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When life becomes very challenging and in the case of this week, frankly unfair, I usually can divert my mind and seek distraction from my garden. I can easily lose half the day or an evening working. It always does me good to be outside, to breathe in the air and fill my head with plans. That’s the thing with gardening, it is so very optimistic, always looking forward. This week has been one of those tough ones but the weather has been against me and I have been trapped in by Storm Ellen and Francis. So much rain, damaging winds, ghastly.

The most I have managed is a bit of dead heading and a wander about. These are my six to share with our host The Propagator and you.

Cardoon

The ornamental artichoke, Cynara cardunculus has been dead headed and has put on a couple of new flowering heads. What a colour, arranged like a purple flat top. I have picked some of them and hope they will dry.

Dahlia Downham Royal

The wind has broken the stems of some of the bigger dahlias. This one has defied the weather and is still standing Dahlia Downham Royal . Good strong stem and great colour.

Dahlia Bishop of Auckland

Another dahlia that has managed to survive the weather and is flowering well is the Bishop. This has attractive dark foliage and super single red velvet petals. This is its second year and is definitely a keeper.

Foliage

The thing about the Forest pansy is the wonderful heart shaped foliage in rich red. So striking. Here it is, its foliage dripping wet but noticeably curled. I am not sure why it is curled, probably as a reaction to the high winds.

Across the garden

The claret coloured Joe pye weed is flowering as too are the white Sanguisorba canadensis. These are a favourite, a later flowering sanguisorba that need no staking and who cope exceedingly well with my heavy clay soil. They have even self sown in places.

Sanguisorba canadensis
Distinctly autumnal
Weighed down by the weather

Apples have been literally shaken out of the tree and are scattered all over the lawn. Usually the apples are not ready until late September or even late October so this is not a natural drop.

The garden looks distinctly late summer, autumnal even. The light is lower and the skies are grey. Saturated by the heavy rain, shaken to the core by the winds. The main damage has been stems broken on dahlias and the willow leaf sunflowers which are very tall have been scattered into weird shapes spread over the border.

Helianthus salicifolius

The forecast for the bank holiday weekend is unseasonably cool, a mere 14 degrees today which is not summer but a bit drier and calmer at least.

These are my six. Wishing you a speedy recovery, you know who you are, and for the rest of you I wish you a good weekend, wherever you are and thanks for reading. D.