October. We really are into autumn now, or at least the calander tells us. What we rarely see here in Majorca are autumn colours. The reds and golds of decidious trees are rarely to be found here instead there are many more evergreens and of course newly planted crops will soon be looking green.
Besides the greens of a garden I want to look at the colours, some will be slowly fading like the Oleander but there are others that seem to show their colours when some of the heat is going out of the sun. If it is colour you want, take a look into other peoples gardens to get ideas as to what grows well and prepare to plant some for yourselves.
Bignonia must surely be a favourite with its bunches of pink trumpet shaped flowers, it is a very vigorous climbing plant that will cover any wall or pergola in a season and really needs hard cutting back if you want to keep it under control. I have found it comes up just where it wants and romps ahead. It is one of those plants that has yards long trailing stems that when on the ground will take root quite by themselves, here you have a new plant to cut off from the parent and transplant to just where ever you want it. It will need support to get it up onto a wall or pergola but once there is full of flower at this time of year.
A lthough not the same family Columnea Gloriosa or the Goldfish plant grows in a similar way though not quite as prolific as the Bignonia and is in bloom at this time of year .Its common name, with a little imagination comes from the shape of the flowers that form in bunches. Here again, helped to grow up a wall or fencing and over a pergola will make an outstanding show when it comes into flower at this time of year.
Bougainvillea is still full of coloured bracts and making a lot of new growth, that here again, will need some drastic pruning to keep it under control. Be careful with this one, it has needle sharp thorns that can really get at you whilst working on it.
A neighbour of mine in Puerto Pollensa has a long garden wall, all of 40 yards long that has all three of the above climbing plants tumbling over it. I refer to it as my favourite wall -it really is a picture at the moment- just so full of colour and what I mean when I say “ look into other gardens”.
A nother tree/shrub that is coming into flower again is the Callistemon better known as Bottlebrush because of the shape the flower heads form, just like a bottle brush from the kitchen sink. This tree doesn’t seem to have any real season here, there is colour off and on all year round. What I have noticed is, this is a flower that attracts the bees, most of the time the tree seems to be alive as the bees flit from one brush to another filling the tiny pouches on their legs with the yellow pollen that has been forming on the tips of all the flowers. At least the Bottlebrush is doing its part for ecology by feeding the bees as well as yet another colourful tree in the garden.
Four O’clock Jack (Mirabilis Jalapa) that comes as a night flowering plant is in full bloom in all its colours just to make sure we have colour in the garden day and night! This plant will self seed just where it stands so once in the garden you will have it forever.
Last but not least I must mention yet again the Brugmansia or Datura otherwise known as Angels Trumpets, a new crop of flowers are to be seen with plenty new buds forming. I always seem to see the nicest example in someone elses garden, in this case the variety known as Frosty Dawn that has a pink rim to its white trumpet and the tree I have seen must have hundreds of flowers, enough to make one stop the car just to look. My little shrub in the garden has just three flowers and another seems to have a lot more buds, they all add to the late autumn flowering plants. The Datura in all its varieties seems to take easily from a simple cutting just stuck into the soil, it is said to be poisonous so be careful with this one.
This has been just a brief look into some of the flowers in bloom, there are lots more when all the bedding plants come into flower.