Calm Before The Storm


Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’


These pictures were taken on Monday, in a bid to get them safely in the bag before the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo stopped by to say hello.

Given the geography, any wind direction with an ‘N’ in it has less of an impact here. And on all sides other than south the wind is further filtered by the trees.  So we escaped the worst of the weather, although more leaves fell and the garden doesn’t look quite as good as it did.



After the dreaded crocosmia, the most abundant inheritance in the garden is the common hardy fuchsia. The previous owners clearly adored them. I shifted at least a dozen up on to the bank last year and then immediately started to worry about how they would look against the autumn foliage of the cornus. It’s turned out to be rather pleasing, to my eye at least.



Looking down the drive from about half way up, a tapestry of foliage colours is beginning to form. There’s plenty more to do in this area, it is going to be my main project for next year, but it’s a start.

In the foreground a variegated pink and white berberis, then the cornus. The yellow leaved tree beyond, almost over now, is Davidia involucrata, the handkerchief tree. Like the cornus we brought this one with us in a very large pot. It was tall even then, necessitating the hire of a hi-top van, so I’m delighted to see it establishing well. Next year, next year, always next year.. but I can’t wait for those very first white bracts.

The two slightly larger trees, still in green leaf, are oak. Regrettably they are coming out. Long before maturity they’ll be far too big for where they are so I want to tackle them whilst they are still at a manageable height. Cue chainsaw man..



Enkianthus campanulatus



Acer (variety unknown), Rhododendron & Berberis (ditto)



A longer view of the same border


Above, another nice grouping of foliage colour and texture forming the border at the bottom of the lawn, although this too is slated for a makeover. On the right of the picture, just out of shot, there are two large beech trees. The river runs closest to the house at this point yet is totally hidden from view. The plan is to remove both of the trees, relocate most of the shrubs and replace with a low hedge. It will create a vista similar to that from the parking area, as featured in the previous post.

The acer will stay as a specimen tree for now. The half dead Crataegus to the left of it probably not!



Acer, leaf detail



Yet another berberis, with striking leaf colour (variety unknown)



Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’

On the terraces the hakone grass gets better and better in its new position. I love the pinky grey seed heads against the faded hydrangea and persicaria behind.



Prunus, ornamental cherry



Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Robert’

.. and bramble



Could I possibly have a foliage post without the black mondo grass? Tricky.

This month’s offering:  Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ with Sarcococca and Rose ‘Pat Austin’. If I could only get the grass to spread itself all around the rose, how good would that be?


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.