I have just been doing some deadheading in the Autumn Border, and I have never seen it look so good. The most interesting thing about it is that it still has a lot more of interest to show and look forward to. One of the most rewarding things about gardening is that what you do one year can when it has bulked up in its second year, improve the border out of all recognition. Last year I planted in September three plants of Helianthus Gullicks variety. This year they are giving a different foliage, and a chunky form, planted next to two Sanguisorbas ex Dan Hinckley, which are reaching up to the sky with their little red buttons flowering already, ahead of the yellow of the Helianthus, which incidentally has an award of merit. This is always desirable. The main reason I put the Helianthus in in the first place was for the colour, and it has improved that end of the border out of all recognition. In fact I feel quite excited about it. One of my favourite plants is Monardas, which I seem to be quite successful with, and my new one this year is called Melissa and is a soft shocking pink. We have had at least a month of rain, which is annoying for us and our visitors, but how the garden loves it, everything looks so healthy.
We have just had a trip to Avondale Nursery and bought some interesting things, which I have not grown before. Going round Brian’s show garden, we both noticed that he dead headed Veronicastrums which I have never done before. By deadheading I mean removing the central tall spike when it has gone brown. This is food for thought, I have looked it up on line and Sarah Raven and others seem to agree with this. I shall try next year, and see if it prolongs the flowering. We bought a new aster called ‘Glow in the dark’, with dark foliage, anti mildew, and about five and a half feet tall. It is bred by Brian Ellis (Avondale) and its parents are Calliope, which I used to grow but was too tall and fell over, and Laevis. I saw it growing in Brian’s garden and it looked amazing. You see what I mean about gardening always giving you something to look forward to!