The Beginning of the End or New Beginnings?

On one hand the colourful leaves are telling me that the gardening year is almost at an end, they are falling each day and soon the trees will be bare, ready for winter. On the other hand, some plants wait until now to wake up and produce their flowers, they must like the shorter days and colder temperatures, even frost.

The tall nameless Acer coloured up nicely before the leaves started to fall. I think about half the leaves have fallen now, still more to go though.

My favourite, Acer Osakazuki, reached its potential before shedding some of its leaves. The ones that are left now look a bit burnt by the wind that we have been having.

This is where a lot of the leaves are now though!

But look….I was delighted to see lots of seeds hanging on the tree, I must collect some and try growing more Acers!

All these leaves have been swept away and piled in the woodland where they will rot down in a year to be put back as a mulch on my snowdrops and hellebores. The garden looked really neat and tidy for all of 2 days before the next leaves came down!

This tiny plant,  Claytonia, is growing on the rockery and has been flowering since about May, it always looks so fresh and springlike. I can’t believe it is still flowering.

The first of the new flowers was spotted one day last week when I got out of the car, Iris unguicularis Walter Butt, sheltering behind one of my box cubes. It looks so delicate, so springlike, the petals don’t look strong enough to withstand winter gales.

Just starting to flower by the front door is the winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum.

So far all my new flowers seem to be in the front border, this is Mahonia Charity which will be in flower for a long time.

The bush, Bodnantense Dawn , in the border by the field, is covered in flowers at the moment. This shrub will flower on and off all winter as long as the frost isn’t too severe.

Almost but not quite, it will probably be a week or two before my Chaenomeles hedge by the back door starts flowering. It is covered with lovely fat buds at the moment but I wonder how long I will have to wait.

Another flower which is still thinking about opening is my variegated Yucca. I don’t think it will be long before the flower buds start opening, the last frost didn’t seem to harm it, so I hope the next one won’t , whenever it comes!

I seem to be spending most of my time raking leaves, but had a change yesterday and decided to start clearing the rockery of weeds. I have found lots of foxglove seedlings so they can be moved to my shady borders, then I should have room to plant all my spring bulbs! I find this a very busy time of year, cutting back, weeding, clearing leaves and planting bulbs, I keep telling myself it will all be worth it next year, what do you think?!

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8 Responses to The Beginning of the End or New Beginnings?

  1. Mary B says:

    Clearing and weeding is ALWAYS worth the effort and just being out working in the garden seems more important than ever this year !
    The autumn colours in your garden are really beautiful. We have had somewhat shocking colour appear in our garden where 3 bright red gladioli have decided to flower! In November ? The colour contrast with autumnal colour is actually quite hideous but who am I to disturb the poor confused plants?!

    • Pauline says:

      I agree Mary, that being in the garden, working or otherwise has so many benefits, especially this year! I don’t think I would worry about colour clashes at this time of year, any flowers are very welcome, no matter what colour they are!

      • Denise says:

        Definitely worth the effort Pauline! You have a lovely selection of flowers for mid-November and the little iris is just lovely. One of my Acers always has seeds on it so I look forward to hearing how you get on trying to grow some from seed. I have never tried!

        • Pauline says:

          I’m still sweeping up leaves Denise, but now the oaks have started shedding theirs so there are always some for me to do. I have collected my Acer seeds so must sow them soon. I think I’ll leave the pots out under the table so that the frost can get to them and start the whole process of them germinating.

  2. snowbird says:

    Clearing leaves seems never ending at the moment doesn’t it? As soon as I clear mine the wind kicks in and it’s back to square one. I love your acers, I’ll be interested hearing how the seeds get on. You do have some lovely flowers blooming, lucky

    • Pauline says:

      Leaf clearing is never ending Dina, the oaks have now started and I have 6 of those, they will keep me busy for quite some time. Anything that flowers at this time of year certaainly earns its space in the garden, it is worth a wander round just to see what has opened up overnight.

  3. Cathy says:

    Your Acer Osakazuki looks really lovely, Pauline – I can see why it’s your favourite. I noticed seeds on my Acer griseum this year which I have not noticed before. It’s fascinating watching out for new blooms and new growth at this time of year and it is clear you will have lots of things to look out for over the winter season, as long as ground conditions permit you getting out there!

    • Pauline says:

      Acer leaves all gone now Cathy, thanks to the gales and non stop rain overnight, I enjoyed them while they lasted! I’m catching up on my housework this weekend, then it will be back to leaf sweeping on Monday hopefully. I still have bulbs to plant on my revamped rockery, so hopefully that will look nice next spring. Lots of snowdrops are showing their noses, but I have a lot of work to do before they get my attention!

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