We’re well and truly into Autumn now. There’s no more chances for a last-minute heat-wave. No hope of a second Indian Summer. British Summer Time has ended and the days are noticeably shorter, cooler, duller and usually wetter. Worst of all, the gardening programs on TV have just finished for the year. There’s no denying that we’re fast approaching the end of the season and another year will soon draw to a close but before then, there’s lots of interest to be had before locking yourself away and hibernating for the winter.
Autumn tones are appearing in the garden and the colour slider is moving from greens to oranges, pinks, reds and browns.
The pepper-red seed heads of Crocosmia Lucifer are scattering themselves all over a border that is next in the queue for being created. I’ll probably end up weeding most of these out as the bulbs are so inexpensive that it doesn’t matter if I loose all the self-seeded ones. This border will have one-third of “Crocosmia Circus”.
In the same border we also have the bright-red, jewel-like rose hips from a large single white rose of unknown variety that we inherited. This rose will be taken out of this border when it is redone but I’m not sure if it will be moved elsewhere or if we’ll not bother replacing it at all. It will be a shame to lose the hips but we might be able to have something similar towards the bottom end of the garden. At the moment this large rose doesn’t suit the plans I have for this part of the garden.
Rather embarrassingly, we didn’t realise that Calendula were annuals until very recently, which explains why they are still flowering away, completely unaware of the imminent cold weather. We’ve been dead-heading them – until we realised they were annuals – and so we’re hoping for some seed heads we can harvest for next year. We were told that they do self-seed prolifically so we’ll just have to see what turns up in this part of the border next season. As this border was finished and planted very late, the Calendula have had a short season to establish and flower. They’re only just getting going but I can imagine that if they had had a full season to grow, we would have had a stunning band of orange-yellow stretching the full length of the Crescent. It would have been an amazing show-stopper. Oh well, there’s always next year.
When it comes to this pyracantha, I’m in two minds. I’ve been pricked and poked by its vicious spines so many times that I want to take the whole thing out and burn it, but when I see it covered in flowers and bees in the spring followed by these wonderful clusters of bright orange berries in autumn, I always end up reconsidering and giving it a stay of execution. If this pyracantha is ever taken out, it would have to be replaced with something whose wildlife and green credentials are just as good – if not better.
This very young rhododendron is a Rhododendron Luteum. It has sweetly scented bright yellow flowers in late spring and the foliage turns a striking red in autumn. This will be a talking point when the shrub matures in the coming years. For the moment though, it’s taking its time getting established. I’m glad I can see the buds for next season though.
The large ornamental cherry we inherited gave a very lack lustre performance last autumn where it faded into winter like a damp squib. This year, we’ve been lucky to have the combination of warm days and cold nights that have really brought out the colour in its leaves. This tree ranges from bright orange to coral-pink depending on the sun.
I’d like to be all poetic and say that we spent the days of our lives sat on these two chairs over looking the garden and contemplating the season we’ve had but back in the real world, we’ve had precious little time to stop and reflect. What with preparing for winter, clearing the patio, work inside and catching up on countless little jobs and chores, the season will have been and gone and all I will have is this picture to refer back to and remember the vividly colourful autumn we’re having right now.