Late flowers, fruit and caterpillars

It’s nearly November, but the nasturtiums are still flowering prolifically.

Nasturtium flower
Nasturtium flower

There are even a few caterpillars of the white butterflies still chomping away optimistically on the nasturtium leaves

Large white butterfly caterpillar
Large white butterfly caterpillar

Earlier this year (April) I was given some seeds for Alpine Strawberries and I planted them without much care or expectation. They have thrived under this neglect and have been fruiting since August; perfect timing to complement the end of my main strawberry crop. The fruits aren’t quite as nice as the true wild strawberries (which fruit here in June), but they’re very nice nevertheless.

Alpine strawberry
Alpine strawberry

Another gift that thrives from neglect is a clump of Miscanthus x giganteus I was given years ago. This is the hybrid Miscanthus that is used by farmers as an energy crop, but it works well as a backdrop or screening plant in a garden. It grows from nothing to eight feet tall each year and flowers very late (but not usually this late). The dead stems will usually stand the winter and provide a favourite spot for insects and spiders to shelter in during the colder months.

Miscanthus x giganteus flower
Miscanthus x giganteus flower

I chop the Miscanthus stems down each spring and then use the stems as a handy alternative to bamboo canes for all kinds of things around the garden. To keep the clump under control, I just mow over the spikes of new growth that try to grow where they’re not wanted.

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