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On the Menu for ...October 2018

October can be so unpredictable! In some years we are up to our ears in thermals, wondering if we have skipped autumn altogether in favour of winter; then the next year we might be out and about in summer clothes as if it's mid-July. This year, June flowers are still brazening it out and pushing the boundaries of remontancy, and were it not for autumn Crocus, plump ripe berries dripping from branches, and yellow leaves littering the lawn, we might very well believe we were in high summer.

Crocus speciosus ‘Conqueror'

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Pötschke'

It is a breezy day, yet there are a few intrepid pollinators foraging in the garden borders. Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Pötschke’ is the centre of attention. Its striking pink flowers are not only eye-catching, they are a hub of activity for butterflies, bees and hoverflies, despite the wind. There are a surprising number and variety of butterflies in the garden today. Taking photos is proving challenging though, as the plants are being buffeted by gusts.

The wind may be battering the roses, but they are clinging resolutely to their petals. Rosa x odorata ‘Odorata’ and Rosa ‘Souvenir de St Anne’s’ are attractive to pollinators, and have been smothered in blooms for months. Other repeat flowerers, lupins, delphiniums, geraniums and Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ help to create the illusion of summer.

Summer revisited: lupins and geraniums

Astrantia major ‘Venice’ (photo taken in summer)

Good old chives (Allium schoenoprasum), are putting on another welcome show of flowers, while that bee and butterfly magnet, Astrantia major ‘Venice’ has not stopped flowering all through summer and autumn. As usual, Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Falconnet Charlet’ is offering a little preview of what’s to come next spring, and contributing to a flower-packed October. We might plan our planting schemes with seasons in mind, but so often plants have other ideas, and this month there is so much more on offer for pollinators than I had envisaged!

Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Falconnet Charlet’

Pyracantha SAPHYR ORANGE (‘Cadange’) 

Pyracantha can be a bit of a Marmite plant, but love it. I value its contribution to wildlife, and its structure when trained as an espalier. This year Pyracantha SAPHYR ORANGE (‘Cadange’) is laden with clusters of bright berries. I will enjoy the display while I can, as once winter arrives, those beautiful berries will provide a vital source of food for birds.

I am always interested to learn about the plants attracting pollinators in other gardener’s gardens. Do please let me know which plants are proving popular with pollinators in your garden. Sarah Shoesmith is a garden writer. She may be contacted via http://www.sarahshoesmith.com or @gardeningshoe1 on Twitter.

This post will be linked to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, hosted by https:// www.maydreamsgardens.com .Why not pop over there and see what is in flower in gardens around the world?


Posted by Sarah Shoesmith

Sarah Shoesmith is a garden writer who blogs at http://www.thegardeningshoe.blogspot.com .
She may be contacted via http://www.sarahshoesmith.com or @gardeningshoe1 on Twitter

5 Comments To "On the Menu for ...October 2018"

Hazeltree On 06.11.2018
Has anyone found chaenomeles ‘ pink lady’ flowering now? Reply to this comment
Arun Goyal On 18.10.2018
How lovely collection of plants most of them I have seen for the first time ...specially mesmerized with pyracantha plant's beauty. Reply to this comment
Lea - Lea's Menagerie On 17.10.2018
Beautiful! The weather has been strange this year with temperatures up and down and up again! Have a wonderful week! Reply to this comment
Rose On 17.10.2018
Lovely blooms! 'Alma Potschke' is so striking! Not many pollinators in my garden right now as we had our first frost last night. I'm hoping autumn returns. Reply to this comment
A Garden in Progress On 17.10.2018
I have some lupine seeds for next year. Very excited! Lamb's ear was very popular with the pollinators. If you like a tidy look, then probably not the best, but the bees went crazy for them! Reply to this comment
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