End of the Month View 

Summers end- and the garden’s still glowing. Butterflies are feasting on fallen apples. Bats overfly the pond at night. And the borders fair rustle and crunch  to the sound of hedgehogs- surely the noisiest visitors to my garden after dark. 

The garden is still full of colourful blooms. 

And yet, the season has tipped over the balance. Michaelmas, on September 29th, traditionally signals the beginning of autumn- the shortening of days. My ancestors,who were servants to grand houses, would have been paid, hired or fired on Michaelmas day. And  for later generations, who were farmers, Michaelmas signalled the end of the productive season, a completion of harvests. The end of one cycle of growing  and  the start of a new one. 

Growing must be in my blood. I can’t be happy unless I am tending and planting food, flowers, fruit and veg. I often wonder if  this need for gardening  keeps me connected to the past, to those hard working and tenacious ancestors. 

I remember my Grandfather pointing out the Harvest Moon and speaking of the Autumnal Equinox- Softly spoken words that delighted me. I always had a fascination for such things. 

There are two equinoxes each year in September and March when the sun shines directly on the Equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal. In 2016 the Equinox was on Thursday 22nd September, when some of these photos were taken. Autumnal Equinox

Cosmos plants flower until the first frosts. 

Calendula pot marigolds seed themselves along the veg garden paths

Schizostylis/ Hesperantha coccinea- a September glory. Also known as crimson flag lily.

Sweet peas sown late will flower until October. The scent combines with the late summer roses still blooming here. 

Dahlias left in the ground over winter did much better than potted plants kept in the greenhouse.Slugs seem to like the softer growth of the cosseted plants. 

Sunflowers in such sumptuous colours. Seeds for the birds over winter. 

Rosa Shakespeare puts on a good late summer show, and the scent is reminiscent of old moss roses. 

Aster Monch. My favourite -totally reliable and a magnet for bees and butterflies. 

White phlox paniculata. Grown here in deep shade and poor soil at the back of the garage. Such a beautiful scent. A plant that shines out in dark places.

Sweet pea seeds came from Easton Walled Gardens where I had the most dreamy job last winter, promoting the gardens. It wasn’t difficult to say nice things about this glorious historic garden renovation project. 

Soon my garden will be full of seed heads- and I will treasure them just as much as the flowers that came before. 

Until then, to quote Alison :”It feels like autumn is holding its breath.”

Thanks to Helen for hosting this End of the Month View.