Late summer in our garden

Long shadows, cooler nights and a final flush of late summer flowers. Our garden is looking great right now - between the showers. Many of the plants here are part of the Nova-flore seed mix - the easiest and most floriferous bit of gardening we have ever done! Three years ago this was an acre of mud and a building site, so growth has been fast and furious. Growing flowers from seed in this way is inexpensive, easy and high impact. The soil needs to be free from weeds at the start of the year and then simply raked into the ground and firmed in. People should not confuse this with 'wild' flowers. 'Wild' flowers is an ambiguous term as most plants are wild - somewhere. Generally, and in the Irish context, 'wild' flowers refers to native flowers. These flowers grow somewhat as if they were wild - knotted together in an informal way - but are from various parts of the world.

Cosmos

One packet of the Nove-flore seed mix covers approximately thirty square metres. Each square metre is packed with literally hundreds of plants, allowing for a succession of blooms from early in the summer right up through October. The mix shown here is 'Passion' which is an annual mix, so we will cut this down in late winter (ie February - March), dig over the soil and sow a new mix. We'll leave it up over the winter, even if it looks untidy, as the various seed-heads will provide food for wild birds. We might also collect some seeds by cutting stems and hanging them over a paper bag. This is the easiest way to collect flower seeds.

Dill

Dill - again, part of the Nove-flore seed mix..... very popular with the hover flies.

Sweet pea

Sweet pea - gloriously fragrant. A few seeds go a very long way.

California poppy

California poppy and Queen Anne's lace.... a lovely combination and in bloom for week after week.Rose hips

Such juicy and glossy hips on the roses this year. On Rugosa roses they are as showy as the flowers.

House through flowers

Our house seen through Miscanthus, Helenium and roses.

House

The deck through the 'floral meadow' in early evening sunlight.

Sweet pea bouquet

Sweet peas - indoors their fragrance is unbeatable. One or two plants generate endless cut flowers.

Late summer bouquet

A gorgeous bouquet brought to us by our friends Cathy and Ruaidhri: fabulous colour combinations.

Cotinus 'Royal Purple'

Cotinus coggygria: the dark red / purple is best at this time of year. At the first sign of frost the leaves become wonderfully patterned.