Tuesday 25 October 2016

Autumn colours

I have not been doing much gardening recently. There's not a great deal to be done, if I'm honest. The bean-poles have been packed up and put away; the perennial flowers have been divided and re-potted; the chilli plants that had finished fruiting have been chopped up and composted, while a few lucky ones have been moved indoors. The only big task that remains undone is the emptying of the tomato containers, but I'm not going to attempt that until my arm recovers completely.

Cockspur Thorn Crataegus Crus-Galli, aka The Fish Tree

The leaves are beginning to drop off the trees very rapidly now, and my garden will soon be knee-deep in Maple leaves, but there is a brief period when I can sit back and admire the glorious colours spreading inexorably into all those plants that were until recently green. This Honeyberry bush, for instance, is definitely "on the turn".

Even if Blueberries didn't produce lovely tasty berries, I'd want to grow them for their Autumn foliage anyway:

Another long-time favourite shrub of mine is the Cornus (Dogwood). At this time of year the leaves turn all sorts of different colours. In a week or two they will all be gone, so we have to savour the moment! The leaves in this next photo are on Cornus Alba "Kesselringii", which has gorgeous dark purple, almost black, stems.

A more recent addition to my garden is a container-grown Hydrangea, given to me by my good friend Rosemary about three years ago. Of course it gets bigger and better each year. This year it produced about 20 big bright pink blooms. They have faded to a pale green-tinged pink colour now.

The Hydrangea leaves are putting on a decent display too:

Another shrub that comes into its own very late in the year is Callicarpa. The formerly bland green leaves turn yellow before dropping off to reveal a mass of tiny vivid purple berries (much beloved of the local Blackbirds).

The leaves of the Fig-tree become a lot more dramatic at this time too. In the Summer, when they are green they can easily go unnoticed, but the large expanse of yellow on that tree just now is unmissable.

You have to look very closely to see the Autumn colour in this one. These are seed-pods of a Crocosmia. My close-up photo doesn't give much idea of their size, but they are actually very small.

Does anyone know whether Crocosmia can be propagated via seeds? I normally associate them with propagation via corms.


  1. I'm sure you can grow crocosmia from seed but I don't know how long it would take to flower. As it is ours are so prolific that I wouldn't want more than I have. As it is they often need splitting and once split I end up with far too many.


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