The leaves of brown came tumblin’ down in September in the rain…
…as the song said, and it's certainly wet and dreary at the beginning of the month. Thankfully the market is here to bring a little sunshine back into our lives! Everywhere you look it’s hot pink, glowing yellow, and zingy orange.
If you are doing a Bollywood wedding it would be faaabulous dahling (although my celebrity-florist friend tells me the very chic-est Indian nuptials are going all English-country-garden since the royal bash, with urns of frothy white flowers, and trees on the tables.)
Of course, there's dahlias. Love Love Love The Dahlia! And now's the time to make the most of them. Pratleys have vibrant boxes of mixed dahlia, British-grown.
I spotted some absolute stonkers on Alagar's stand, as big as your head; which is where this jaunty container was too. (On the stand, not on your head.) I do enjoy it when the wholesalers make an effort at design. By the way, Alagar's stand is now enlarged and expanded, so more stock to browse, including an increased orchid selection.
Equally autumny is the bloom chrysanth, or incurve. People who loudly exclaim they hate chrysanths ("common, dull, cheap") seem happy to lap these curly chaps up. And who can blame them? Mix the blooms up with tall fragrant stalks of flowering fennel from GB foliage; they’ll look great.
Lots of gorgeous roses around, as always. I made a note of this one on Bloomfield's – "Secret Garden", how very romantic! – for two reasons. First its Avalanche-like size; second its strange, soft, lilac-pink colour. Nice.
And if you are looking to improve your rose ID skills, take a trip to Hardcastle's stand, where they’ve labelled each variety to help you. Thanks, guys!
Autumn-toned hydrangeas are appearing in the market now. Often called "antique", they have gorgeous burnished greeny-plum tones that blend with pretty much anything. Or take a fancy to huge-flowered paniculata hydrangeas, in soft pistachio-green; they have smaller petals and an elegant pointed silhouette.
Lots of lovely bedding plants for tubs and baskets – penstemons with giant foxglove-like flowers; begonias, busy lizzies, and these burnt orange rudbeckia.
For a real early-autumn flavour (literally) there's branches of rosy apples, pots of chilli peppers
and mini aubergines,
and hops fresh from Kent.
Always a favourite for rustic weddings (they do make me long for a pint of beer!) Add in some juicy-red viburnum opulus berries and you’ve got a feast for the eyes.
Speaking of feasts – is it just me, or do these mini-tubs of lichen, moss and other woodlandy bits remind you of a delicatessen counter? Pop along to Porters for a closer look, if Nature Tables get your juices flowing.
On just two stands, I spied these long rhubarby maroon stems, topped with pink. For those of you not familiar, these are Amaryllis.
Not the big blowsy bright Dutch Hippeastrum we know from Christmastime, but the real-deal species form, belladonna. They have the most dainty, pale pink starry flowers like a giant nerine.
Speaking of Christmas…don’t forget now is the time to plant bulbs for spring colour. (Six months ahead for spring bulbs, three months for summer bulbs. I know, such a lot of advance planning!) So if your customers want daffs, crocus, hyacinth, tulips – or you want to force some bulbs for Christmas potted gifts – check out Evergreen's stand, as they have boxes of them ready to go. (Remember – pointy side up.)