Tuesday, 18 September 2018

A Garden In September

A handful of yellowing leaves on the birch tree in my street always starts the neighbours talking about Autumn. Meanwhile, in this favoured corner of the country, summer sunshine lingers on. So it was with mixed expectations that I hopped on the train for the short ride into Cambridge to make my monthly pilgrimage to the Botanic Garden.

Autumn crocuses and even Autumn leaves, sure signs of September and some of the first flowers I saw on entering the garden. This part is known as the Autumn Garden, though it's still far from the russet and gold splendour that it will hopefully achieve later in the year.

These sunflowers, on the other hand, seem to be saying that it's still high summer. As this is the University garden, these flowers were not here just to look pretty, but to demonstrate how plants adapt by branching if their growing points are removed. In front of these gangling specimens were others exhibiting low, branching growth and looking for all the world like a different species.

In the woodland glades there was just a tinge of yellow.

This, the little label informed me, is a Kentucky Yellowwood, Kladrasis kentukea. Now that must rate as one of the more pointless achievements of academia - translating "Kentucky" into Latin!

This little bee firmly believes that it's summer, though it definitely has a limited choice of blooms at this time of year.

The apparent "jungle" is still thriving beside the lake.

Though nearby the attentive photographer could indulge in this reflected fantasy.

Lily Of The Field was flowering profusely in the Systematic Beds.

Dried grasses are quite a feature of the September garden.

Somehow I've never shown you the School Garden on our monthly tours. It has a very grand sign which doubles as an "insect hotel".

This part of the garden is run with help from a local primary school and exists to provide inspiration for both young people and their teachers.

Elsewhere red berries contrast nicely with the afternoon skies.

More dry grasses catch the light around the fountain.

And we'll end up, almost back where we started, with this tiny cyclamen growing beneath the trees in the Autumn Garden.

Take care.


  1. What a wonderful image you have captured of the red reflections in the water - it reminds me a little of a painting done by Jackson Pollock.
    What's not to love at this time of year on such a beautiful, sunny, blue sky day.

  2. What lovely photos - thank you for sharing. I always enjoy seeing gardens in the opposite season to us.

  3. I always enjoy your visits to this garden, John.

    Photo 7 would be a great enlargement to hang in one’s home.

  4. Another very enjoyable tour of plants, sunshine, and wonderful comments. Indeed, translating Kentucky into Latin!

  5. Glad to see there's still some flowers blooming where you live. Nice pic of the reflected colors.

  6. Autumn is all about colours. Beautiful images, John. I love the Autumn crocuses!

  7. I love your monthly garden walk there. The colors are changing a bit here too. Soon equinox and more colors before all the leaves have fallen.

  8. Thoroughly enjoyed our monthly visit to the Botanical garden John, in fact I look forward to it ☺ Two or three weeks, maybe a month and it will be awash with autumn colour ☺

  9. Crocus is the fall? I never! They only bloom in earliest spring in the US.

  10. Hi John - wonderful shots ... love the field lilies - aren't they grand. The Autumn crocuses are out here ... but our hot temperatures have taken their toll this year - I'm interested to see what happens to Fall here in the west of Canada. Your water colours are lovely ... cheers Hilary

  11. A lovely collection of photos as always. It was nice to see the school garden too.

  12. A delightful compendium of photographic splendour!

  13. Lovely. Rather like the bug hotel/sign. Clever.

  14. Another wonderful visit to the Botanical Gardens with beautiful photos, you are so lucky with it being "on your doorstep" so to speak. The red bloom is amazing. I have some lavender plants in my front garden, they are winding down now and don't get many visitors. All I do is chop off the current growth with shears about November time and every year they reward me (and the bees) with magnificent new growth.

  15. The grasses around the lake are lovely and I like the School Garden sign doubling as an insect hotel:)


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