At this time of year, many plants prepare to hibernate over winter.  Trees and woody climbers drop their leaves.  Herbaceous plants go brown and mushy.  There is a lot of work to be done tidying in the garden.

Amidst all this decay, some plants decide that they will have a second go at flowering, also known as a second flush.  There is a real joy to be found seeing the fight that the plants are prepared to have with the frosts that nature throws at them.  Frequently, the plant looses, but there has been the hope that they might win against all odds.

Portuguese Laurel - Second Flush

There are some plants that do this every year, whilst there are some that only find that the conditions are right for them in certain years.  The Portuguese Laurel seems to have a go every year, as does one of the roses on my pergola and the early flowering magnolia.

Last year I was amazed to see a hemerocallis (daylily) having a try.  I watched day by day as the bud swelled, wondering what each night would bring.  Eventually, just before it managed to flower, a frost got it – it was a valiant try.