The garden is going through it's annual slump. After bursting into loveliness in May and June, everything is looking rather exhausted and a bit bedraggled thanks to the heavy rain showers we've been having. It happens every summer and it deflates me a little after things having looked rather nice for a while. I've learned though that the key is not panic or get too dejected, but to plan for a bit further ahead.
I've chopped back some of the more ropey looking perennials (hardy geraniums, lupins, lady's mantle etc) and now I need to wait for them to come back for a second show in a few weeks time, along with the late summer stars in the borders like heleniums, echinacias, rudbekias, asters and crocosmias and things. But I've been hankering after adding something a little grannyish to the garden to round off the summer.
Late last autumn on a trip to lovely Ludlow I brought back this beautiful bunch of blooms that just sings harvest festival to me. I've grown very fond of (and rather addicted to if I'm honest) brightly coloured chrysanthemums.
The Sarah Raven catalogue got me all inspired earlier in the year but its rather too pricey for me on the whole and I looked everywhere locally for seedlings in the colours I fancied, but no luck.
I bought some sweet pea seeds from SR and they've all germinated and grown on very well so I've got high hopes for armfuls of harvest chrysanthemums, at my favourite time of year, for a fair few years to come!