What a difference a few weeks makes, just a couple of weeks ago, the garden was mainly green with highlights of colour from the flowers. The month of October has been fantastic!!
It is now a blaze of colour from the autumn leaves, yellow, orange, red and purple everywhere, and the remaining flowers are almost overlooked in such a kaleidoscope of colour.
It is as though the garden is celebrating with a fantastic firework display and this is all set off by the evergreens which will be with us over the winter.
The Acers were bought purely and simply for their autumn colour and they have never let me down.
This orange one was already here when we arrived. I don’t know its name but it always has such a super colour. It is now getting to be quite large, some years I do a bit of judicious pruning to keep its shape and height under control.
Our red Acer is called Osakazuki and the new foliage is the most fantastic colour in the spring, turning green in the summer, then it is back to a really amazing red for it’s autumn finale.
The yellow Acer is Sango Kaku and is this lovely colour in the spring, then stays a yellow/green all summer before becoming this lovely pale yellow in the autumn. In the winter the young branches are a beautiful coral colour. All the Acers look fantastic together in the autumn and make the garden sing!!
A number of Cornus alba Sibirica “Westonbirt” were planted along the driveway to accompany various silver birches and give 5 months colour with their bright red stems through the winter. We found an added bonus was the fantastic purple colour the leaves become which lasts for a good month. The usual comment from visitors is “Wow” when they see all the purple leaves shining in the sun!
This Cherry is by the entrance, once again it arrived before we did so I’m not sure of it’s exact name. It has beautiful double white flowers in the spring and then the leaves turn the most amazing colour in the autumn.
This silver birch is a seedling which grew near the back door, probably a seedling of “Jacquemontii” which is at the far side of the garden. The birds are all stacked up in it every morning, waiting for me to fill the feeders down below! Really pretty butter yellow colour for the autumn.
Our beech hedge turns a beautiful colour and forms a good screen for the wheelie bin! Thank goodness the leaves stay on all winter to hide it.
The few deciduous azaleas that we have are covered with fantastically perfumed flowers in the spring and these are followed in the autumn by the wonderful colours of the leaves before they fall. They are star performers twice a year.
Our little strip of woodland has 4 horse chestnut trees (we did have 6, but 2 fell down shortly after we moved here).They form a very large presence in the garden, lovely in the spring when in flower and again in autumn when conker hunting with our grandsons. When the leaves turn this delicious caramel colour it is almost like walking into a bonfire when we go into the woodland, colour all around, above our heads, and under our feet where some of the leaves have fallen.
This little cherry tree, only 4ft tall is Prunus incisa ” Kojo no mai ” which I think in Japanese means ” Dance of the butterflies” . In the spring it is covered with tiny white flowers – just like butterflies dancing when the wind blows! In the autumn the leaves turn this beautiful colour for a second season of glory.
A lovely grass that we have is Miscanthus sinensis “Malepartus”. Earlier in the summer it has the most fantastic purple inflorescence which looks as though they have been crimped. These fade to almost white and then their foliage turns the most beautiful yellow – it looks like a golden fountain.
The witch hazel – Hamamelis intermedia “Pallida” has these huge butter yellow leaves at the end of the year. In no time at all it will be flowering – the buds are there already, just waiting for February when it is a star performer once more – in the meantime we enjoy it while it is having it’s final fling of the year.
The Smoke Bush or Cotinus has lovely purple leaves during the summer with the same purple smoky flowers, but in the autumn the leaves take on an extra brightness with red tones added to the purple. The whole bush just glows in the sunshine for the last few weeks before the leaves fall- beautiful.
I love this time of year, gardening is such a pleasure when the sun shines through all the leaves – just like a stained glass window – everything is bathed in a golden glow, with highlights of red, yellow and purple. When we first moved here one of my favourite places to visit was Westonbirt Arboretum ( just off the M4 in Gloucestershire). They have the National Collection of Acers and it is always a joy to visit however…..
I just need to look out of the windows at all the wonderful colours and realise that I now have my own mini Westonbirt here!!!