Foliage becomes more and more important once the flowers are winding down for the winter. After a good autumn weatherwise, we were blessed with wonderful autumn tints, I think the best ever. Most of these have been blown away by our first named storm of the winter, Storm Angus or been swept up by me to make wonderful leaf mould, to add back to the garden at a future date. There are still plenty of leaves to come down and they will keep me busy for quite some time, in the meantime I will enjoy them.
The leaves on the beech hedge will stay all winter until the new leaves in the spring push them away.
Box balls keep the interest in the rose garden when the roses are all cut back.
Another bit of beech contrasting with the conifer and yellow privet in the hedge by the field next door..
Ilex Golden King is looking very smart at the moment, sporting lots of berries.
Spirea by the back door.
Dwarf Berberis in the back garden.
Another Berberis, this time Rose Glow.
Mahonia Charity which now has more flowers open than last week for Bloom Day, the leaves are beautiful too.
One of the few last leaves on Vibernum plicatum Maresii.
In the bog garden, the huge leaves of Zantedeschia are still looking good, I think they will collapse soon though.
Looking across part of the garden, foliage of various shrubs form a tapestry.
The local wild field Maple, Acer campestre, brightens up the woodland.
Also in the woodland is a wild holly bush which is covered in berries for this winter. The leaves are so shiny in the sunshine filtering through now that a lot of the leaves are down.
Still in the woodland, this is the sun shining through the leaves of one of the oaks.
The last red leaf on the Acer Osakazuki !
Oh dear, lots of work needed here, you can hardly see the lawn!
My seeded grass is growing! more and more is sprouting each day and I think it will continue all through the winter as long as there is no severe frost.
My bearskin formed from Ophiopogon is clogged with leaves, a good comb is needed!
That’s a great improvement !
and this was the large comb!
With so many old trees in the garden, we do have lots of leaves coming down. They do cause us a lot of work each autumn, but I wouldn’t be without them as the trees are so beautiful. The leaves show the passing seasons with different colours and are then returned to the garden as a mulch of leaf mould after they have rotted down in a corner of the woodland for a year or two. Usually we get all the leaves from next doors huge oak tree, but Storm Angus did us a favour, for some reason it came at us from the east and blew them the other way!
My photos were all taken the day before Angus arrived. Thank goodness I did take them then, it has been non stop rain, rain and more torrential rain since then, at times it was of biblical proportions. Exeter, our nearest city, is flooded again and the garden here is so wet, I just can’t walk on it, so wouldn’t have been able to photograph anything if I had waited.
Thanks go to Christina for hosting this meme each month, do please pay her a visit at My Hesperides Garden to see other foliage around the world.
My sister lives in Exeter and was saying that every street was like a river at the weekend.We escaped the worst of it up here, but it has still been torrential rain for the last two days.
I am impressed by your leaf sweeping – the Ophiopogon certainly scrubs up well! Late autumn/ winter really make you appreciate evergreens and your box balls look really spectacular.
I am old enough to remember the heather and conifer craze of the 1970’s , started by Adrian Bloom, as I recall. Whilst not advocating its return, I can certainly appreciate how it gave all year round interest.
Exeter got it very badly Jane, the fields around are also flooded again and now all the run off is flooding more roads!
The Ophiopogon certainly pays to having it’s hair combed, doesn’t last long at this time of year though, more leaves falling all the time.
I do have one heather plant, beside the Holly Golden King, with hellebores for company, so that area is interesting all year, but never Wow!
It’s lovely to see autumn colour in your garden, but as you say, the recent storm has certainly had an impact and the trees are looking so much barer now. I sense the beautiful autumn we’ve had is at an end. I’m sorry to hear about Exeter, I lived there for a while so I am following the reports closely.
Thanks Wendy, but day by day, the colours get less and less as they blow away! Soon all the leaves will be down, which will be much earlier than usual, but I musn’t grumble as leaf sweeping isn’t my favourite occupation!
I can’t believe that the railway line into Exeter has been washed away again, so much work was done on it last winter, I dread to think what it all cost!
All of those fallen leaves do make for work but the garden is grateful for the leaf mould. I let some of mine stay on beds as mulch. Autumn brings beautiful colors to the garden and you’ve shared some great examples. Here’s to a mild winter and an early spring!
Yes Peter, I leave most of the leaves on the borders, just the alpines and silver leaved plants need clearing as well as the grass. The colours this autumn were stunning, they don’t last long, but are worth the wait.
I knew I could depend on you Pauline to supply some lovely autumn colour even if most of the Acers are finished. You’re doing a great job with the leaves; I leave a lot on the borders and just collect them up in early spring if they are smothering newly emerging plants but the leaf mold formed if I do compost them is so good maybe I’ll collect them all this year. Thanks for participating in GBFD, you are my most regular contributor, thank you.
The leaf mould is wonderful Christina, even better if it can be left for 2 yrs, the plants certainly appreciate it!
I think I love foliage as much as you do, thanks to being influenced by Beth Chatto when I first started gardening.
I don’t know if you ever saw an old tv show called “The Addams Family”, but your Ophiopogon reminds me a lot of a character called “Cousin It”. Lovely photos, especially the beech hedge and Viburnum.
I can’t say I remember the programme Jason, I presume the character was very hairy! The colours didn’t last very long this year due to the wind, but they were much brighter than usual which made them worth waiting for.
Beautiful color on the Vibernum. I like that ilex foliage very much. Hope your garden dries out soon. We have the opposite problem and are very dry.
The Viburnum does change to a beautiful dark red Susie, so unlike the green leaves that it has all summer. It is still raining, but the forecasters say that it will stop soon, thank goodness, I hope you receive some rain soon.
What a fantastic job you’ve done clearing all those leaves, would you mind calling round here and sorting mine?
I am waiting for the apple tree to drop it’s leaves before I begin the huge clear up caused by the beech trees, it is a right pain of a job.xxx
Think of my back Dina!! Most of the leaves are down now, just a few more on the oaks, then I can clear the rest up. Beech leaves make such beautiful leaf mould and rot down quite quickly, do you save them and use them as a mulch later?
We have many of the same plants as you, in our garden and surrounding our house, but I had never before seen a Ophiopogon. What size is it? Does it spread much? I love your ‘box balls’… might have to think about a couple of them some time, not that I or hubby are exceptionally good at clipping to that degree of sphericalism (is that even a word?) But they do look nice. Oh and the foliage – trees are gorgeous at this time of year. Strangely, while Angus chucked loads of rain (and some of the hail) at us, it hasn’t got all the leaves free yet.
Ophiopogon is a small grass like plant Val, only about 6 inches tall. I planted this plant 20 odd years ago before I knew anything about gardening and put it in raw, heavy clay, without improving it! It obviously likes it as it is spreading each year and now covers about 7ft by 4ft! Bits that I take off and plant elsewhere in the garden are far better behaved and don’t spread much at all.
Thank goodness the rain has now almost stopped, the poor garden certainly got a battering, I must try and get out to do some tidying today.
We are having a lot of rain here too, our typical fall and winter weather. Even so, I try to get out there nearly every day to clean up some of the leaves that have fallen. We have a large oak tree whose leaves take a long time to break down, so if they don’t get cleaned up, they smother the plants. I put them in our yard waste container rather than try to make leaf mould from them.
I think your oak may be a different variety from ours Alison, as we find that the leaves rot down very quickly here. Our rain seems to be stopping thank goodness, at last I’ll be able to get out and start tidying all the mess left by the storm as it passed through.
We mow up the leaves on the lawn and that gets most of them. What gorgeous stuff leaf mould is. Some of my neighbours put their leaves out for the brown bin, it’ s like throwing away gold. Your Ophiopogon is a beautiful specimen, I love it. I know we needed rain after such a dry summer but I wish we could have a bit of sun now.
When the lawn is so soggy Chloris, we can’t get the ride on mower on the lawn without damaging it unfortunately. I don’t know how people can put their leaves out, don’t they realise what they are throwing away? Thankfully the rain and wind have died down and I think we might actually have some sunshine tomorrow!
As you say the trees do make a lot of work but all their advantages far outweigh this. I like the box balls in your rose garden Pauline, such a good idea. I’m always on the lookout for things to plant around the roses for protection and weed suppression as well as enhancing the appearance at this time of year. I tried Euphorbia fens ruby – but maybe a bit too invasive!
It was the trees that persuaded us to buy the house here Denise, our little woodland might only be small, but it is the largest bit of woodland we are likely to own!
I’m so pleased you like the box balls, but I’m a bit concerned that they might not like being covered by your snow for a long time. Being evergreen, I think the leaves might go brown under the snowline, I’m not sure about this as snow never stays here for long.
Box is a bit borderline for our climate but I do have a little box hedge and a couple of variegated box ‘almost’ balls. They grow slowly but are surviving. I think the cold temperatures and frozen ground are more of a problem than the snow which insulates.
The calm before the storm, huh? I hope all those carefully raked leaves weren’t blown right back out again! Your pre storm garden looked fantastic! I’m a big fan of Charity. My baby one has two flower clusters on it, and I’m so excited. Also, I saw the fall color of Acer Osakazuki for the first time this year. A fantastic maple!
No Anna, the leaves are safely tucked away in a wire cage in the woodland, they can’t escape!
Acer Osakazuki is a wonderful tree with lovely foliage that changes to such a bright Fuchsia pink in the autumn, ours just gets better and better each year, I love it!
I have to confess that I don’t keep ALL our leaves, Pauline, as we just have too many and I would probably end up with hundreds of bags of decomposing leaves if I did – I may keep a dozen bags or so The leaves in the woodland stay where they are though. I love your mammoth clump of ophiopogon – I split my smaller clump when we changed the rockery and spread it about a bit but sadly I don’t envisage any clumps the size of yours in the near future!
I don’t use bags for my leaves Cathy, I only did that once and ended up with such a slimy mess, despite making holes in the bags! We have some chicken wire forming a 3 sided cage and even though the stack of leaves ends up about 5 ft tall by 6ft x 2ft, it rots down to about 2 ft tall in a year.
The bits of Ophiopogon that I have moved elsewhere in the garden, have taken well, but aren’t spreading at the same rate as the parent and I think it’s just as well! I still like my bear skin though!
Looking through your post has reminded me of all the foliage colour around here, Pauline. Berberis is currently lighting up the middle garden. It’s so spitefully thorny that every year I’m tempted to cut it back and then it gives the most glorious autumn display. I didn’t plant it so I don’t know the cultivar but it looks similar to your Rosy Glow. I’m also amazed at people who throw leaf litter away – there have been bags and bags of it collected by the council lorries around here – such a waste! I only hope that those bags will end up in green waste. Your Ophiopogon has given me a whole new respect for the plant; there was a row of them under the cherry trees at college and they looked dreadfully scruffy at this time of year as no-one brushed them. Yours, however, is just gorgeous, like something out of the Adams Family! I’ve inherited three small plants which live in a butler’s sink. I’m now wondering whether to transplant one into the ground to see how it fares.
My Ophiopogon does seem to have a life of its own Caro, I never thought in my wildest dreams that it would spread so far. How far do I let it spread in the future, I keep taking bits off to give to people, or plant elsewhere, but it still keeps growing!
The foliage has been wonderful this autumn, thanks to the good weather in September and October I think. Today is very cold and windy, but with hat, scarf and gloves, I think some gardening could be done this afternoon!
The first storm of the season certainly caused a lot of disruption to people’s lives, let’s hope we’re not in for the successive barrage of recent years. I do like your black bearskin and the way it contrasts with the pot and gravel. What a good idea.
I can’t take any credit for the “bearskin” Kate, it grew all by itself!
Weather is supposed to be better tomorrow then getting colder, I’ll be glad when the wind dies down and can get some more tidying done in the garden. Like you, I hope Angus wasn’t a forecast of what is to come over the winter.
Fall is certainly the time when foliage is the star. I loved the Ophiopogon and its blackish leaves. I am sure visitors to your garden must remark on it. I have lots of leaves to rake as well. Our maple trees covers a huge section of the garden with yellow leaves every fall.
Yes Jennifer, I do get lots of comments about the Ophiopogon, mostly nice ones! I find raking leaves quite therapeutic and try to convince myself that it’s doing me good. We can’t have the beautiful trees without the leaves falling in the autumn and I couldn’t imagine the garden without the trees.
Hi Pauline, I love your before and after pics of the fallen leaves! Could you fly over here and give us a hand? Our leaves are coming down in bucketfuls. Like you, I love our trees and the beautiful fall colors they display. Well worth the days in the fresh air getting good exercise raking! I like your blue balls beside the spirea. Spirea is shrub that usually gives us some great autumn colors, though it is more subdued this year because of our ongoing drought. I envy you your rain!
Sorry Deb, too much work to do here! The leaves do give us a good work out though don’t you think? I like rain too, but not when we get too much of it and it causes flooding!
I guess you have all the rain and we have none. Well, almost none since the last of May. Thankfully it looks like things will be different this week. I’m scampering up and down the street when time allows, snatching leaf piles for my woodland garden. Hope you have begun to dry out by now. Lucky you to have such a pretty patch of Ophiopogon. It’s not as happy here.
You have certainly had it dry haven’t you Marian, I can’t imagine going for so long without rain. I like the thought of you collecting all the leaves in your neighbourhood for your woodland garden, very ingenious! We have begun to dry out, it hasn’t rained for a few days now, so we will soon be able to get back on the garden and finish the leaf sweeping.