October's Flower Market Report

Written by NCGM
October 02, 2012

Well, I finally gave in and broke out the bedsocks. The chill of autumn is creeping upon us – which is why this month's visit to New Covent Garden is so very welcome. It's toasty everywhere!

If you're in need of some warming too, grab a mug of tea, pull up an armchair, and sit by our fireside for a while.

Let's start with Alagar's amaranthus "Hot Biscuits", a delicious hobnob-gingersnap of a flower.


Pratley's next door has burgundy-wine amaranthus, nestled amongst English chrysanths in falling-leaf shades. (Mmm, biscuits and wine...)

Amaranthus and chrysanths

Mini-mosaics of corn on the cob at Porters.

Corn on the cob

What a colour range! Perfect for harvest festival and thanksgiving arrangements. Add dog-rose hips,

Dog-rose hips

pumpkin and crab apples and you’ve got a feast for the eyes. (Mmm, sweetcorn and pumpkin…)

Pumpkin and crab apple

Good job Boomerang has scarecrows on sale, or the tasty crops would be gone;


including these branched apples, at Waitson, paired with cherry-red dahlia.

Crab apples and cherry-red dahlia

Ah, dahlia. Here's SR Allen's citrussy stonker, plus glowing viburnum opulus berries;

Dahlias and viburnum opulus

and Goodchild's dangerously dark dahlias with "Sonia" sunflowers – rich eggy-yellow, and a manageable size for handtieds.


Tartrazine-orange dahlias with tanned shampoo ginger at Alagar;

Orange dahlias

full-on physalis (Chinese lanterns) all over the Market;


and fat traffic-light chillies at Quality Plants.

Chillies at Quality Plants

Even their echeveria looks sunburnt.


Your foliage can be just as cosy-warm: EH Hart's umber oakleaf;


gold-dusted eleagnus at GB Foliage (courtesy of Mother Nature, not a spray can),


and apricot arbutus berries (possibly, Dave's not sure on the ID).

Arbutus berries

Porters' red brunia snuggles up to Barry's latest find, a fynbos called pubescens.

Red brunia and pubescens

"No one wants to ask for it", he admits (hmm, can't imagine why), "so I’ve renamed it Teddy Bear". It’s baby-bird-soft and lasts for ages – worth a punt for corporate work.

Foliage fan? Barry recommends Leucodendron discolor, bronzey-grey-green, as a classier alternative to ubiquitous safari sunset. At £1.75/bunch, you can't go wrong as it "lasts like blazes". (He didn’t actually say blazes.) GB Foliage has cranberry-purple leycesteria;


Goodchild's fat-tailed setaria looks appetising;


or what about Zest's spooky pennisetum "Purple Majesty"? Now booking for Hallowe’en.


A classic autumn favourite is vintage-style 'antique' hydrangea, the plant’s reaction to dropping temperatures. Think of it as the rosy cheeks of the flower world.
Painterly shades result – Bloomfield has the biggest hydrangea selection, as you can see;

Hydrangea selection

elsewhere, gorgeous marine blue-verdigris-lilac,

Hydrangea antique blues

plum-mushroom-candy pink,

Hydrangea antique pink

and elegantly-blushing hydrangea paniculata.

Hydrangea paniculata pink

If you're trying to colourmatch difficult wedding themes, it’s a lifesaver.

Speaking of which, here's another flower for your 'vintage' list: DG Flowers' coffee-plum lisianthus "Double Brown Rosan".


Not the most poetic name, granted. The DG guys prefer ordering germinis, as they get to ask "have you got Pokerface?" to their supplier... I prefer this sunset-shaded germini, "Mirai".

Germini mirai

Pretty much everything this summer has been later-starting, and longer-lasting, because of the cold grey weather. But autumn (and even winter) flowers are now coming in – here's colchicum bulbs sprouting on Evergreen's sales desk;

Colchicum bulbs sprouting

erica at Arnott & Mason, with flowering skimmia tubs;

Erica and skimmia

sedum pots in starry flower, also at Evergreen;

Sedum pots

and John Austin's cut sedum – the delicate fluffy "Carl Pink".

Fluffy pink sedum

Eric asked me, "Why isn’t sedum more popular?" - if you’ve got an answer, let us know!

(On a side topic, this blog doesn’t come with sound. Or you'd hear classic 70's disco as we pass John Austin, and old skool reggae at Bloomfield. Yet another thing you miss by shopping online - along with the sweet scents, the cheeky banter, and the bacon sarnies. Get down the Market for the full experience!)

Glorious glamorous amaryllis belladonna at Pratleys, boxed;

Amaryllis belladonna

here's the same open in water at John Austin.

Amaryllis belladonna open

Tulips will be here soon, and Cornish anemones are landing at Pratleys. They tweet each flower as it arrives; the guys like to race NCGM's own feed for who can post first. If you’re on Twitter, Follow both and see who wins.


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