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2008: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec   
The Garden in October

October is a month of contrasts and 2008 highlighted the challenges and delights it presents the gardener.  We can have temperatures in the 20's C (70's F) on some days and minus 4 or 5 c (25F) on some nights. Often we have a single hard frost during the month followed by warm weather, so it is worth protecting plants with garden fleece, newspaper, cloches or whatever to avoid one night's damage and continue the show on into November. 

This year (2008) has been different. In Cheshire we avoided the early October frosts and had a spectacular display of New World Salvias. However on 28th we had an early snowfall and hard overnight frosts which has brought the show to an abrupt halt. The plants will survive by the top growth will now die back for the winter.  This unusually early snowfall has also caught late blooming Kniphofia and we had the incongruous sight of a snow-capped Kniphofia linearifolia.

Autumn colours - Kniphofia linearifolia (our own form) backed by Physocarpus Diablo.Kniphofia linearifolia with snow!

Kniphofia linearifolia (our own as yet unnamed apricot flowered variety) is a reliable late bloomer and looks stunning in the low autumn light backed by the colouring leaves of Physocarpus Diablo. Most Kniphofia are pretty hardy and winter care only involves removing wet leaves and cutting back foliage in about late February. Snow and frost on the blooms may or may not kill the blooms - by the morning they will be bend over and a bit limp. Often they will recover and straighten themselves out. Other good late flowers include Bees' Gold and Sarmentosa.  As a rule of thumb with Kniphofia, the narrower the leaves the less hardy they are. We find it impossible to keep the grassy-leaved Little Maid through the winter

Stunning Salvias

Here is a selection from the October display in our garden.  Most of the those mentioned are hardy but we also take cuttings to keep in a cold greenhouse just in case we get an exceptionally hard winter. All the photos were taken on 11th October 2008. See our Salvia range by clicking here. (Not all Salvias featured below are on our for sale list - but its worth asking, we may have a few plants available).

Salvia Christine Yeo 11th Oct 2008
Christine Yeo
Salvia Creme Caramel
Crème Caramel
Salvia elegans Tangerine
elegans Tangerine
Salvia greggii x serpyllifolia
greggii x serpyllifolia
Salvia Hot Lips - less red-lipped in cool weather
Hot Lips is less red-lipped (even pure white) in cooler weather
Salvia La Luna
La Luna
Salvia Marashino
Marashino
Salvia patens Cambridge Blue
Cambridge Blue
Saliva Purple Queen
Purple Queen
Salvia Salmon
Salmon
Salvia Serra San Antonio
Sierra San Antonio
Salvia Stormy Pink
Stormy Pink
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