Talkback: Unseasonal weather

Primroses galore and primulas and wallflowers in my garden,Kate, so I am looking forward to my snowdrops. Some of the perennials like valerian have a foot of new growth on them. They say variety is the spice of life so we should welcome the change but there is something so comforting in the four seasons, I agree.
When visitors admire, say the autumn colour, in the Botanic Garden I usually reply - oh, do visit as least once a season because there is always something spectacular. On Thursday it was the buttercup yellow of the leaves on the tulip tree and the Gingko biloba - spellbinding and in season!


  • My very confused rhododendron has burst into flower at the end of October, and is still looking beautiful. I expect it will be at the expense of flowering next spring though
  • I've still got Sweet Peas flowering away, I haven't seen any bulbs coming up thank goodness. I try to put the garden to bed for the winter but plants just keep on going.
  • I have been very worried over my Spring bulbs, as they have all sprouted at least a few inches clear of the soil... I do hope they will make it into flower again in the spring... Very unexpected in the West Midlands in November! And I couldn't agree more, I look forward to each new seasons arrival too. It's actually quite disappointing now they have become so blurred. I hope next year we can have a return to normal service... At the moment I even have a Clematis Montana still going strong!
  • I am so pleased to discover other gardeners are experiencing abnormal growth in their gardens. My lovely small crab apple tree, covered in delightful red apples the size of hips, has started blossoming on every twig. Do I prune early or wait for frosts, assuming we have any,then hope all will return to normal next year?
  • I am also confused. As a devout veg grower I don't know much about flowering times. My daughter is getting married next September 22nd and I have been trying to see what would normally be in bloom but nothing is behaving normally. I have a blank canvas of a garden flower wise and want to plant it up for the photos. Would anyone be able to advise of purple,cream or white flowers that would be in bloom then. Also would a climber have settled enough if I put it in next spring.
  • My rhubarb has sprouted which is weird. Bronte - go for things with a longer or repeat flowering season so less chance the seasons can play tricks. Sweet peas can be trained over obelisks/arches and keep flowering as long as cut. Fushias also good goers and robust. My white japonese anenomes are lovely in Sept but wind and rain will batter them. I'd also be tempted to go for cream/white/purple variegated evergreens such as ivy, euonymous, ajuga that would provide a good backdrop (and will look good in winter). If the flowers go wrong you can import some emergencies into pots last minute.
  • I too like the difference in the seasons. There's something comforting about making aeverything "cosy" for winter and, having a small garden, I hate taking out the last of the summer bedding when still in flower to plant bulbs etc. Howerver, this year I have been glad of the extended season as I broke my ankle in early haven't been able to garden since. My husband and teenage son are not exactly keen gardeners so I daren't leave it to them!
  • By the way, I broke my ankle when I stepped on a windfall apple so be careful out there.
  • Thanks for the warning, Marygold, as I have to pick Bramblys today for a charity do tomorrow. I really need a hard hat now, just to be safe, as some are as big as footballs and the tree is huge.
  • I have an allotment in Hastings, East Sussex, I also have raspberries, strawberries, very healthy broad bean plants & I am concerned that when it turns cold they will suffer and die off. Yesterday, whilst weeding I saw that I now have crocus showing, my dahlias are still blooming although very slowly .... when will it all end, will spring ever be in springtime again?
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