A WALK: DOGS, SATURATED SUMMER GREENS, MORE WILD FLOWERS AND THE ARRIVAL OF AUTUMN

Nyssa at Rondel

Two walks today, after a night of lovely rain and some early sun which unfortunately I did not manage to capture. Early on my morning walk I came across this Nyssa,  (or is it perhaps one of the Cornus shrubs – there are some plants about which I am doubtful, all seed-raised). Anyway, it is well advanced into autumn, and the shock of the discovery set the tone for many of the day’s observations…

Path near Dawn redwoods

However after gentle rain during the last days, the overwhelming impression is of soft green late-summer. Although I had to brush through most of these (wet) grasses edging a path between Dawn Redwoods and Water Oaks, the tallest stalks met over my head.

Pycnostachys urticifolia

Pycnostachys urticifolia 2  

I searched out some of my favourite wild flowers which I had not yet photographed. This is Pycnostachys urticifolia; Hedgehog Sage or Blue Boys sounds much better. It grows in swampy areas. It is said to be easy to grow from seed. I love the combination of soft blue flowers with darker buds  against the blue-grey ‘hedge-hog’ that gives it its name. One year it grew right next to Dissotis canescens with its magenta blooms and brick-red calyx. What a wonderful combination, which I intend to try in a border – one day…

 

Hibiscus trionum

Apparently an introduced plant, Hibiscus trionum is ethereally beautiful in flower and in bud.

Wild Sweetpea

I simply call this the Wild Sweetpea. It is more like a sweetpea, in growth, flower and seed than any of the literally dozens of plants in the pea family that grow wild for us. They are all difficult to ID positively. Flowers are tiny – about 12mm (1/2in) across and intensely blue-violet in colour.

Dogs and autumn leaves

But the overwhelming impression of the two walks today was of happy (and often patient!) dogs and the first autumn leaves…

Doubly

Nyssa leaf

Acer saccarinum

Acer saccarinum detail

Park Lane

Long Border

Ash trees

Cornus

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12 thoughts on “A WALK: DOGS, SATURATED SUMMER GREENS, MORE WILD FLOWERS AND THE ARRIVAL OF AUTUMN

  1. What a beautiful place for a walk … great photos. That Pycnostachys is such a lovely colour and I just loved that hibiscus bloom. Looks like there’s a touch of autumn in the air.

    • Thank you, Catherine. I find that being from the Southern Hemisphere, unlike most garden bloggers, gives me a distinct advantage!

    • Hello, Deborah. The only place I’ve ever seen the hedgehog sage is growing wild in my garden. Imagine the excitement when I first found it! It deserves to be more widely grown and publicised.

  2. Regarding the hedgehog sage and its ease (or not!) of cultivation: I ordered some seed from Kirstenbosch and have tried, to no avail, of getting them to germinate. I didn’t know anything of its habitat, so I didn’t try anything specific. Perhaps it didn’t feel swamp-like enough.

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