The first frost of the year; it seems like winter is here. On the plus side, annual weeds have flopped into mush. The last leaves are falling, revealing the underlying structure of trees. Days are short, the darkness longer every night. The best place is fireside. When morning comes the frosted garden is worth getting cold for. These sedums hold the frost well.The last of the medlars, bletted, now frozen, soon to return to earth.The long borders are being shaped by the frost.Leonotis seedbeds will persist through the harshest winter weather.Gunnera is not nearly as resilient.The weekend brought more rain which made for slightly warmer soil, so I planted some bareroot trees and shrubs: 10 each of guelder rose, wayfaring tree, bird cherry, hornbeam and spindle. That brings the total to 96 planted so far this season, with another 240 to go. The new woodland is starting to take shape..
Autumn colour has reached its ultimate; from here on the colour falls and seeps away into the damp earth. Frosts are starting to knock the more delicate leaves back to earth too. Owl hoots echo through the dark early evenings and into the long nights.
These sedum take on an anaemic look as their colours drain away.A few red berries remain – full of sugar, an attractive autumn snack for birds.The spindle reds go beyond natural, and then they are gone.Cotinus: no smoke but lots of fire.Dogwood leaves drop to reveal their black upright stems.Rowan, red enough to take a position in the field.Prunus ‘Collingwood Ingram’ and liquidambar Pinus radiata: a cone for Christmas.Acer rubrum: nearly lost the lot now but they were incredible.Parrotia persica catching the last of the evening light in the last of its leaves.Rhus glabra ‘Laciniata’ in a delicate moment before final fall.
Soon most of the colour will have gone to ground, the leaves will be away and the low sun won’t really warm the ground. Winter is coming.
Deciduous plants are nearing their prime in terms of colour. Autumn has as much interest as spring – if not more – with small dramas breaking out all over the garden.
I want more of these cyclamen.
It is the time of the aster..
..and the liriope.
A callicarpa (for Babs)..
Miscanthus are perfect in this light..
..and liriodendron is butter yellow against an evening contrail.
The variety of colour this year is quite incredible. Perhaps the long hot summer has something to do with it.
A good year for fruiting trees too with an abundance of berries for the birds to feast on.
Time feels suspended – if only by wanting it to be. Winter’s on it’s way but an amazing show is happening in the meanwhile. Lots to do, lots to look at too.
Autumn mornings are damp and heavy with dew. Mist flows downhill and gathers in areas where it is obstructed.
The sun rises late these days; usually after we have left for work so we miss how it catches the last of the mist.
The deciduous plants are hanging on to their leaves for now, slowly changing colour every day with some spectacular results.
Autumn is the perfect season for propagation. I’ve been busy splitting perennials, planting seeds and bulbs and doing cuttings. There’s also more than 200 trees to be planted in the next month or so but the shorter days catch me by surprise and it’s dark before I know it. Winter is coming and soon it will be time to rest and plan, but in the meanwhile there’s work to be done.
Rain today, only 4mm but a real treat to see the rain barrels filling up after so long. Almost immediately patches of grass have gone green. Swallows have been swooping the length of the field filling up with insects that emerged after the rain. Freshly washed colours seem brighter in the low evening light.
This is Inula magnifica and some Eringium alpinium
Geranium ‘Orion’ climbing through ghost bramble Rubus cockburnianus
The purple of Lythrum salicaria with some Rudbeckia
Drumstick allium Allium sphaerocephalon with red acer
Agastache rugosa and Gaura lindheimeri (now known as Oenothera lindheimeri)
Sanguisorba menziesii and stipa
Sanguisorba obtusa and hollyhocks
Scabious ‘Black night’ with cornflowers and a strawflower
Hopefully there was enough rain to permeate the dry earth – we are forecast to have another very hot week.
A seemingly endless progression of sunny hot days – quite unusual: very dry and very warm. The flocks of house sparrows are up at dawn, later to sleep at 7:00pm precisely. After that the quiet is only broken by blackbirds, the occasional overhead flight or train, and the very distant sound of the A-road.
Photography light in July is best in the evenings when it sinks behind trees and lights up the borders from the side. These are Crocosmia and Persicaria.Agastache and Deschampsia; great companions.Blues and silvers of Catananche caerulea.Golden RudbeckiaThe giant oat grass Stipa gigantiaSteel blues of sea holly Eringium aplinumAnd in the white border some white Echinacea purpurea
July is when the season starts to change, very slightly at first. Things like Asters and Japanese anemones start to appear – not flowering yet but soon. Berries, apples and pears are ripening, the few remaining cherries are a feast for wasps and brave birds. We are very happy to see the Indian Bean tree flowering more prolifically than ever.
This summer. Days of sun, we’ve had. It cools down rapidly at night in this part of Kent, perhaps the proximity to the coast. Mornings are generally cool and cloudy until about 11 when the sun returns. Perfect growing weather – although I’m considering the merits of a shadehouse.
The dieramas have done very well this year. I forget that they’re there until the flowers emerge and I want more of them.
Eremerus, the foxtail lilly – specialist in catching all of the sun.
Giant oat grass, agastache and gaura have taken over in this wild bed.
Berberis emerges from a mist of stipa.
A long view of the grasses bed with the stables in the background.
Colours: clash or compliment.
Catching as much sun as possible.
The field grass is starting to turn gold.
Long shadows in the evening light.
Morello cherries: delicious sourness.
More raspberries than we can eat. Summertime; blissful abundance.