is definitely my favourite season of the year. There is an air of
tranquility and quiet satisfaction in the garden in autumn. Gone is
the frenetic rush of growth that heralds spring. Gone is the intensity
of effort that is required to maintain the summer garden. In their
place is a definite feeling that at this time of year, life in the
garden is more relaxed and peaceful. Now that the sun is lower in
the sky, the light is of a warmer tone and less harsh. Consequently,
the colours in the autumn garden assume a jewel-like quality. The
familiar autumn palette of warm yellows, mauves and russets glow in
this light. There are also, however, plants with blue flowers that
excel at this time of year.
blue is a colour more usually associated with the spring and summer
garden, there are many plants with blue flowers that will light up
the autumn garden. And these are not wishy washy pastel blues. The
blues of the plants below will transform your garden in autumn with
the intensity of their colour, especially when viewed against the
normal autumn tones.
by the late Graham Stewart Thomas as one of his favourite garden plants,
this aster will provide you with colour from August right through
to November. The flowers are of an intense violet blue (think ultraviolet
light here), with many , thin spidery petals and a yellow centre.
The plant will grow to about 60 cm, (two feet), does not require support
and is resistant to mildew.
wallichianum 'Buxton's Variety'
by Graham Stewart Thomas as a "pearl beyond price", this
geranium throws out trailing leafy stems in late spring and early
summer. The leaves are a mottled green with light brown and cream
accents. Unusually for a geranium it is tap-rooted. In late summer
and autumn, sky blue saucer shaped flowers with a distinct white centre
are borne on the trailing stems. The petals have the appearance of
crumpled paper that someone has attempted to smooth out. It will go
on flowering right through to the first frosts and is at home scrambling
around between, over and under other perennials.
autumn flowering gentian is a rosette forming semi evergreen perennial
with fine lance shaped leaves. The buds when they appear in late September
are elongated, rising up without stalks from the bed of leaves. The
buds are striped green and blue, giving them an almost reptilian appearance.
When they open in October, the trumpet shaped flowers are a vivid
blue with a white stripe on each petal. I grow mine in a pot rather
than in the open ground which I think may be too wet for it in my
aconitum has dense branched panicles of rich royal blue flowers from
late September to early November. It grows to a height of about 120
cm (four feet) and is good for a mid border position. Bear in mind,
however, that all parts of this plant are poisonous and that it should
not therefore be planted where young children could access it.
fine specimen plant for a back of border position, as it grows to
about 150 cm (five feet). This salvia bears electric blue flowers
from September right through to December. The flowers are of the familiar
salvia shape - top petal erect and hooded, with the lower petal spreading
and slightly convex. The stems are as good as the flowers, their dark
inky blue black colour providing an unexpected bonus. This plant can
be seen to great effect in late autumn in Mount Stewart and the walled
garden of Rowallane.