Foliage for September GBFD

No sooner does summer arrive at last, than the leaves start turning colour on some of the plants as if to say, enjoy it while you can, autumn isn’t far behind. Some of the foliage is still beautifully green, like the ferns in the woodland. I just wish the fern families didn’t have such long names and so many relatives, this one is from the family Polypodium.


Cyrtomium falcatum

The japanese holly fern or Cyrtomium falcatum is evergreen but not reliably hardy. It has been hardy here for well over 12 yrs since I planted it.


Another holly fern, this time Polystichum x dycei I think. This one has fronds or pinnae that are quite shiny, they show up well in the shade of the woodland, reflecting any available light.

Adiantum capillus-veneris

Two ferns here but here we are looking at the only native maidenhair fern in Britain, Adiantum capillus-veneris. This is now spreading nicely on the woodland floor, it looks so delicate but is quite tough, I think it is very happy working its way through the leaf mould.

Polystichum setiferum acutilobum

Polistichum setiferum acutilobum is quite springy to touch, unlike other ferns. The fronds are still looking good while some of the softer textured ferns are now turning brown.

Polypodium interjectum

I think this is Polypodium interjectum which put itself into the garden here. I found it when I removed a shrub and it was underneath, I have since improved the soil in the bed and the fern has said, thanks very much and is now spreading a bit too rapidly for my liking. I will move it further back where the soil isn’t quite so good.

Dryopteris affinis Cristata

Dryopteris affinis Cristata is a fancy form of the male fern which turns up everywhere, this one goes by the name of  King Fern, you can see how the pinna ( sort of side shoots) divide again and again.

Asplenium scolopendrium

The hart’s tongue fern or Asplenium scolopendrium pops up here and there, it obviously likes it here. We have it growing by the waterbutt, in the paving at the side of the house, or in the beds and borders or in the woodland. It doesn’t seem to matter where it puts itself, it always seems happy.

Osmunda regalis

In the ditch by the woodland we have Osmunda regalis or the Royal fern. They like very wet places so I thought it would be happy there. For years it was and then two years ago it disappeared, imagine my delight when looking in the woodland in all our rain this summer, there it was again. Not very tall in spite of all the rain, but there never the less. Good to have it back.

Arundinarea auricoma

I bought this plant as Arundinarea auricoma but I think it has had a name change. Anyway, it is a yellow bamboo which does spread rapidly if not cut to the ground every year, then it is well behaved! One year I didn’t cut it down and we had it spreading all over the lawn, you learn by your mistakes!!


When I took this photograph I was amazed by this lovely new frond of Dryopteris, the male fern, such a contrast with the other fern fronds in the garden that are past their best now. Anyway, I like the contrast between the fresh green frond, the pulmonaria leaves, the purple lysimachia and the polemonium in the front.

Actinidia kolomikta

Couldn’t resist the sun shining through the leaves of Actinidia kolomikta, the climber by the dining room window. In the spring, the green leaves gradually change to having pink and white splashes, now in September, they have changed again to butter yellow. When the leaves start changing colour, there’s no denying autumn is on the way.

Cornus alba Sibirica

The leaves of Cornus alba sibirica Westonbirt are now changing to burgundy for a while. When all the leaves are burgundy coloured the bushes down the drive look beautiful, then the leaves drop and the scarlet stems are revealed for five months over winter and the beginning of spring.

Geranium leaf

A Geranium leaf telling us that Autumn is knocking on the door, I’m not ready to let him in yet!

Geranium magnificum

Geranium magnificum joining in with the other Geraniums, soon unfortunately, they will all be turning colour.


One of the many paeonies that we have, names long gone by now, but the foliage is going out in a blaze of glory!

Mahonia Charity

The leaves of Mahonia Charity are now taking on some lovely colours, I think this means they are stressed as they don’t normally change colour, must have been all the rain earlier on in the year.


A red mophead Hydrangea which was given to us for our Ruby Wedding a few years ago now has leaves to match the flowers!

Viburnum Onondaga

Viburnum Onondaga is now starting to put on its autumn finery. This shrub is now beginning to outgrow its space, it does sprout again when it has been cut back, so I think I will cut it back and move it to somewhere where it will have more room.

It is a shame that our hot summer weather didn’t last very long, but at the moment we are enjoying cooler but lovely sunny days followed by much colder nights, for a few nights we had temperatures of 4 C! This can only mean one thing, fantastic autumn tints!! Nature always has a way of giving us something to look forward to even if the summer was a washout!

Thanks once again to Christina at My Hesperides Garden for hosting GBFD. Do pay her a visit to see wonderful foliage around the world.


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17 Responses to Foliage for September GBFD

  1. Christina says:

    Pauline, I love ferns, I don’t have any here, they are difficult to mind. I think there are some that would survive. Yours are so beautiful, the colours are all so different. They are quiet plants, great back ground for other plants. Thanks for joining in again Pauline, I always look forward to your posts. Christina

    • Pauline says:

      I love ferns too Christina, especially contrasting with hostas and other plants. I would think that you are too hot for them, especially this summer, wouldn’t they all shrivel and die?!!

  2. Christina says:

    I think there are some that, in shade, would be OK, but they aren’t available. There are a very limited number of perennial plants available. I can enjoy yours!

  3. Cathy says:

    I had a photo of Dryopteris affinis Cristata ready to post, but yours is a better picture so I excluded mine! I love ferns too, and reading Christina’s reply makes me realise how fortunate we are to have conditions that will allow them. You have a lovely selection and it’s good to know what they are too – I must check that my labels are intact as mine were all originally named. I saw a hint of lamium in your frst picture – is it not becoming invasive where it is? I don’t know if you read some of my earlier posts where I waged war on mine! Thanks for sharing your foliage today, Pauline.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Cathy, you did see some lamium and not just a hint! Every year I pull out yards and yards of it but somehow never get it all out. When it flowers I forgive it because the bees love it, but then out it comes again. Obviously I’m never going to get it all out but we do our best.
      We are so lucky living in the temperate zone, being able to grow almost anything, Italy had such a hot summer drying everything out for the gardeners there and killing some of their plants.
      My ferns aren’t labelled but I have an excellent fern book which has to come out for reference as I can never remember their names.

  4. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    Lovely Ferns and lots of foliage 🙂
    It’s a shame we barely had a summer, and that the autumn has brought with it unusually cold nights already considering it isn’t even October yet. Still hoping for a bit of warmer weather in October like last few years! Something tells me this year I won’t be having any nice weather on my birthday in November like I did last year…

    Here’s looking forward to next year and hoping we have much better weather! But for now I look forward to hunting for glorious autumn colours!

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Liz, I’m hoping the cold nights will bring fantastic colours to the leaves then it will be off to Westonbirt Arboretum for a real treat! Warm weather could still come back , who knows, you might have a warm birthday yet!

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Very nice post Pauline. Enjoyed seeing your many ferns (which are on my list of things to put in the garden some day) and great tinges of red in the other foliage.

    • Pauline says:

      Ferns,pbm,sit quietly in the background but are good for using as contrast with other plants. There are so many different ones for different situations, having different textures and shapes. They must be an amazing family of plants as they have lasted on this planet for so long, being here with the dinosaurs!

  6. Kate says:

    What a glorious post – as a fellow fernaholic, I was already oooing and ahhing, and then there’s all the lovely colour. Some of my usually reliable redenners (like the paeonies) haven’t really started colouring up, so I was very pleased to see your examples. I shall go and threaten mine immediately.

    • Pauline says:

      There are still more ferns Kate that I haven’t found yet, although these days I like them to be very different from what I already have. Forgot to photograph my Japanese painted fern, that will have to wait till next month! I can see the top of one of my Acers has started to change colour, it will take a while for it all to change, again hopefully next month will be the month for fantastic acer foliage, be gentle with yours!!

  7. catmint says:

    hi pauline, what an impressively ferny post. I do love ferns too, I suppose the differences between the species are relatively subtle, but as you say, the real difficulty is the long names. I’m sorry your summer was so short. I love the photo of the sun shining through the leaves and the shadows of the Actinidia.

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Catmint, I wish my computer liked ferns as much as I do, it had all the names down as spelling mistakes!! I think they are so fresh looking at the moment because of all the rain we had this summer, some good has come out of it all.

  8. wellywoman says:

    There’s some gorgeous foliage there. Some things are starting to turn in the garden but not a lot yet. It has been colder here but no frost so far. The blueberries at the allotment are glowing red though.

    • Pauline says:

      WW, hopefully it will be mid October before we have any frost, but the duvet has been changed for the winter one as the nights have been so cold! Everyone says that we should be treated to wonderful autumn tints this year, I hope so.
      I’ve never grown blueberries, so do blueberries turn red after being blue, or is it the other way round?

  9. Anna says:

    A beautiful array of ferny foliage Pauline – they have certainly enjoyed all the wet stuff this year. Have never managed to get to grips with their tongue twisting names.

    • Pauline says:

      Fern names are beyond me Anna,I don’t have trouble with other plants but the names of ferns are beyond me! Quite a few plants have enjoyed all the rain this year, the ferns have absolutely loved it and are looking as fresh now as when they they first appeared earlier in the year.

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