As we come towards the end of the season, with our final Open Day on Sunday 11 October, our plants keep reminding us what a strange year it has been. The handkerchief tree is a case in point – it scarcely flowered in the Spring, but is now flowering when it should be resting! I also spotted violets and some apple blossom. Elsewhere, autumn came early, with the pumpkins already harvested, and the crab-apples colouring up vividly and leaving a beautiful carpet around them. The dahlias and michaelmas daisies are bang on cue though – with luscious plants and vibrant colour in the Italian and walled kitchen gardens; and cyclamen too, giving a little something to various corners of the Glade.