Travelling recently in Wyoming I discovered that the Shoshone people have an interesting calendar where they have a nature-related name for each of our twelve months. So September is known as Wild Cherries Open and describes the seasonal berries which are so beloved of bears as they go into hyperphagia or feeding frenzy mode in order to sustain them as they hibernate for the winter. A Copper Baron’s home I planned to visit was closed because bears had invaded the orchard and eaten all the apples!
Here at Mount Stewart we might call this time of year Asters Blooming or Leaves Turning Orange or Rain Never Stopping, you get the picture.
Anyway, there is still plenty of colour in the gardens so here are some of our seasonal flowers to be found around the grounds.
Asters are such a delightful late summer flower and the beautiful lavender blue colour really stands out
in the flower beds of the Italian garden. They also provide a late feeding opportunity for butterflies and bees.
Today a symbol of patience and talisman of love, in ancient times it was thought that the perfume from their burning leaves could drive away evil serpents.
From the daisy family, this Berkheya Cirsiifolia is from South Africa but likes it here as well, note the lovely golden centre ringed with burgundy, but beware prickly leaves and stems.
You can see the autumn colour appearing on the Dodo Terrace with the leaves of the Devil’s Walking Stick turning red. More prickles to be aware of here.
Our dahlias never fail to give lots of colour and seem to recover quickly after heavy rain. National flower of Mexico, a red dahlia given as a gift conveys power and strength to the recipient.
For Plants to Look Out For you can also consult Francesca’s blue board in the Courtyard, featured on this one is the lovely climbing plant Mutisia Oligodon from Chile and the little climbing bluebell from Australia Sollya Heterophylla.
See the board for where to look, and you don’t have to worry about bears.