by Elizabeth Davies
The recent welcome rain has seen roses flowering for the second time. Later flowering perennials such as Helianthus and Michaelmas Daisies have recovered well from the dry weather, I particularly like Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’. The little Cyclamen Hederafolium, which prefers a shady situation, even under trees, along with the Autumn Crocus is also in full flower. Also ‘in the pink’ the Nerine lilies are starting to flower and will go on flowering for some time. The hot weather caused their foliage to die down, so I cut this off just to leave the flower heads. They spread quickly and will need thinning out occasionally. Their bulbs don’t like being buried too deep in the soil, so leave half of the bulb above the ground when transplanting.
A shrub which is in full flower is Caryopteris ‘Heavenly Blue’ and on a warm day is covered with bees. ‘Hint of Gold’ is a good variety, the blue flowers against the greeny gold look lovely. This year’s fruiting canes of summer raspberries are ready for cutting down. The new growth which will fruit next year needs to be tied in to wire, but the autumn raspberries are fruiting well, much better than the summer variety; these are not pruned until early next year when all the canes are cut down and the new growth will produce fruit.