Late October abandon
By late October there is nothing more to orchestrate and everything can be left to sprawl and bloom with abandon. The hard-working sedum “Autumn Joy” comes into its own and having neglected to weed out the multitude of self-seeding asters pays big dividends. The chocolate Joe Pye weed or boneset is contributing its white blooms while its foliage sets off the colours of the asters. I love the myriad shades of mauve and blue that are the result of random hybridizations. The earlier bright yellow of the rudbeckia “Goldsturm” is gone, leaving behind the dark punctuation marks of the seed-heads. This part of the border tends to look a bit of a mess in mid-summer, but with so much else to do (especially watering and dead-heading) it is never the top of the list. And then, when chillier and damp weather is setting in, it is transformed, an unexpected gift.