Autumn Gold

20131006-084442.jpg

Fraxinus, the Ash

For this week’s autumn colour, the Ash (Fraxinus) takes centre-stage. They have transformed in the last 7 days or so from mid-green to bright yellow. We have a smallish tree in the garden but there is a large one on the Estate and this is the one I’ve pictured. It stands out like a beacon amongst the other trees and, even if the sun is not shining, it creates the effect that it is. But when the sun does come out, the effect is outstanding!  This has got to be one of my favourite autumn treats!

20131006-084424.jpg

20131006-084516.jpg

Cotoneaster (species unknown)

The season of seed-setting, berry-forming and fruit-bearing is well underway now. The cotoneasters are looking particularly good at the moment with red berries a-plenty. This is a great family of shrubs as, following the berry season, you invariably have wonderful autumn foliage colours to enjoy – all shades of red, orange and gold. Walking past our sunflower border yesterday, I noticed that some small creatures (birds, maybe field mice) have been extracting some of the new seeds from the dinner plate-sized flower heads. Sunflower seeds are high in fat content so this should help to see the diners through the winter!

One family of plants that does very well here, providing a floral show from August to the first frosts are the Japanese anemones. They have attractive foliage and seed heads too and seem to do very well in deep shade.

20131006-084508.jpg

Anemone hupehensis ‘Praecox’

But floral longevity isn’t everything. There’s a lot to be said for the seasonal show-stoppers offered by the bulb family – short blasts of temporary interest. I’m quite a fan of the Colchicum family – Autumn crocuses we used to call them, not to be confused with the true crocuses that also flower in the autumn. We’ve grown varieties like ‘Water Lily’ (pink, double-flowered) in our other gardens, but here we have the simple C. album – pure white with yellow stamens. In the spring, I discovered a large clump at the back of the herbaceous border and transplanted some to front -of-border positions elsewhere. Happily these are now flowering, showing that the transplants have been successful. The only downside? Large green strappy leaves that come through in the spring, but they don’t last for too long. Small price to pay, perhaps, for the flowers-only show in the autumn!

20131006-084544.jpg

Colchicum album

Fewer insects around now in the garden, although the ‘Indian Summer’ has been kind to those that remain. Just last weekend, we saw a large dragonfly hovering over the pond, looking as if it was laying its eggs. A good number of butterflies, now mainly Peacocks and Red Admirals, can still be seen on a wind-free sunny day, particularly enjoying the Verbena bonariensis. Indeed, this is a popular food plant for bees, particularly Bumbles, which now appear a little more lethargic.

20131006-084525.jpg

Verbena bonariensis (with diner!)

As hinted above, September and October to date have been warm, generally dry months, but for how much longer? While tempting to leave it until November 5th, the Good Lady yesterday pressed on with having a bonfire to remove all the brash taken from the lime- trees last month, conjuring up memories of previous autumn bonfires from our childhoods…

20131006-085146.jpg

Fires in the fall

Advertisements
This entry was posted in The Walled Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Autumn Gold

  1. Pingback: Fall Back « Not Another Gardening Blog

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post – some great photos too! I have never seen such colour on an ash before. Malc

    Like

  3. Our ash trees should be gold but they all turned brown and dropped the leaves…sad really. Not sure why

    Like

  4. tosgarden says:

    your photographs are so lovely – I look forward to your posts!

    Like

  5. bittster says:

    Sorry to hear that a disease threatens that amazing ash, the color glows and the dark branches are a great contrast. It could easily compete with any New England maple!
    The bonfire looks like fun and I love the closeup of the bee.

    Like

  6. That ash is gorgeous! I have ash trees in my garden, too, but they must be different type because they’re not as vibrant. But our dry weather could also be a factor.

    Like

  7. Wow, your ash looks amazing! Down here in the south all they do is wither and look terrible with die-back disease.

    Like

    • Fortunately, Alice, there is no sign of ash die-back on our trees yet but I guess it’s only a matter of time… Commiserations to all those who are seeing their trees succumb to this terrible disease. Hopefully disease-resistant strains will be identified soon.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s