A gradual change of colour for GBFD.

Taking photographs for this month’s Foliage Day was a question of dodging the showers, sometimes they were quite light but at others it was torrential rain. A gradual change is coming over the garden, a more golden tint to the leaves. Some leaves that were changing last month have almost blown away in all the wind we have had, this was the Amelanchier that I showed you last month, the leaves are nearly all gone.


Betula ermanii

In the front, by the drive, Betula ermanii has also lost most of their leaves, a shame because they turn a lovely buttery yellow.

Cornus s. Westonbirt

The Cornus Westonbirt at the back of the Bee and Butterfly border have started to turn the beautiful burgundy colour that we enjoy at this time of year. If we are lucky we will have them for about a month before they drop, but it all depends on the weather, they make a nice contrast with the Agapanthus foliage at the front.


The ornamental cherry by the entrance is now in it’s autumn finery, again this one soon loses its leaves if the wind comes from the north.


The leaves on the purple Berberis are changing to match the red berries that cover the branches until the blackbirds, thrushes, fieldfares and redwings discover them.


A deciduous Azalea in the central border by the dead oak takes on fiery tints in the autumn, when it grows a bit larger, it will form a good contrast with the euonymous that is in front of it.

Viburnum p. Maresii

Still in the same border, Viburnum plicatum Maresii is changing colour gradually, eventually they will be a deep burgundy colour.

Hose Chestnut

Behind the yucca, the Horse Chestnuts in the woodland are now more of an orange colour. We are still getting the moth damage that we have had for the last couple of years, but lately it seems that nature is fighting back. It has been noticed that bluetits have discovered the moth caterpillar that lives between the two layers of the leaf, eating the leaf from within. The bluetits are now pecking holes in the leaves to get the caterpillars, hopefully this will mean that eventually the moth will die out.

Acer Osakazuki

My little Acer Osakazuki has just started to turn this wonderful fuchsia pink, lots of the leaves are turning a darker colour, but just this one leave has achieved its autumn finery.


In the woodland this epimedium foliage is looking as fresh as if it’s spring.


The ferns in the woodland are looking very fresh.


The ferns are all planted quite close to each other, making a contrasting carpet. This one is the Japanese holly fern,Cyrtomium falcatum.

Maidenhair fern

The maidenhair fern, Adiantum venustum,  looks so delicate, but this one is quite hardy here.

Harts tongue fern

Hart’s tongue fern, Asplenium scolopendrium,  spreads itself around the garden without any help from me, putting itself into places I would never think of.

Harts tongue fern

Lovely wavy edge to this Hart’s tongue fern, Beth Chatto refers to it as “having been ironed with a goffering iron”, the iron they used to make the frills on Victorian dresses and blouses. This one is Asplenium scolopendrium crispum group.

Box ball and hedge

Here we have Euonymous Emerald and Gold next to one of my box balls which is in front of the hedge which is made from Lonicera nitidia.


Mahonia Charity, by the dead oak, has foliage that is looking quite fresh, the flower buds are all in place, it won’t be long before they are out wafting their lovely perfume across the garden.

Cornus and betula

More Cornus alba sibirica Westonbirt behind Betula jaquemontii in the border by the field. Another month and we will be enjoying the red stems of the Cornus right through the winter.


When I went over to the bog garden, all the foliage was looking good because of all the recent rain, the Zantedeschia  was looking especially good with lots of new foliage.

Acanthus mollis

More fresh leaves on the Acanthus mollis by the pond. In the height of the summer when we had a drought, this plant was looking very stressed, it is obviously making up for lost time.


Usually by this time of year, the hellebore leaves are looking rather tatty, but this is another plant that has been making the most of all our rain.

Hose chestnut

The Hose chestnuts in the woodland are giving it a golden glow, when the sun manages to shine between the showers.

Oak leaves

I have never seen yellow oak leaves on the trees, these are some that must have been wrenched off the tree by the winds, normally they just go brown before they fall, wouldn’t it be much nicer if the whole tree turned yellow?

Yew tree

This is one of my yew seedlings in the woodland, I am finding so many, which I pot  up and soon I will have enough for a hedge somewhere, or do I turn them into topiary?

Osakazuki seedlings

I’ll leave you with two tiny seedlings of my Acer Osakazuki, I must have planted them at least 3 yrs ago. They have turned colour before their parent and the colour seems as good. I think they now deserve a pot each and I’m hopeful that in a few years time, I will have 2 more lovely acers in the woodland.

So the foliage here is turning, but also regenerating after the dry summer, I think we need a few more weeks before we know if this year is going to be a good one for autumn colour or not. Thank you to Christina for hosting Foliage day once more, do pop over to  My Hesperides Garden to see what the foliage is doing round the world.


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22 Responses to A gradual change of colour for GBFD.

  1. Christina says:

    Thank you for joining in GBFD Pauline. I love all Cornus but the colour of Cornus Westonbirt is wonderful, I prefer the crimson, pink tints of autumn to all the red, yellow and oranges but to be honest we have so little autumn colour I would welcome any colour. Good news about the blue tits eating the catapillars of the Chestnut moth, I do hope they can keep things in balance.

    • Pauline says:

      It is good news isn’t it Christina about the bluetits coming to the horse chestnuts rescue! We had registered our trees when the problem was first discovered and they send me e.mails of any progress. When they told me about the bluetits, of course I had to go and have a look at my trees and sure enough, the leaves had lots of holes where the caterpillars had been! We have so many bluetits in the garden, hopefully they can sort my problem out if the parents show the youngsters what to do.
      I love the leaves of the Cornus Westonbirt at this time of year, they shine out in the garden as long as we don’t have gales!

  2. wellywoman says:

    I just love that Cornus Westonbirt. It’s a stunner. I need to make a wishlist of shrubs for the future and this is going on it. I’m hoping it’s going to dry up a little this afternoon so I can get a few photos of the leaves in colour. It’s rather soggy here.

    • Pauline says:

      I do too WW, such a gorgeous colour! We have had so much wind and rain, the garden is now looking very bedraggled with masses of leaves everywhere. I took my photos yesterday and its just as well that I did, I think half the chestnut leaves are now on the lawn, because of the wind we had last night!

  3. pbmgarden says:

    I join the chorus in admiring your Cornus Westonbirt. Your garden is filled with so many exciting textures and shapes. susie.

    • Pauline says:

      We bought the Cornus Susie, because we knew we would have winter interest from the stems throughout the winter, the wonderful colour of the leaves at this time of year was a fantastic bonus.

  4. rusty duck says:

    Torrential rain here, I hope I haven’t left it too late to get out with the camera. Gorgeous rainbow of colours in the cherry. The acers look like they will be great this year and I love your header pic… inspired!

    • Pauline says:

      I was glad Jessica that I took my photos yesterday in between torrential showers. This morning was pretty miserable too but at the moment, the sun is just about breaking through the clouds. I always think rain drops add a certain something to leaves and flowers! My header photo was taken last year, there were lots of other leaves in amongst the ophiopogon, but I combed them all away with my fingers except the lovely Acer Osakazuki.

  5. Angie says:

    Our weather has been very similar – the garden has taken on a whole new look with the much needed rain!
    You’ve some gorgeous autumn colour there Pauline – the Cornus looks equally good agains the Birch trunk and the agapanthus leaves. Bet those red stems look spectacular against the white trunk in deep dark winter.

    • Pauline says:

      We have leaves everywhere now Angie,and will have to wait for a dry day to sweep them up. The red stems of the Cornus do look nice with the Silver Birch, in the front border by the drive we have planted 3 more Betula Jackemontii, 3 more Betula ermanii and 1 Betula Papyriferra. Some of these trees are still quite young so haven’t got their silvery bark yet, I will just have to be patient!

  6. Cathy says:

    I was dodging the showers too, Pauline, but at least we seem to have avoided the high winds that you have had – what a shame you have lost leaves before they have had a chance to colour up. Did it mean no red at all on your amelanchier? You have still got lots of colour though, and your ferns are beautiful!

    • Pauline says:

      The wind has brought lots of leaves down Cathy, mainly in the back, with the horse chestnut, ash and oak all over the lawn and paving, the big sweep up has started! This Amelanchier doesn’t usually go red, just caramel colour, but I think all the leaves are gone now, if not they soon will be from the forecast!

  7. Cathy says:

    I’m very pleased to hear the bluetits have discovered that moth – it’s been a massive problem in Germany too. Your acer is lovely Pauline. But you have so much other lovely foliage too. Great to see what’s happening in your garden!

    • Pauline says:

      It’s wonderful Cathy, the way nature heals itself, isn’t it. Hopefully, eventually the moths will get fewer and fewer each year and then die out, all thanks to the little bluetits! Each year I wait for Acer Osakazuki to change colour, usually Sango Kaku is first, but not this year, it is still green. We have gales forecast for tonight, I hope I have some leaves left tomorrow morning!

  8. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    Looking lovely, there doesn’t seem to be much colour here. I think with all the rain we’ll be going from first hint of autumn straight through to bare leaves as they’re knocked off by the torrential rain. It was a rather scary drive to work today 🙁

    Here’s counting down to spring!

    • Pauline says:

      I hope the gales stop soon so that we have some wonderful colour this autumn, I was thinking that we should with the summer we have had, but now I think they might all blow away before turning! I was very pleased that I didn’t have to go out in my car today, I think tomorrow will be as bad, so another day will be spent sowing seed in the greenhouse.

  9. Anna says:

    So good to read that the bluetits are munching up those moths Pauline. There are a couple of horse chestnuts just outside our garden and they have looked decidedly miserable over the last few years. OK till mid summer then they go slowly downhill 🙁
    We’ve also noticed that children do not seem as interested in collecting the conkers as they once did. It’s been several years since there have been any young callers asking permission to go on to our lawn to look for them. I’ve obviously got the wrong sort of cornus 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      If you have a look at the leaves Anna, you might find holes in them where the bluetits are finding the caterpillars. The leaves do look ok to start with but then the caterpillers emerge from the eggs that have been laid by the moth and move to the inside of the leaf where they eat it from the inside!. The size and number of the conkers has gone down the last few years, when we first moved here there were lots of very large ones, now there are just a few small ones, too small to interest the children.

  10. Stunning cornus, and I love the contrast with the agapanthus foliage. You seem to have a really nice balance between lush achitectural evergreen foliage and plants with great autumn colour, not always easy to get right, I hate seeing too much bare ground over winter, but on the other hand a garden comes alive with the dynamism of Autumn deciduous leaf colouring.

    • Pauline says:

      The Cornus autumn foliage Janet, certainly is a bonus as it was bought for the red winter stems. When planting up the garden over the years, I have tried to have one third evergreen so that I have something to look at in the winter, then the other two thirds can hopefully give me autumn tints, it seems to work!

  11. catmint says:

    Hi Pauline, so lovely to see colour and freshness, such a contrast to the horrible drought. I think I am a bit of a fern-a-holic.

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Catmint, we have been seeing your drought and fires on our news and are so concerned about you all, I hope you don’t have any fires near you. Yes, everything is looking quite fresh in all our rain, apparently we are in for a deluge this weekend which will bring a lot of the leaves down unfortunately, must enjoy them all while we can!

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