I eventually decided to pull up the willowherb and enchanter’s nightshade that were seeding all over the gravel bed in the garden and was taken by the tiny red growth starting among the exposed roots of the willowherb, like little ruby roses.
Thank you to Hollis of In the Company of Plants and Rocks for commenting that these growths have the botanical name turions (from the Latin turio, meaning “a shoot”).
Red always catches my eye – I saw there were scarlet lily beetles around. Camouflage is not their strong point!
For once I let them live as the lilies are over for the year anyway.
An orb-web spider (Metellina segmentata) was also making use of the dead lily stalks as anchorage for its web.
Nearby in the herb garden the fennel had gone to seed – but I never quite know when I should cut it back.
One final bright little plant that I always forget until it appears on the rockery in autumn is this little kaffir lily – which I call Schizostylis coccinea but which I see now is officially Hesperantha coccinea.
Every season has its small treasures…