Autumn Days When the Grass is Jewelled

No doubt colours will always feature heavily in the October foliage day posts of garden bloggers in the UK, and it is intriguing to compare and contrast these with those of the garden blogging community in the wider world, so thanks to Christina for hosting this opportunity.

Driving home yesterday we came off the motorway a junction early as there was queuing traffic, and enjoyed some rural lanes before joining our usual route, and for the first time we consciously noticed that way the trees lining the road were changing colours seemed to depend on the direction they were facing – the leaves on the side facing southish were already yellow and orange whereas those on the opposite side were resolutely still green. The latter was the side lining the road and therefore a little more sheltered, so perhaps the trees were more exposed on their sunny side. It may depend on the type of tree of course, or the nature of the seasons in a particular year, but there was certainly a distinct difference in this instance.

Here in our garden there is plenty of foliage to share with you this October, starting with the remainder of the heap of  prunings from the variegated holly, the berries just having begun to ripen before they were cut:

Most acers will be showing their true colours and my Acer griseum, still a young tree, is no exception and has, of course, the added bonus of the wonderful peeling bark that makes me
think of sticks of cinnamon. Other trees that excel themselves at this time of
year are witch hazels and amelanchiers – I have a number of witch hazels, but the leaves of Hamamelis intermedia ‘Arnold promise’ have already turned and fallen, and the others are still green. Here therefore is Hamamelis ‘Zuccariniana’ and the fallen leaves of Amelanchier lamarkcii, contrasting with the moss on the cobbled circle:

On my photographic foray I was fascinated by the sight of the tendrils on the Vitis vinifera ‘Purpurea’ wrapping themselves round the seedheads of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’:

Not all the foliage interest is from autumn colours, though, as this Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ has been a constant delight all season, shown with one of my unlabelled pulmonarias behind. And I never fail to be fascinated by ferns throughout the season, with Asplenium scolopendrium here showing a new crop of spores on the reverse of the leaves:

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9 Responses to Autumn Days When the Grass is Jewelled

  1. paulinemulligan says:

    Its strange how different plants behave in different parts of the country. My Acers haven’t really started yet, neither have either of my witch hazels, yet both my Amelanchiers have finished, blown away, all gone!

    • Cathy says:

      There’s certainly a lot of fallen leaves under the amelanchier, and even though I chose to show these there are still many on the tree. I think generally we are too sheltered, as a landlocked garden, for many leaves to be blown off by the wind – it is probably a fine balance beween the dryness of the leaves and the ambient temperature.

  2. Christina says:

    Thanks for joining in GBFD Cathy. Even small differences in micro-climate make a difference to leaf colour change. There is lots of scientific information about all the colours and why they are formed. Here in Italy the cool weather comes so slowly we have very muted colours and often even that doesn’t occur until well into November or December. Christina

    • Cathy says:

      Have the seasons been as variable in Italy as they have been here, I wonder, Christina? I know we have had some recent years where some leaves were still hanging on for dear life into December – I rather enjoy this unpredictability, I think!

  3. Cathy you have some beautiful colours in your garden, I frequently notice the different sides of plants not just colour but when new shots appear and flowering, I love the photo of the entwining tendrils and enlarged the photo which showed the glistening dew/rain, Frances

    • oh dear, shots should be shoots, lol Frances

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I noticed the droplets when I was editing it – and I hope I would still have noticed the photo potential if I hadn’t been on a deliberate photo shoo! That’s another of the benefits to me of trying to post a daily blog – once again I am making sure I walk round the garden on a daily basis, which is defintely good for my soul.

  4. Anna says:

    ‘”Oh what a tangled web we weave” – tendrils seem to have a life of their own and it can be quite fascinating following their progress. I like your persicaria/pulmonaria combination 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      I remember when I first discovered how tight the tendrils were on clematis when I wanted to train them in a different direction – it reminds us just how ‘alive’ our plants are. Persicaria seems to be quite underrated – this one is completely unassuming and absolutely no trouble at all, yet has given colour throughout the year. It is taller than some, perhaps about 24″(60cm), so is wonderful above the pulmonaria and also tops the hellebores once their leaves are established.

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