Sliding Softly into Autumn



I can deny it no longer. As Canada Geese fly overhead in waves of their ever lengthening skeins, Autumn has arrived.


Cercidiphyllum japonicum


Cercidiphyllum japonicum

Is it earlier this year or am I imagining it? The trees, like this one and the acer in the previous shot, do seem to have suffered some stress over the long hot summer and the leaves are turning already. Not enough yet for that lovely candy floss aroma from the Cercidiphyllum to permeate the garden. But somehow I don’t think it will be too long in coming.



Hydrangea NoID, Persicaria ‘Orange Field’, Verbena bonariensis. And a Hedychium about to bloom (far left).

Parts of the garden are still looking good but I have to confess, it’s got away from me this year. Big style. There were too many distractions. You can’t be everywhere at once and it shows. Thank goodness for zoom lenses and their ability to crop the field: the multitude of sins is forever just out of shot.


Cyclamen hederifolium


Cyclamen hederifolium, another sure sign that summer is drawing to a close.

Thanks are due to a rampant Saxifraga stolonifera for its contribution of leaves, just there to confuse. And spot the snail doing its best to hide amidst the coiled seed pods of the cyclamen? Nice try mate.


Hydrangea paniculata 'Confetti'


Hydrangea paniculata ‘Confetti’ and Stipa tenuissima

But I shall be back in the garden a little more frequently over the next few weeks. Progress on the bathroom has come to a grinding halt: the tiler has gone on holiday.. for a month! It’s incredibly frustrating because little more can be done until the tiling is complete. Both he and we hoped it would be finished before he went away but events and timing have conspired against us and it was not to be. Once we get going again there’s probably only another week’s worth of work until the whole bathroom is done, which makes it even more vexing. Never mind.

What I could do with now is some half decent early autumn weather and I can properly start the tidy up.



Cotoneaster and Pyracantha beyond

It should be a bumper year for berries. Acorns litter the paths around the house and ricochet off the greenhouse roof like gunfire shots. Many have already found their way into Mike’s lawn. I watched a squirrel this morning dig four separate holes before deciding on just the perfect spot.


Phlomis russeliana


Phlomis russeliana

Try to leave seed pods and hollow stems standing over winter, they make perfect temporary accommodation for insects and look wonderful when all those little pointy and hairy bits are touched by frost.



In my heavy clay soil planting, dividing and shifting stuff around is best done in Spring but September is almost as good. So I’ve used this last weekend to get a bit of a head start. Recent rains have softened the soil and it’s still warm enough for roots to get established before winter takes hold.

And what a productive weekend it has turned out to be. For only the second time since records began the pot ghetto has actually been cleared. Yes, unbelievable as it may sound, anything that could be planted bloomin’ well has been. It’s quite surreal, walking past that empty space round the back of the greenhouse. It feels abandoned and unloved. Desperately in need of something to fill it..


Cornus kousa 'Satomi'


Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’

The fruits are supposedly edible.


Three more plant fairs still to get to before the season is done. And in doing so of course there may yet be one of those navigational errors which by an odd twist of fate often seem to end at some nursery or other. We’ve promised ourselves at least a couple of days out during the enforced lull that will be September. I must also get properly back into blogging and catch up with you all.


Panicum virgatum 'Squaw'


Panicum virgatum ‘Squaw’, blowin’ in the breeze.


And finally.. continuing the occasional look back to seasons past: The Precipitous Bank, end of August 2015 (left) and at the beginning of September 2018 (right). If you are reading via Feedly, Bloglovin’ or the subscriber email, click through to rusty duck to view this slider properly. It’s a theme dependent widget.


End August 2015September 2018


It’s slow progress but it’s coming on.

A gradual increase in that mass of colour which has to be the aim. And overall, more balanced I think.


Linking, somewhat belatedly, to Sarah’s Through The Garden Gate (here) and Helen’s End of Month View (here) who offer plenty of early autumn colour of their own.