Thursday, 23 October 2014

GBFD October 2014 - Autumn Colour

I don't often find the time to post a Foliage Day post but knowing that I had little on midweek this week, I thought I'd join in.  Of course, I hadn't factored in Hurricane Gonzolo!  Had I done so, I'd have taken a few shots at the weekend but me, I'm never that organised.  Granted the wind has calmed down a fair bit today and we have not experienced it quite so bad as it has been elsewhere in the country.  Standing poised, with the camera in hand, waiting for breaks in the wind - anyone watching must have thought I needed my head looked at.

We can always rely on Leucothoe for a bit of Autumn/Winter colour but temperatures have not quite been cold enough to get them going.  Leucothoe are rather unassuming shrubs the whole summer but come winter, they begin to earn their keep.  The are usually more red/purple by this time of the year but me, I'll take any colour I can get as the garden begins to go to sleep.

Leucothoe walteri Royal Ruby
Heuchera Caramel and Marmalade

Leucothoe axillaris Red Lips
The Witch Hazel, Hamamelis x intermedia Jelena, to be precise was new to the garden last winter.  Sadly, most of the foliage succumb to the winds this last couple of day and now lie in a rather ugly heap at it's feet.

Hamamelis x intermedia Jelena
All is not lost however, do you see what I see?  My garden is definitely at sixes and sevens!  My previous post was about the snowdrops surfacing, the first signs of flowers on the Witch Hazel are just breaking.  That little ribbon is more threadlike at the moment and I almost missed it.

Hamamelis x intermedia Jelena

There is a stark difference between the 2 climbing Hydrangea.  The one in the sunnier spot is looking decidedly peely wally, yet the one growing in total shade has only just began changing colour. 
Hydrangea petiolaris

The golden foliage of Jasminum Fiona Sunrise was a gift last year from a friend, she hadn't been aware that it was tender when she purchased it.  It came through the mild winter last year but sadly did not produca a single bloom this year. It found a temporary home in front the teeny tiny Acer palmatum dissectum Garnet, which should by now be a fair bit taller than it actually is.  It's been stood on, damaged by cats and had at one point had all but a single stem left due to my clumsy feet.  5 years on and it's still no more that 10 inches high, which is around half the height at which it was bought!  Still, it has guts and is determined to survive.

Jasminum officinale Fiona Sunris and Acer palmatum dissectum Garnet
Children of the eighties will remember the lyrics of Karma Chameleon by Culture Club - personally I wasn't a fan, way too tomboyish for all that make-up!  The tune and words Red, Gold and Green are now stuck in my head.  Don't you just hate those blasted Earworms!  All together now.......
              Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chameleon
You come and go
You come and go
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dream
Red, gold and green
    Red, gold and green

One the top tier at the very back of the garden - difficult as it was to get a decent shot in such windy conditions, I'm pleased how these shrubs are working together to if you stand just at the right angle that is.  They are still rather small in stature and are currently over shadowed by the perennials growing in front of them.

Cotinus, Physocarpus and Acer

A closer look at the Cotinus foliage shows that it is still looking really quite fresh as we veer nearer to November.  It's well sheltered in this corner.

Cotinus coggygria Golden Spirit
I hope you don't mind me continuing with the Cotinus theme - Dusky Maiden has shone all summer long and yet, this late in the year shows little signs of autumn yet.   Meanwhile, Grace, whom I moved round to the front garden earlier in the year is not happy with the windier position out there. 

Cotinus coggygria Dusky Maiden and Heuchera Marmalade

Cotinus coggygria Grace

The red stemmed Cornus is loosing it's foliage at a vast rate of knots in the winds.  The foliage only began turning a few days ago and to be honest, I expected to awake and find it bare, just like the Rowan this morning.  There are a few left to share their colour.

Cornus alba Sibirica
As I wander about the garden, I realise it's not all about the shrubs.  At ground level, some of the perennials are adding their own touch of Autumn.

A new addition to the garden, the autumnal colouring of Epimedium warleyense Ellen Willmott looks great.  I could not resist the colours - I bought 5 plants, 3 are in the ground in the front garden and I've yet to find a spot for the other 2.
Epimedium warleyense Ellen Willmott
The bold foliage of Darmera peltata is beginning to look rather dramatic.  I first came across this plant a few years ago, in flower, I missed the autumn colour last year when it was still quite small but this year, it's made good growth and you'd need to be looking in the other direction to miss it!

Darmera peltata
The distinct lack of slugs and snails in this very dry year has meant that even then Hostas are getting in on the Autumn Act!
Autumnal Hostas
Finally, the different shapes and colours on the autumn flowering Cyclamen are just as interesting now that the flowers are almost gone. 

Cyclamen hederifolium
If like me, you'd like to celebrate the foliage in your garden this autumn, please pop over to Christina's Blog and share with us what's happening in your part of the world.  Everyone's welcome, the more the merrier!  See you over there!