Monday, 14 September 2009

Chinese Lanterns

I've had a bumper crop of these Chinese Lanterns (Physalis) this year. The plant itself isn't particularly attractive, until the small white flowers turn into these beautiful bright orange lanterns; that's when it really comes into its own! For that reason I haven't planted it in the border, but have it in a large terracotta planter on the patio. For most of the year it's behind other more showy plants. But in autumn when things are beginning to look a little drab I bring it forward to steal the show.

Mind you, they soon fade; the tissue paper thin cases deteriorating to leave a veined skeletonised structure containing a small orange fruit. So before they are past their best I like to collect them for the house. I've displayed some of them here in a cream ceramic bowl of winter potpourri, but may collect some conkers as I think they would make a lovely pairing!

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