging – that the site has visitors from different countries, who read these journals and listen to what we have to say. I truly hope that in some way I’m able to enrich the lives of some people. We all have so much to give and share, and the more we give to each other, the greater the knowledge and wisdom we receive ourselves, thereby enriching our own lives.

Have a wonderful autumn.
Let’s light candles and think of each other.

A Gentleman Gardener