Aura of Autumnal Decadence

Thanks to Chris of croftgarden for inadvertently giving me the title of this post, a description that could be used for many gardens at this time of year and one I would be quite happy to apply to my own, although unfortunately it wouldn’t be 100% accurate.

Thinking ahead to this end of month view, I was well aware that there would not be a huge amount of change since last time, and yet as I took the photographs this morning what I was aware of was the gradual decay that is setting in, a very subtle change caused by cooler nights, wet foliage and less light. It may be barely discernible on a day-to-day basis, but nevertheless it is creeping in, taking over our gardens like a grey-green mist, preparing us for the night when the first frost of the season (for those who haven’t had it yet) slaps us in the face and wakes us to the notion that winter is on its way, wreaking its wily ways on our gardening achievements of this last year. We know, though, that our gardens will rise again like a phoenix from the ashes, and once again we will toil because, in our very different ways, it is something that gives us pleasure. So, on to this end of month’s decaying view:

This is still the hub of the tree and hedgetrimming exercise, and there is so much more light getting through now that I am sure the currently very threadbare Tai Chi lawn will be a different animal next year. I have moved the Bougainvillea and the two Sundavilles into the sitooterie, as the nights are definitely getting a bit chilly for them. The three pots with Fuchsia ‘Deep Purple’ and the dark purple verbena are still flowering strongly – a real success – but I am still managing to ignore the tall pot by the bench with a black bamboo as I don’t know what to do with it since I took it out of its original home.

The stream on the left, 3 new cordon fruit trees (cherry, pear, greengage) on the right, and the apple trees beyond, underplanted at the weekend with those Tête-à-tête and waiting for some turf to finish the foreground off. Our small local garden centre does not keep it in stock now as there is less demand, but they have an order coming in at the end of the week.

More evidence of The Woodcutter, as the plum and wild plum are severely lopped, some branches already dead before being cut, and most plums being out of reach – like the patch of grass, the woodland floor should benefit from some increased light:

Turning the corner and looking down the woodland edge border (with buttery yellow hosta leaves in the foreground) towards the right hand hot border against the wall. The latter shows no degree of hotness now, but produced unexpectedly lush growth earlier in the year and deserves some consideration to the inclusion of some new and tall hot additions for next season. The framework in front of it has been planted with honeysuckle and is designed to partially screen the hot colours from the woodland edge, which has been full of lovely foliage all summer after its early spring and summer snowdrops, hellebores and geraniums.

Before following the path through the border, just turn to the left from the same spot to see the four herbaceous borders and the clematis colonnade, all beginning to feel a little sorry for themselves but on the whole a successful transformation of the previous layout – a decent blueprint to work on next year:






Now heading down to the hot borders, the left hand border is still full of colour, but has suddenly decided that perhaps it will think about calling it a day soon – although for some reason I have a new poppy just about to break into flower, perhaps not quite hot enough to deserve its place. (I’ll post a picture when it is in full flight). Looking towards the gate to the fruit’n’veg area instead sees the Vitis coignetiae ‘Purpurea’ taken on its new colours:

Fruit cage, decent yellow and green courgettes (eventually), underutilised rhubarb, tomatoes just about still delighting the gardener, caterpillar-ravaged purple sprouting broccoli, not-worth-digging-up potatoes, leafy pumpkin with one small fruit, apologetic broadbeans and climbing French beans that might get 5 out of 10 for effort:




Leaving out the fruit cage, and moving swiftly through the revamped blue and white border, again with little colour, and into the rose garden with ‘Zépherine Drouhin’ and ‘Blush Noisette’ still bringing colour and fragrance and the multitudinous lavender pencil plugs settling in well and even showing a hint of flower:

As we walk back to the house through the clematis colonnade and past the woodland and the sitooterie, we could see the ‘white’ border with enough light now to support a greater number of white-flowered plants, the wisteria still fully-leaved against the eaves of the house, and pots of Aldi’s cyclamen and trailing violas outside the back door, waiting to be planted out. We could, of course, go and disturb the chickens down the other side of the house but instead I’ll leave you there and go and have my lunch (chicken sandwich – ha ha, only joking)! Thanks to Helen at patientgardener for hosting these reviews.

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8 Responses to Aura of Autumnal Decadence

  1. Anna says:

    I enjoyed your EOMV. Your garden looks as if it has some delicious shady corners and I’m envious of those walls. Yes there are slow but noticeable changes going on out there although I have still not whiffed that first smell of autumn yet 🙂 I imagine that it is not far off as the leaves are now departing from the trees.

  2. Cathy says:

    Hi Anna – thanks for having a look. There are indeed some lovely shady corners but the whole garden was gradually becoming one BIG shady corner, hence the tree and hedge lopping exertions! I recommend ‘thinking out of the box’ for features sometimes – just periodically look at parts of the garden with an open mind, either waiting for inspiration or working out if there is anyway you could fit in certain things. The walls behind the hot border were no problems in terms of space, and I built them (it’s not difficult) from reclaimed bricks so they look as if they have always been there – interestingly, the impetus was rereading ‘The Secret Garden’! It needn’t be on that scale though – at the side of the house, outside one of the kitchen windows, I have built a 3 or 4 foot wide rustic wall where the hedge is really thin, making it look as if it continues the length of the hedgeline.

  3. croftgarden says:

    Hi Cathy, I’m pleased you liked my concept of autumnal decadence. It can only be applied to gardens with an inherent romantic atmosphere and a casual elegance. Yours has it by the barrow load (this is a compliment by the way).

    • Cathy says:

      And I really appreciated the compliment – it’s certainly what I would aspire to for my garden, with similar terms for spring, summer and winter!

  4. hillwards says:

    There is something so wistful about this time of year, autumnal decadence indeed. Lovely to take a spin around your work-in-progress.

  5. I really like the colours of your hot border against that brick wall. Nice tour, will look forward to seeing your new projects develop. The woodland area looks so lovely already, more light can only help.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you for visiting, Janet. Yes, I now hope to have better success with witch hazels in the woodland, as I have lost a couple of new ones through lack of moisture as the shade also prevents rain reaching the roots. I know, I should have watered them more in their first year, but …..

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