Chronicle August 20th 2009 | Chronicle October 2009

September 6th 2009

We’re now well into September, 2009. There are so many scents wafting around the garden. It’s a fitting time to reflect over the period of growth we’ve just enjoyed. And, amazingly, the garden year is still far from over, there’s still so much to look forward to. In a garden, everything has its season and time.

I’m wandering around our modest garden in the middle of September and taking in the scents. I encounter the last of the lilies that are still in bloom, the scented white phlox, and the heady scented honeysuckle. Many of my rambling roses are now beginning to bear hips, and there’s still so much to do; to plan and plant.

I’m eternally grateful that it’s possible to follow the garden throughout the year. A garden lives 12 months of the year. My white clematis Summer Snow is still putting on a fantastic show, while all the potted agapanthus plants are still standing erect. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: agapanthus are one of the most exotic features one can have in a Swedish garden in August/September. The orange crocosmia, which we brought back from the Azores (similarly to the agapanthus), is still blooming, as is the climbing white rose, Ilse Kron Superior. The autumn anemone have just begun to bloom, while our borders of sedum Herbstfreude, which edge the pathway and steps up from the main entrance, are now displaying their wonderful flower heads, salmon-pink turning to copper red.

I’m now about to begin my autumn bulb planting project. The thought of having to get 6,000 bulbs in all – allium, crocus, tulips, anemone – into the ground fills me with dread. But hopefully the results will make it all worth while... When, as I do every year, I sat down in May and June and began planning my bulb planting, the autumn seemed so far away. But now it’s already here again, and I know what has to be done: plant, plant and plant.

One thing that’s really important in the autumn is to visit the garden nurseries and buy perennials. Even if you haven’t planned what to buy, you can always come away with something that you find appealing; plant it somewhere in the garden, and move it to a permanent home later in the springtime after having considered well and hard where it will do best. Carpe opportunitas!

A garden never stands still. That’s something so many people forget this time of the year. But remember: a garden isn’t merely a question of June, July and August. On the contrary, it continues well into the autumn. So seize the opportunity, enjoy the autumn. Let your eyes marvel at the autumnal colours of the trees. Feel the air, breath in and breath out....

Although, as I’ve said, it’s high time to begin planting bulbs, I’ll still make sure to take time to go out into the nearby woods and pick some mushrooms. There truly is a lot to do in September.

One thing I like to do this time of year is to empty my plant pots and urns of chrysanthemum and perennials, and fill them instead with onions, cauliflower and other vegetables. You get an instant out-of-the-ordinary, exotic feature, which costs nothing at all; just make sure to replace the vegetables at regular intervals, transferring the replaced ones from the plant pot to the kitchen pot.

Have a wonderful autumn, dear garden and gardening friends.

The Gentleman Gardener