Is Summer slipping away? GBFD August.

Even though we don’t want to think about it, the evidence is there for all to see. The fresh green colours of spring and summer are gradually being overtaken by a few colours of autumn. This is a white peony which I really must plant soon, it has been in a pot for far too long.

Paeony foliage


Roses are still putting out new growth, but with other leaves taking on a red tinge, it makes them look autumnal.

Viburnum pl. Lanarth

The leaves on Viburnum plicatum Lanarth are starting to colour up.

Viburnum pl. Maresii

Viburnum plicatum Maresii are not far behind, these will end up all purple in a few weeks.


This fern looks autumnal but is the opposite. All the new fronds that appear are bronze coloured, they then turn green as they get older.

Hydrangea leaves

Hydrangea leaves are changing, taking on a red hue before they finally drop.


Hardy Geranium leaves have decided it is time for a change.


Cornus alba sibirica Westonbirt has started the big change to purple which we will soon have all the way up the front drive.


However all the leaves aren’t changing yet thank goodness. In dire need of splitting is Pontederia in the pond. There is a school in Exeter which will have this when it has been divided and potted up for them. There should be a post about the school soon.

Miscanthus sinensis Malepartus

Miscanthus sinensis Malepartus makes a tall fountain of grass which this tortoiseshell butterfly decided was just the right place to have a rest.

Chinese ginger jar

I think my Chinese Ginger Jar will need another clip to make it neat for the winter.

Pittosporum Tom Thumb

Pittosporum Tom Thumb stays this nice, small, round bun shape, no clipping needed, I wish they were all like that!

Iceberg rose

As well as putting out new flowers, the 6 Iceberg roses that I have, are putting out lovely new foliage. Normally this is a martyr to blackspot and so many times, I have almost got rid of them, but at the moment I’m glad that I didn’t.

Brunnera and pulmonaria

New Brunnera leaves, courtesy of all the rain we have had, plus some new leaves on the commom Pulmonaria.

Acer Osakazuki

The leaves of Acer Osakazuki are still the green of summer, but the seeds are changing to the colour the leaves will become in a few months time. I sowed some seed 2 years ago and some of the the leaves on the seedlings are red already.


Lovely leaves on one of the rhododendron bushes plus some nice fat flower buds for next year. I have checked all the rhodo bushes and we seem to have plenty of buds for next spring, watering them during the drought has certainly helped them hang onto their flower buds.

Rosa glauca

Rosa glauca is looking very autumnal with all its hips and the leaves are starting to turn yellow.


Ophiopogon planiscapus nigrescens hardly ever changes through the year, this is my big rug of it in the gravel garden at the back.

Darmera peltata

Darmera peltata has recovered well from the drought when they were lying on the ground. Here they contrast with Stipa arundinacea which is behind it.

Houtttuntya cordata Chameleon

Houttuynia cordata Chameleon which I found when I did some cutting back, I’d forgotten that I had planted it there!

Cotoneaster horizontalis

Climbing up the kitchen wall is Cotoneaster horizontalis which is now covered with red berries that make it look really autumnal. I wonder how long they will last with all the greedy blackbirds that we have?

Box cube

Box cubes in the making. There are 7 down the border by the drive. They are still fairly new and they have all been grown from cuttings. They have reached the required height but now have to fill out a bit sideways, maybe another year or two before they are the required shape.

Jersey Tiger Moth

P.S. Look who has returned to the garden, my old friend the Jersey Tiger Moth. I wonder if he/she  has been here all the time and I just haven’t seen it, nice to know that it likes Eupatorium too.

Do you have any signs of autumn in your garden yet?

Thanks once more to Christina at My Hesperides Garden for hosting this Foliage meme, please pay her a visit to see other foliage in different parts of the world.

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44 Responses to Is Summer slipping away? GBFD August.

  1. Angie says:

    Signs of autumn here too Pauline, you don’t have to look far to find it. Even the birds are making a return to the garden.
    Nice to see your old friend has come back to see you. Butterflies are decidedly absent here, which is strange considering the great summer last year, the mild winter and the perfect summer this year. I’d have expected to see lots.
    Loving the ginger jar – looks great.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Angie, the ginger jar makes a change from all the box balls in the rose garden.
      There is a chill in the air these days, I’m having to wear long sleeves now after being in T shirts for months, but maybe we’ll have a good September, we quite often do.
      We’ve certainly had lots of butterflies and bees this year, I have been surprised at the number of variety of bees that we’ve seen, which can only be good for pollinating our plants.

  2. Christina says:

    How do you manage to show us so many new things each month, Pauline? You certainly have many signs of autumn but hopefully still some good weather to come. Thanks for joining in again this month

    • Pauline says:

      It was getting harder this month Christina, I had to search! We are hoping for an Indian summer in September which should mean more colour in the garden.

  3. pbmgarden says:

    Your Cotoneaster certainly puts on a nice display. Hope the birds eat modestly so you can continue to enjoy it.

    • Pauline says:

      Unfortunately Susie, the birds don’t seem to know that they should keep some for when the cold weather comes, I don’t think they will last very long.

  4. Chloris says:

    Oh dear, yes the garden is showing signs of autumn. It is rather sad when it is still August. But autumn or not your garden is still full of delights.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Chloris, autumn has arrived rather early for some plants. Cutting back while we had the hot weather of summer means that some plants have now put out more leaves and maybe they will flower again too.

  5. Frank says:

    Why is everyone so determined to find signs of autumn! I am in no way anxious to meet my least favorite season again…. Although she is starting to make a few nice splatters of color in your garden!
    The cotoneaster is great and I was wondering if you need to train it up the wall, or does it try on it’s own?
    The rose is also looking good. It never ceases to amaze me that such pristine flowers can emerge from those gnarly diseased stems…. Not that your look that way! But I know I’ve seen it in my garden many a time and it always buys the rose another few years in the garden.
    Hmmmm, maybe I am looking forward to snowdrop pictures…. Eventually…
    Have a great weekend!

    • Pauline says:

      Frank, we’re not determined to find signs of autumn, they are there, all around us, you can’t just ignore them and they have come so early this year. Hopefully the colours should be even better this year after our long hot summer.
      The cotoneaster is climbing all by itself, nothing to hold it to the wall.
      No, too soon to mention snowdrops, a colourful autumn comes first!

      • Frank says:

        I see what you mean, I’ve been on a few other blogs and there really are quite a lot of foliage and flower changes showing up. It really does show a taste of autumn.
        I wonder if plants are just getting tired after their early start and long summer? Our spring was so late this year I suspect many plants without a calendar think August just began. Only the dogwood trees are showing a red tinge here, they’re always early, all the tropicals and annuals are still going strong!

        • Pauline says:

          I think our leaves are showing signs of autumn Frank, because of the very hot, humid spell we had in June/July. We had no rain in that time, so maybe a few plants decided to shut down early. Last year we had a wet summer and it seemed as if the plants were going to go on flowering forever, this year its the opposite.

  6. Sally says:

    Hi Pauline. You are a bit ahead of us with Autumn. There are a few trees here whose leaves are changing…..September is the month we see a big change. Everything you featured is beautiful…….this earth has such beauty in every season!

    • Pauline says:

      The change has started early this year Sally, usually Sept/ Oct for us. Every season is so beautiful, I’m so glad we have 4 distinct seasons and not just wet or dry!

  7. rusty duck says:

    I do view the colouring up of the leaves with very mixed feelings. It’s pretty, but too soon. And then winter’s next! Glad to see buds on your rhododendrons, I remember you being worried about them in the dry weather.

    • Pauline says:

      No, I’m not thinking about winter yet Jessica, a colourful autumn comes first! We seem to have stepped in just in time to stop the rhodo and camellia buds from dropping, it was worth all that watering with buckets, they should be ok now after all the showers that we have had.

  8. catmint says:

    I can understand some nostalgia as you head toward autumn. For us, it’s wonderful – the garden is coming alive as spring nears… Pauline, wonderful selection of plants and butterflies, an extra special treat.

    • Pauline says:

      There is still plenty to enjoy Catmint, hopefully after a good summer, the autumn tints should be amazing. Spring is my favourite time of year, when everything starts growing again, I will look forward to your photos!

  9. Sigrun says:

    Good morning, I feel like you – Atumn is coming. And I hope, it will be golden and warm.


    • Pauline says:

      Good morning Sigrun, yes, autumn is coming, the temperatures are much lower now but I have to admit, I prefer it cooler than we had during the summer. The colours should be better with having it so hot in the summer, I’m looking forward to a very colourful autumn!

  10. Annette says:

    There’s no mistaking that autumn is in the air, but with so much lovely foliage you have reason to look forward to this season. Lanarth blushes most beautifully, I must look out for it.

    • Pauline says:

      I love all the different seasons that we have Annette, they all have their own special beauty. V.Lanarth is similar to V. Mariesii, but maybe the branches are not quite so horizontal, the flowers are the same though.

  11. I’m so ready for that here. Sadly we’re still seeing triple digit temps. Loved the breath of autumn that your photos blew my way. Blessings, Natalie 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Triple digits Natalie, that is seriously hot! We had very high temperatures (for us) this summer and it feels much fresher now thank goodness.

  12. Cathy says:

    It certainly does look autumnal. Lovely mix of leaf colour you have. We have also seen some definite signs, including acer leaves changing colour and yellowing of many other trees. Seems far too early! No red berries on my Cotoneaster yet, but it won’t be long!

    • Pauline says:

      It is too early Cathy, I’m not ready for autumn yet! I missed the berries on my Pyracantha when I was taking the photos, it is absolutely covered in them, the birds will certainly enjoy them, but I hope they leave them for when the colder weather arrives.

  13. Cathy says:

    Great pictures with this post – and isn’t that pittisporum lovely? It’s the dip in the o/n temps I have noticed, Pauline, which means going to back the closing and opening of the greenhouse door routine again – but it’s quite refreshing in some ways and we have still had lots of sunny days here. Like Angie we haven’t had many butterflies here, but lots of busy bees!

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Cathy, I agree Little P. Tom Thumb is super in that he stays the size they say on the label!
      So far I haven’t felt I need to close the greenhouse door at night , but this weekend they say it’s going to be 3C, I must remember!
      So many bees and butterflies here, and so many different varieties of bee, some of which I’ve never seen before, which must be good.

  14. Anna says:

    I’m refusing to admit that summer could be over despite some overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I do like that pittosporum Pauline – it sounds as if you can press a magical pause button.

    • Pauline says:

      Hopefully we will have an Indian Summer Anna, as we quite often do in September.
      Pittosporum Tom Thumb is only supposed to grow to 2 ft and so far it has been this height for about 8 years now, so hopefully it will stay this size. I wish I could press a pause button on some of my other shrubs which are now outgrowing their space!

  15. I’m looking forward to autmn, not only for the cooler temperatures it brings but also for the color it will add to my shady garden. So far, there is a tad of color on the Cornus florida, but not much else. Have enjoyed your photos, especially the butterflies!

    • Pauline says:

      It is much cooler here now Marian, and so much nicer than the hot, humid weather we had earlier in the summer!
      Autumn does bring beautiful colours to the foliage, but if autumn comes early that means winter will too and I don’t want an extra long winter please!

  16. debsgarden says:

    Your garden, as always, is lovely! No signs of autumn here just yet. We do have some leaves changing, but I think it more a sign of heat stress. Hopefully, our heat will break this week. Your Contoneaster is so striking covered with berries! I planted Cotoneaster horizontalis on a bank with visions of what you have in mind. It was a failure, and eventually I had to take it out. Sigh…I am hopeful I won’t have the same experience with Eupatorium, which will soon be an addition to my garden. I have wanted this plant for a long time. I planted it once, but my husband accidentally destroyed it when it was still small. He won’t make that mistake this time!

    • Pauline says:

      Sorry to hear Debs, that your Cotoneaster didn’t perform as planned. I forgot to photograph the Pyracantha which is also covered in berries, the birds never seem to wait till the cold weather comes before they strip the bush bare.
      I hope you have cooler weather soon.
      I will keep my fingers crossed that your Eupatorium survives this time!

  17. I almost think you are a tad ahead of us with the shift in foliage…and that Joe Pye is a treat for the moths and butterflies…

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Donna, the weather is a lot cooler now, so I think the colour change will slow down, I hope so as I’m not really ready for autumn yet. I’ve found that the proper name for my Eupatorium is Eupatorium purpureum maculatum subs. atropurpureum – what a name! The flower heads are huge, about 10 inches across, so lots of butterflies and bees are able to feed at the same time.

  18. There are little signs that autumn is on its way, but the heat and humidity we seem to be experiencing here at the moment speak more to summer. We had such a late spring so it seems fitting that fall is just a little delayed. I am glad that your garden has recovered from the drought. Early fall always seems to be a softening of summer extremes.

    • Pauline says:

      It is much cooler now Jennifer and I think the garden and I like it much better! The forecast next week is warmer though, I just hope it doesn’t bring the humidity with it. I agree, the garden looks much softer and the light has changed too. Maybe plants will flower again that I had to cut back earlier, that will be a bonus.

  19. Helle (Helen) says:

    I’ve just been out in the garden, lovely and Indian Summery here, a bit deserved after the wet summer we’ve had. I actually really like autumn, if it weren’t for knowing what comes later.
    Glad to see your friend the Tiger Moth again, and I love the ginger jar. Oh and great that you’ve found the entire name!! for the Eupatorium, quite a mouthful, isn’t it 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      We are being told Helle, that we will probably have an Indian summer next week. The temperatures have been much cooler for the last fortnight along with lots of rain which the garden has enjoyed, it looks a lot better for it. The Eupatorium is still bringing in the butterflies, today it was nearly all Red Admirals, they were amazing!

  20. Lovely colours in your garden and at least some of them are not due to an early Autumn. We do have signs of it here, but I am not sure it is much earlier than usual. I noticed the horse chestnut trees changing colour this week – they are always ahead of the other trees. We still have signs of summer too – I noticed three different butterflies in the garden this week: a Peacock, a Tortoiseshell and a Red Admiral. And that is three more butterflies than we saw all last summer.

    • Pauline says:

      Chestnuts are always the first to go aren’t they Annette, are your trees up there free of the moth that disfigures the leaves so much?
      I’m so glad some butterflies found you! A month ago we were inundated with Tortoiseshells, they are looking a bit faded now, but an influx of pristine, brightly coloured Red Admirals were enjoying the Eupatorium yesterday.I think they must be having their holidays in Devon!

  21. Wonderful autumnal colours in your garden Pauline. I had thought we’d seen the last of summer, but apparently it is due back again next week. Fingers crossed for a few more sunny days 🙂 .

    • Pauline says:

      Flowers are still coming Paula, but autumn is definitely in the air. The forecast is better for next week so maybe summer hasn’t left us for good yet, I hope not!

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