Red hesperantha (formerly Schizostylis) flowers

Going, Going, Gone: Still Going

It’s come to the time of year when the garden is starting to feel rather empty. The leaves are falling, there are gaps in the borders where plants have died down for the year, and there are few flowers left.

With the gradual disappearance of the flowers, I have a lot less to photograph. (There’s still the changing colour of the leaves, of course.) By the time the frosts come, I’ll be grateful for whatever photographic opportunities they bring. Meanwhile, the next couple of posts will be the last chance to capture these flowers before they’re gone for the year.

The top photo is of Hesperantha coccinea – the crimson flag lily or river lily. (It used to be called Schizostylis, but plant names are always being messed about with. At least the newer name is a bit easier to spell!) This plant is one of the latest to flower in my garden, usually not until late September, but the flowers will last through the first frosts. I’ve read that it should normally start flowering in August, so I wonder if ours is later because it is not well enough established yet, or whether it’s because it is a bit hot for it here at that time. It will be interesting to see if this changes as it develops.

The plant pictured above is Gaura lindheimeri. (Well, I thought it was – I’ve just discovered that it’s had a name change too. Now it’s Oenothera lindheimeri. Keeping up with plant names is tricky!) This is one that I love for the delicate flowers that sway on long stems. It’s one of those airy plants that (like Verbena bonariensis) take up little space in the garden, but whose flowers combine beautifully with many other plants.

Next year I’ll try the gaura alongside the lacy white and red flowers of wild carrot (Daucus carota) and probably the small dome-shaped flowers of a dark red scabious too. Gaura flowers for ages – right from summertime until the frosts stop it.

My last plant is Zauschneria californica ‘Glasnevin’ (California fuchsia). This was just planted last year, so is still settling in, but it does seem to be happy in its patch of hot dry soil. Its flowers won’t last much longer but it has kept flowering later than I expected it to. The plant is tiny now, but hopefully in future it will be a mass of little orange flowers to brighten dull autumn days.

Now I must get back out there with my camera and see what else I can find…

Zauschneria Glasnevin

26 thoughts on “Going, Going, Gone: Still Going

    1. We don’t usually see much snow in this part of England – makes it a novelty when it does arrive, but even so, I’m glad when it doesn’t hang around long. Hope the plants in your flower beds emerge unharmed!

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed seeing them Liz! They are lovely flowers and I’m always glad to see them at this time of year when there’s so little else. 🙂

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    1. I’ve only bought them as young plants but they do actually grow from rhizomes, so that may be the easiest way to get some. (Here the rhizomes would be planted in spring. I don’t know how long they would take to produce flowers – maybe by the second year.)

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  1. When I was exploring today, I found two of your plants still blooming away at the refuge: the gaura, and the Verbena bonariensis, which is commonly called Brazilian vervain. The Verbena was covered with Gulf fritillaries; I’ve never seen so many as I have this year. You’re right that both of them are pretty, airy plants. The gaura is native here — at least in my part of the state — and it really thrives on the prairies.

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      1. I looked it up on Google and the first entries I saw were about it being confused with bonariensis, so you’re not alone!

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    1. It’s great that there have been lots of Gulf fritillaries – our butterfly numbers seemed low this year. It’s very interesting to know that gaura is happy to live on the prairies. So many of the garden plants over here come from that sort of habitat and they do look good together too.

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  2. It’s nice that you at least are still seeing a few of your flowers. Aside from the stray dandelion there are no more to see here. It’s sad to say goodbye to our gardens but the gap makes their return more wonderful.

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    1. It makes me think of crocosmia too, and there are a few not far away but they’ve finished flowering. I also have an agastache to plant nearby which has very similar flowers but the plant is a bit bigger.

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  3. Beautiful flower images Ann! I particularly like fuscia plants but have found them really fussy to keep going. Glad you still have a little color growing in your garden – it has got to cheer things up!

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    1. We have a few fuchsias here and some struggle at times. I think it’s because they get too dry – possibly a bit too hot at times too. But they’re great for late flowers, so I must find a better spot for some… 🙂

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    1. Thanks Tanja! It surprises me when flowers survive frost – most are destroyed by being frozen but some seem to keep going. (Maybe because they have unopened buds which survive and open after the frost has gone.) I’m hoping that there may be one or two flowers around when the frosts arrive, but that’s just down to chance! 🙂

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  4. Lovely photos. As someone else who enjoys getting out in the garden. I’m not a big fan of Autumn & Winter, as the vibrancy & life disappears in the garden. We’ve tried to plant more autumnal & winter plants to encourage colour all year round. Our garden also sometimes provides me with photographic inspiration.

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    1. Thanks Ryan! I’m not so keen on the feeling of getting closer to winter for the same reasons as you and it does get harder to find interesting things to photograph at this time of year. Spring and the new life it brings is getting closer though!

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