TIP: Best viewed in portrait orientation
September 21st 2023
Autumn equinox brings skies brooding heavy clouds filled with evening sun. An iconic start to the season of light and shadows, mists and melancholy. Autumn: The time when the Earth draws life back into itself…
A celebration of the autumn garden
a photo gallery | 2023
Ivy leaved cyclamen
The corm of this cyclamen has grown to over 8 inches (20cm) across, throwing up hundreds of mauve-pink flowers throughout October and November. Growing here with the delicate maidenhair spleenwort ferns (Asplenium trichomanes) The foliage of hardy cyclamens are prominent in winter, visible from October until April after which the bulb goes dormant.
▼ Below: Winter foliage of
C. hederifolium and C. coum.
Large Yellow Foxglove
For the last three years, this perennial foxglove has had a late second flowering in autumn. Its pale yellow flowers are more striking at this time than they were in June, glowing in the dull light, bright against the darkened foliage of long-faded summer perennials.
A subtly beautiful shade plant with interesting botanical features in every season, including subtle autumn colour.
Many flowers take a beating from the (frequent) autumn rain, but evergreens such as the ferns and hedges remain attractive.
‘The lady of the lake’
Roses provide some of the best autumn flowers, especially the repeat varieties.Regular deadheading in summer increases autumn flowering.
Rosa ‘Strawberry hill’
Throughout October autumn colours increase in the garden. The brilliant orange in this photo comes from the leaves of my Amelanchier.
Like most Dahlias, this one flowers right through autumn. I find that white flowers harmonise readily with strong autumn hues.
Japanese anemone ‘Honourine Jobert’
This late-summer perennial flowers deep into Autumn, finishing gracefully as its foliage turns yellow.
Even the pigeon is soggy!
It is not until mid-October that my figs and pear are ready for picking. The pears need a few days indoors to fully ripen.
△ View across the fields
at the end of the garden
The hardy fuchsias are good late-season shrubs. The small flowersdeserve close attention, dangling like jewelled earrings along thin stems.
‘Annabell’ is a well-known cultivar of H. arborescens. Its summer mop-head flowers open from pale green to a beautiful clear white.
After the rain, brilliant clear skies.
Low, slanting sun strikes the hedges
creating patterns across the garden.
Autumn colour contrasts with evergreen topiary
(November 21st 2023)
Japanese Forest grass
This wonderful ornamental grass has fiery autumnal colours.
Foliage plants can be as inspirational as flowers.
The first frost of winter arrived on 2nd of December
(view across the pond towards the house)
I grew some tender fuchsias in a mixed planter this year, and enjoyed their pale-pink flowers all summer. After the frost, however, they were transformed into sugar-coated marzipan beauties.
Frost adds another dimension to the garden, stilling and brightening everything with its deadly touch and sealing the fate of the late-flowering perennials.
At the first sign of frost, I rounded up the not-so-hardy potted perennials and brought them into my unheated greenhouse. I’ll keep them here until spring. There’s two dozen large pots of Agapanthus, a few Dahlias, Pineapple lilies, and an osteospermum under cover now. I keep them on the dry side which helps them tough out the cold.
(The wall shrub is my peach tree)
Agapanthus ‘Silver Baby’
flowering in the greenhouse in December
The Amelanchier tree, right outside our dining room, is perfect for carrying baubles. We grow the Christmas tree (left) in a pot, and wheel it into position each year.
— THUS ENDS 2023 —