Seeing Red

The bonsai Acer (above) is getting redder.

Growing in the confines of a tiny pot is not a natural thing for a tree. Whilst the resultant diminutive size may be beautiful to us, a bonsai lives its life under stress. It may drop leaves much earlier than the same species planted in the ground. Even so, my little maple seems to be getting ready for autumn early this year. And it’s not alone.



The infamous red Azalea.

The Azalea leaves have taken on a hue almost as bold as those strident Spring blooms. The best time to move it is in early autumn apparently, although even then it’s a bit of a risk. Its location on the terraces does not help the cause. Long fine roots have a way of winkling their way into the stone retaining walls.



Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Album’

We took the almost identical photograph last year. Except then it was at the end of September!



Persicaria ‘Black Field’



Sedum spurium

The flowers have almost finished and the succulent leaves are on the turn. How strange they look after a shower of rain. It’s as though they’ve been coated in wax. Or even been crafted from ceramic.



Lewisia tweedyi

Love the name! This is one of the new alpines in the trough. The promised 5cm wide flowers of pink and apricot seem a long way off.



Heucherella ‘Burnished Bronze’

Not all reds have recently appeared. I don’t do well with heucheras as a rule but this one seems to be an exception. It’s not exactly vigorous, but it moved here with me from my previous garden and just about manages to survive. The leaves have the most incredible sheen.



 Phormium ‘Pink Panther’

  The Phormium has a new stable mate in my latest favourite ever rose, ‘Boscobel’.



Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’


 Let’s end in a flourish. With fireworks.



Uncinia rubra

I caught the Uncinia in the low afternoon sun. The grass appears to be lit from within, individual blades picked out in bronze and gold.


Linking up with Christina’s Garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day.

Click through (here) to see how Christina and many other gardeners are using foliage this month.


2018-04-17T10:08:18+00:00August 22nd, 2014|Tags: |


  1. Mark and Gaz August 22, 2014 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    The sudden arrival of chill in the air has made a lot of plants take on that purple hue that seems to indicate the arrival of autumn. Beautiful colours there Jessica!

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:01 pm - Reply

      I think we’ll be needing that Indian Summer!

  2. Isabelle August 22, 2014 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous reds, what a feast. It’s incredible how fast autumn has taken over though, here too. It’s windy, cold, rainy, and leaves are starting to colour and fall from the trees. What a turn of the seasons! xxx

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      Absolutely. It’s a Bank Holiday weekend here and the forecast, for the south west anyway, is for rain 🙁

  3. Crafty Gardener August 22, 2014 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Fall colours are creeping into the garden here. The reds look lovely against the greens.

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      It’s just started to turn, in the last week especially. The main autumn colours are a little way off yet though… I hope!

  4. hoehoegrow August 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    Nooooo ! Bring back the greeeeen ! And the nights are really properly dark now – lovely for candles and lanterns, but too autumnal for words . Lovely collection of reds though and fab photos ! Is Boscobel one to add to the list then, Jessica ?

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      This Spring and Summer girl would agree!
      Boscobel is a beautiful rose. I think it’s the first time a pink has ever been top of my favourite list, it’s usually an apricot/orange rose. But this is such a classy pink, and it has a wonderful fragrance too. I hope it returns with the same vigour next year.

  5. Christina August 22, 2014 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Thanks for joining in this month Jessica. I like the shiny heuchera but the plant I covert is Uncinia rubra, I’ve tried this thinking it should suit my conditions but it died, yours is beautiful.

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      I’ve thought I was going to lose it several times, it goes quite bare in the middle. But this Spring I divided it and that seemed to do the trick. Certainly this year is the first it’s felt strong enough to send up seed heads.

  6. Marigold Jam August 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Beautiful but so early this year – I keep hoping that summer isn’t over but the plants seem to think otherwise!

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      September is often quite nice… I’m still hoping too!

  7. Jo August 22, 2014 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Summer is my favourite season, but it’s definitely a short one this year, things are definitely on the turn. I noticed my blueberries this morning, they’re changing colour already. My heuchera, Purple Palace, has done brilliant this year and it’s still going strong, I love the colour of your acer, I keep promising myself one but it’s still on the list.

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      I do like the autumn colours, it’s winter I really can’t stand. And the trouble with autumn is that winter’s next!

  8. SeagullSuzie August 22, 2014 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    The very dry weather is having an effect on the plants and now the cool evenings are here its an early autumn combination part way through August which is disappointing, I always hope autumn will be late, summer will be long and spring will be early….and lets just forget about winter! Beautiful images of the plants in your garden.

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      The evenings are noticeably cooler. And gone are the days of having the bedroom window open at night. It feels way too early.

  9. Sue. August 22, 2014 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    There was a very posh lady in Norfolk (large garden Queen Anne house etc) One of her phrases was’we don’t colour uo well in the Autumn’. Which does not apply to your garden.

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      It does feel as though it’s going to be a good year for colour. The trees are still green, so we will see.

  10. Rosie August 22, 2014 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    The colours of autumn do seem to be creeping in early this year and there is that certain chill in the morning air before the more seasonal warmth kicks in later in the day – I want to hold on to summer for a little longer but it looks like our gardens think otherwise:)

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      Maybe it will get warmer again in September. I hope so! There’s still time.

  11. Jacqueline August 22, 2014 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    I’m not too happy with this early appearance of autumn ….. it really doesn’t feel right and, unless we get a red hot Indian Summer, the winter is going to feel very long indeed !!!! Still, what a spectacular show your garden is giving you. I’m not a great lover of firey red in the garden but the russety red of foliage is fantastic. Wonderful photographs as always Jessica. XXXX

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jackie. Autumn colours are very beautiful. Just not in August please!

  12. Christina August 22, 2014 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica, I enjoyed the closer look at foliage in your garden! It seems to be the case that even though we are in late summer, autumn has moved into your area already. I love, love, love the heucherella ‘Burnished Bronze’, what stunning foliage it has!
    As a rose lover, I am happy to read that you got a new rose. ‘Boscobel’ looks fabulous and her foliage isn’t bad either. Hope it does well for you! Wishing you a nice weekend!

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:47 pm - Reply

      It was a good healthy rose when we bought it, so I hope it will do well. I shall take your lead and pay more attention to feeding next year. We are prone to black spot in our mild wet climate, hopefully if the plant is stronger it will have greater resistance.

  13. Pauline August 22, 2014 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Yes, reds are creeping in here too! My bonsai Acer just has one red leaf at the moment, I don’t think the others will be far behind. I heard on the news the other night that the temperature in Exeter went down to 3C, that is autumnal!

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:49 pm - Reply

      Brrr. No wonder I am starting to feel the cold. At this rate we’ll soon have to be thinking about getting tender plants under cover.

  14. Sue@GLAllotments August 22, 2014 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    Wow autumn is creeping up on you isn;t it – our acer is still resolutely green/ It;s taking a lead from the sweet peppers and tomatoes.

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      The acers in the ground are still green here too. Banana skins Sue… I was looking at the chilli peppers today and thinking it might be time to deploy.

  15. angiesgardendiaries August 22, 2014 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    Did you know that frost was forecast up on the hills in Scotland last week? I almost fell off the chair when I heard.
    You’ve many signs of autumn there Jessica, many of mine are at a similar stage. I’m grapsing the cooler weather by the horns and have started moving some plants around already now that the temps have dropped and we are having regular rain showers now.
    Loving the Rose/Phormium combo, they look so good together.

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      Frost! In August.. omg.
      I think I may resume relocations too. I said I would leave the terraces alone now, but…

  16. Amy at love made my home August 22, 2014 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    Such beautiful reds! I have just posted about the red berries on our Rowan tree that are bright red already and I don’t usually turn until September, autumn does seem to be coming along its way already doesn’t it. Your sedum looks amazing and I too thought that it looked as though it had been coated in something before realising that it was the rain! xx

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 7:58 pm - Reply

      We were dodging showers constantly taking the photographs, but that did give some good effects. I hope it doesn’t all mean winter will be early too.

  17. Denise August 22, 2014 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Your garden exemplifies why Autumn is my favourite season. Always inspired by the colours of this season. We are still quite green here in Kent but our willow is starting to drop its foliage, and Primrose is starting to drop her (red) feathers!

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 8:10 pm - Reply

      I hope Primrose is not too cold. But I’m sure you are giving out blankets now, along with evening corn.

  18. pbmgarden August 22, 2014 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    I really like all your reds in the garden. We’re still having very high temperatures and humidity so it still feels like summer, but I am starting to be aware of the garden receding a bit. Susie

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 11:38 pm - Reply

      I’m still hoping it will warm up a bit again here too, it’s been very cool for August. And wet, with so much left to do!

  19. Julieanne Porter (@GwenfarsGarden) August 22, 2014 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    It is too soon. I’m really not ready for autumn, but I think I may have to deal with it. The photo of the Uncinia rubra looks lovely.

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 11:43 pm - Reply

      It’s a beautiful grass that one, but the sun had caught it just at the right angle. Five minutes later and the golden light in it was gone.

  20. CJ August 22, 2014 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    I have shoved my fingers in my ears and I’m shouting “La, la, la, la, la”. No red around here at all. Green only, just green. I do love the sedum though, and especially the Lewisia – really unique.

    • Jessica August 22, 2014 at 11:50 pm - Reply

      Wot, not even a little bit?
      I was miffed watching Monty this evening, at Hyde Hall in Essex. No red there either… I wonder when they recorded it?

  21. snowbird August 22, 2014 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    Well, it takes a lot for me to give up on summer but these pics actually made me look forward to autumn! I love your acer and

    • Jessica August 23, 2014 at 12:03 am - Reply

      I’d got used to summers lingering longer in recent years. We’ve been spoilt.

  22. August 23, 2014 at 3:38 am - Reply

    Gorgeous red, Jessica… I love it!

    • Jessica August 23, 2014 at 6:32 pm - Reply

      Thank you Hari. It is lovely, but it means cold is coming. Ice for sure and maybe snow. Brrrrr!

  23. Sigrun August 23, 2014 at 4:50 am - Reply

    Wonderful red in your garden, I love it. My big acer must go in this winter, his roots are to near by at the house, I love him so much. You have ask my about the hostas in my blog: It is easy, they are in pots! The hostas in the gardenearth are with nibbels, like yours.


    • Jessica August 23, 2014 at 6:35 pm - Reply

      Next year I will try pots too, perhaps with copper tape around them. I miss my hostas. In the soil I have none left at all, the slugs destroyed them. Thanks Sigrun. Sorry to hear about your acer.

  24. Donna@GardensEyeView August 23, 2014 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Your red foliage is beautiful…our foliage is beginning to turn ever since we got the few really cool nights one being 48 degrees…

    • Jessica August 23, 2014 at 6:39 pm - Reply

      It’s getting cold early this year.. everywhere it seems. For you it must feel as though summer has been really short, after the last cold winter.

  25. colleen August 23, 2014 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Lovely colours. And you’re right – we have been spoilt this year. It’s all far too early for autumn.

    • Jessica August 23, 2014 at 6:44 pm - Reply

      There’s now a severe weather warning for Monday, wind and rain. Oh goody.

  26. Vera August 23, 2014 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    Lovely photos….I am always endlessly saying it, but you do make me want to get my photographs better!

    • Jessica August 23, 2014 at 6:47 pm - Reply

      Thanks Vera. It’s so time consuming that’s the trouble.

  27. elaine August 23, 2014 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    The reddest thing in my garden are the strawberry leaves – turning beautifully crimson. Lovely photographs Jessica.

    • Jessica August 23, 2014 at 6:49 pm - Reply

      They are just starting to redden here. Not that I have a lot, just a few in a pot. Thanks Elaine.

  28. Jennifer August 23, 2014 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Beautiful reds. I absolutely love red foliage in a garden. Your Japanese maple is especially pretty.

    • Jessica August 23, 2014 at 6:52 pm - Reply

      Any kind of dark foliage I love, especially purple. It breaks up what could otherwise be a sea of green. But the autumn reds are spectacular and the maples probably best of all.

  29. CherryPie August 23, 2014 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    Autumn does seem to have started early this year and it has been decidedly chilly the past couple of days. Blogging friends in South Africa have commented that their spring has arrived early along with our swallows!!

    • Jessica August 24, 2014 at 10:33 pm - Reply

      Sometimes I think I’d like to be a swallow..

  30. Caro August 24, 2014 at 6:46 am - Reply

    I flatly refuse to contemplate autumn until mid-October at the earliest! (Having said that, my autumn bliss raspberries have almost given up and I’ve just harvested all my Braeburn apples – they were easy to pick which I take to mean ‘ready’ but shouldn’t be at this stage for another 4-6 weeks). I love all the red in your garden, pity it seems to signal that autumn is stealing quietly towards us.

    • Jessica August 24, 2014 at 10:34 pm - Reply

      It feels like mid October outside right now!

  31. Anna August 24, 2014 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Caro has almost taken the words out of my mouth. Autumn will not start for me until the equinox. Love all your late summer reds though 🙂

    • Jessica August 24, 2014 at 10:39 pm - Reply

      Resistance is futile..

  32. Justine Wilkinson August 24, 2014 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    I do love Autumn, but that doesn’t mean I needed it to come quite this early! Lovely photos, as always.

    • Jessica August 24, 2014 at 10:39 pm - Reply

      Exactly! Thanks Justine.

  33. Monica August 25, 2014 at 9:19 am - Reply

    Your Autumn photos look wonderful… what I see outside my window as I type is grey and more grey… the weather has certainly changed earlier this year!

    • Jessica August 25, 2014 at 9:33 am - Reply

      That’s the predominant colour here today too… not sure if the rain has reached you but it is utterly miserable here.

  34. Marian St.Clair August 25, 2014 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    I would hate to see you lose the azalea, could you take some cuttings before moving it? Though it doesn’t suit its current location, a two-season beauty should easily find another place in the garden. Sadly, I cannot grow Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’ as it reverts to the species, a very dangerous invasive in my region. Love that ‘Pink Panther’ though.

    • Jessica August 25, 2014 at 7:27 pm - Reply

      It would be sensible to take cuttings wouldn’t it, if I haven’t missed the boat. It’s a very woody plant. The Imperata has been slow for me, this is a two year old plant and what you see is what there is. I wish it had more vigour, though not if that meant it would revert.

  35. frayed at the edge August 25, 2014 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    As we were driving home from Berwick this morning, Malcolm remarked that the leaves are starting to change colour …….. the summer had flown by, perhaps because it was a good one?

    • Jessica August 25, 2014 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      It certainly has flown by. Early summer was absolutely glorious here, but I wouldn’t say no to a bit of an Indian add-on, to make up for August!

  36. Jane and Lance Hattatt August 25, 2014 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    Hello Jessica,

    We can almost feel the nip in the air in this post. Your photographs have captured the burnished tints and tones of late summer so perfectly and they do serve to remind us of how useful it is to have plants which offer more than just flower power in the garden to extend the season of interest.

    We love the Imperata which, sadly as we recall, always did rather badly for us in our gardening days. Yours looks wonderful and adds not only colour but also striking foliage to the border. A great plant. As indeed is the Uncinia which you have captured magnificently lit by the golden glow of a late summer sun.

    We are hanging on to the last vestiges of summer here in Budapest. Sun and blue skies……but, yes, there is a chill wind!

    • Jessica August 25, 2014 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      Thank you Jane & Lance. Definitely a nip in the air today. I have succumbed and turned a few radiators on!
      Uncinia is a smashing grass. Good colour, well behaved and, so far anyway, has not covered the garden with offspring. Imperata isn’t doing well for me either really, I would have expected it to bulk up better than it has. It’s on the list for shifting.

  37. Linda August 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Lovely Fall colour….
    Let’s hope it lasts into late October….
    Oh well…another gardening season in the books….
    Love those sedums♥️
    Enjoy your week…
    Linda :o)

    • Jessica August 26, 2014 at 7:22 pm - Reply

      I hope so too. But it’s early this year, who knows?

  38. sustainablemum August 27, 2014 at 9:06 am - Reply

    I love the colours of autumn but I must confess I am hoping for a bit of an Indian summer in September as August has been so cold 🙁

    • Jessica August 27, 2014 at 2:39 pm - Reply

      Even the beech trees have started turning in the last couple of days.. I’m tweaking radiators up, and even contemplated the electric blanket one night last week.

  39. islandthreads September 7, 2014 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    beautiful foliage Jessica, I especially love the last photo of the lit grass, Frances

    • Jessica September 7, 2014 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      Thanks Frances. It was a bit of a fluke that shot.

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