My Burncoose




October Monthly Inspiration

One of the joys of October is the sudden appearance of the first flowers on the Camellia sasanquas. Here in Cornwall we usually expect to see the first delicate pink, reddish-pink or white flowers during the first week of the month. On still das the scent from the flowers will waft for yards around the bushes.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Dazzler’ (feature image above) is one of the most floriferous with startling semi-double rose-red flowers in profusion. Camellia sasanqua ‘Narumigata’ has scented single white flowers with irregular pink flecks on the buds and the tips of some of the petals. Camellia sasanqua ‘Hugh Evans’ is one of the most prolific flowering varieties with a profusion of single pink flowers which look wonderful when cut and taken indoors. As the autumn colours begin to set in the woodland garden there are still a few things actually coming into flower.


October is also the month to collect seed from your shrubs and trees. Magnolias may have long elongated red seed heads with orange seeds starting to protrude from them. Camellias will have rounded bulbous seed heads which are starting to split open and shed their black seeds. If the seed heads on your rhododendrons have gone brown and started to split at the ends there will be quantities of tiny dust-like seeds to shake out into an envelope or paper bag. Seeds from most woodland garden trees and shrubs are best stored over winter in dry (but not hot) conditions in a shed or garage ready for sowing in the spring.

Be more adventurous and collect seed from everything you can find. Dipteronia sinensis have panicles of pinkish ‘rabbit money’ seeds while Styrax have globular green seeds which hang down from the branches and are ripe as they turn brown.


Less exciting and rather more like hard work this month is the need to cut back, trim and tidy the herbaceous border. Clumps of herbaceous plants which are out of control or too large can be lifted and left for division later in the year.

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