Does your heart sink when you realise that it's pretty much dark by 8pm? Mine does. This year has been particularly good at the extreme ends of the day and I'm missing the extra light. I've woken to bright sunshine at 5.30, and even got up then to sit in the garden! Now it's definitely still dark at 5 am, and dusk is settling early. Still, this time of year can provide some of the loveliest planting combinations, so here's one that cheered me up when I found it last year.
Shade is often a problem, but this combination of cyclamen hederifolium and hydrangea was thriving in quite heavy shade, where the sunshine penetrated mostly in the later afternoon and, even then, was dappled.
The small bracts of the lace-caps added a sort of splash effect in the shade, and really brightened it up. But what lace-cap is it? I'd guess maybe White Wave, though this had a spread of at least a couple of metres. Lanark White possibly? But I didn't see any blue (or pink) colouring in the centres. Do comment below, if you have any ideas.