End of Month View. Autumn Glories.

We have had a glorious end to October with a weekend of lovely sunshine.  The garden is aglow with warm shades of russet, reds, oranges and yellow. It is difficult to believe that this fanfare represents the death throes of the vegetation.  Looking out of the window is like a glimpse into fairyland. I hope I am not too late to celebrate it by joining in with Helen’s End of Month View meme.
The smoke tree, Cotinus coggyria ‘Royal Purple’ has a wonderful autumn colour.

Cotinus coggyria 'Royal Purple'

Cotinus coggyria ‘Royal Purple’

Cotinus 'Grace'

Cotinus ‘Grace’

Cotinus ‘Grace’  is  different, but good too, it grows by this Acer, I forget which one it is now but it is beginning to turn red.
It is always exciting waiting for the different acers to reveal their autumn colours.

The hedgerow in the orchard consists of trees which are unremarkable most of the year but the Field Maple, Acer Campestre and the Poplar colour up beautifully in autumn.

Cathy at Rambling in the garden has witch hazels that provide the bonus of beautiful autumn leaves. In my garden  Hamamelis pallida turns yellow and makes a colourful backdrop for the dahlias.  Hamamelis ‘Vesna’ and ‘Diane’ are supposed to have good autumn leaves, and I have both, but so far they are not looking very exciting.
Trees and shrubs that provide interest for more than one season are very welcome. Amelanchier is useful for the delightful blossom in spring, but it has a beautiful autumn colour too. The only drawback is that both blooms and red leaves are quickly over.

Amelanchier canadensis

Amelanchier canadensis

I am always singing the praises of the lovely red leaves of Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’, but in autumn they are burnished with orange and terracotta.

Cerdiciphyllum japonicum 'Forest Pansy

Cercis  canadensis ‘Forest Pansy

The Cornus alba ‘Baton Rouge’ with bright red stems in the winter garden has lovely autumn leaves which are an unexpected bonus.

Cornus alba 'Baton Rouge'

Cornus alba ‘Baton Rouge’

The orange stemmed Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire has yellow leaves tinged with pink.

Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire'

Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’


I have quite a crop of seedlings coming on for autumn enjoyment.  I have to shame-facedly admit that some of them were illicitly acquired. The berries just dropped into my pocket.  They include Malus, Sorbus, Acer and a selection of Euonymus with beautiful berries. I will have to wait a few years to enjoy these, but in the meantime I have bought two trees for autumn interest. One is a Liquidamber styracifolia to replace the one that died. The other is an impulse buy, a case of love at first sight. It is Koelreuteria paniculata ‘Coral Sunset’.


Liquidamber styracifolia

Koelreuteria paniculata 'Coral Sunset'

Koelreuteria panicula ‘Coral Sunset’

Well, could you have resisted this Koelreuteria?

Berries too are a source of delight in October.  Everyone loves the  shiny, purple berries of Callicarpa bodineiri ‘Profusion’. It is well named because there really is a profusion of berries.

If I was choosing a yellow fruited Malus for the garden I would select the well-named ‘Butterball’, with large, long lasting, yellow fruit. The one in my garden is the more commonly seen ‘Golden Hornet’. It was obviously planted years ago, for it is quite a size. I do like the yellow fruits against a blue sky, but very soon the fruits will start to turn a very unattractive brown.

Malus 'Golden Hornet'

Malus ‘Golden Hornet’

Never mind,  it provides a nice backdrop for the autumn garden. The yew on the right side of the photo is going to have to go. I have lived with it for five years now and I don’t like it, sitting plonk in the middle of the lawn. It is so big and tall and gloomy. A churchyard sort of shrub. I know that along with the rowan and the elder the yew was supposed to give protection against evil spirits, but I will just have to take my chance.

A couple of years ago I fell in love with the translucent, bright red  berries of the rare Berberis georgii when I saw it at East Bergholt arboretum. They are difficult to propagate so there was a long waiting list, but I do now have one of my own.

Berberis georgii

Berberis georgii

But of course it is not all leaves and berries, this year the October flowers have been wonderful. Roses are still in bloom. ‘Sally Holmes’ is particularly good and looks as fresh as it did in June.

Rosa 'Sally Holmes'

Rosa ‘Sally Holmes’

The nerines in the garden are late this year, but until the frost comes to spoil them they will continue to delight.

Nerine bowdenii

Nerine bowdenii

You don’t often see the late flowering Lespedeza thunbergii ‘White Fountain’ and I don’t know why, because it is lovely. Here it is with a red Penstemon, Verbena bonariensis and Nicotiana langsdorfii which blooms on and on.

Lesspedeza thunbergii 'White Fountain'

Lesspedeza thunbergii ‘White Fountain’

I know I am not the only one who is mad on salvias as several other bloggers are keen on them too. I haven’t yet shown you my bright red Salvia ‘Royal Bumble.’

Salvia 'Royal Bumble'

Salvia ‘Royal Bumble’

Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ starts blooming at the end of October and it flower for ages. The orange Pyracantha berries behind it look good right now, but I hate Pyracantha, it is the spawn of the devil, as anyone who has to deal with it will tell you. Those thorns will get you however careful you are.

Mahonia x media 'Charity'

Mahonia x media ‘Charity’

This is getting rather long so I will save my Chrysanthemums for November. I am not keen on the big mop heads, which look like unruly hairdos, but I do have a lot of spray Chrysanthemums. I will show you just one, my favourite at the moment. It is the lovely red ‘Belle’ It is on the red list as it is quite rare. It is growing next to Acer griseum which is getting lovely orange -tinged leaves.

Chrysanthemum 'Belle'

Chrysanthemum ‘Belle’

Are we allowed to go into the greenhouse for an end of month view? Just a quick glimpse because the lovely dark pink Nerine ‘Zeal Giant’ is in bloom at last.

Nerine 'Zeal Giant'

Nerine ‘Zeal Giant’

Thank you Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting the End of the Month meme.

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60 Responses to End of Month View. Autumn Glories.

  1. Sam says:

    I’m drawn to red foliage in the autumn – such deep, rich, warm colours. I’ve always loved Liquidamber (I love the name) and Cornus alba and Midwinter Fire are such great plants for winter too. The Koelreuteria is a new plant for me – lovely. Your Mahonia is looking rather magnificent. Is it scented?

    • Chloris says:

      I know Mahonia Charity is supposed to be scented but it is very faint. The most deliciously scented Mahonia is Mahonia japonica which smells of Liiy- of- the- valley.

  2. Christina says:

    I wish I had been able to visit your garden, Liz, it is looking magnificent. How sad to take out the Yew, couldn’t you cut it down to about 1.5 m or a bit less and create a sort of green urn? just an idea.

  3. Brian Skeys says:

    One of the first trees we planted in this garden was a Liquidamber styracifolia, it usually develops lovely red leaves, it hasn’t yet this year. I also planted the Golden Hornet crab apple because Rosemary Verey recommended it in her book, The Garden in Winter. Like you I would not recommend it because the fruits go a rotten brown and hang on the trees.It has to be a really hard winter for the birds to eat them.

  4. Such a long list of goodies to enjoy. And you have reminded me once again that I need a Forest Pansy and since now is the best time for planting, I should get it soon. I wonder what story is behind the name ‘Royal Bumble’? Is it a bee, or perhaps a mistake?

  5. Angie says:

    What a real delight it must be to take a stroll around your garden at this time of the year Chloris – you have a real mixture of colours and of course some wonderful individual specimens. Love your new trees. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Liquidamber purely for it’s autumn colour – a super addition to your garden.

  6. gardenfancyblog says:

    So much color you have in your gardens — thanks for sharing your autumn scenes with us. -Beth

  7. I agree, thanks for sharing – that Berberis is fabulous! I also love the idea of a topiary from your gloomy yew.

  8. mrsdaffodil says:

    Your garden is looking fantastic! The Nerines are so lovely–I have planted some in my garden but they haven’t bloomed for me yet. I had no idea they could bloom so late in the season.

  9. Julie says:

    You just made me laugh with this is getting rather long! Your garden is wonderful, I wish I were in the same dilemma as you. I would also very much like enough room to have a Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ the size of yours!

    • Chloris says:

      I have 4 huge mahonias planted by a previous owner. Some of them are Charity and some are Winter Sun but they all look the same to me. They were really tall and leggy when we came here, but I prune them each year to bring them down to eye level.

  10. Pauline says:

    You have so many wonderful flowers and coloured leaves, your garden must be looking so pretty at the moment. Add me to the list for turning your yew into a fun piece of topiary!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Pauline. Yes, I think it is a great idea to turn my yew into a piece of topiary and I will give it a try. The trouble is I don’ t have your skills for a job like this.

  11. rusty duck says:

    I would agree with you on the yew. Wonderful as they are in the right place, that one has become rather large. Maybe plant an additional rowan to give the evil spirits a bit of a runaround? A bit like carbon offsetting?

    • Chloris says:

      I have several pink flowered Rowan coming on sown from seed acquired last year. I don’ t know how long they take to get to a reasonable size. I have decided to take the advice of several blogging friends and cut the yew down but leave enough to make a topiary urn or something of that sort.

  12. pbmgarden says:

    Wonderful trip through your garden. Everything is looking grand, but that Mahonia stood out to me today.

  13. Meriel Murdock says:

    Another fan of the gorgeous Berberis georgii – in particular! I would like to try to get one if possible – any suggestions where? Helen Dillon’s wonderful garden in Dublin has a small topiary box .urn carved out in the centre too. Perhaps you could try a giant version – as already suggested!

    • Chloris says:

      I got my Berberis Georgiii from The Place For Plants, East Bergholt, Colchester. . I had to wait a year for it as there was a long waiting list but that might not be the case now. It really is a show stopper with glowing red berries.

  14. Your garden is looking wonderful. The fall color of Amelanchier is incredible – though yours look far better than mine did this year. The warm, dry October caused a lot of leaf drop before the color really came on. The Callicarpa berries are fantastic. My ‘Sally Holmes’ bloomed later than usual this year, but not as late as yours.

    • Chloris says:

      The flowers and leaves of Amelanchier are so fleeting but I wouldn’ t be without it. Callicarpa is the only shrub I know with bright purple berries, I love it.
      Good old Sally, she goes on and on blooming.

  15. Anna says:

    Oh all is looking fabulously and dazzingly autumnal Chloris. I like the looks of your new acquisitions. The Koelreuteria is new to me and in answer to your question I don’t think I could resist it either if I saw it in the flesh. The information about Malus ‘Golden Hornet’ is most useful and timely as I’m considering purchasing a yellow fruited malus to keep ‘Red Sentinel’ company.

  16. Chloris says:

    If you fancy a large fruited yellow Malus then have a look at Butterball. I am also very fond of Malus transitoria which has masses and masses of small yellow fruit like beads.

  17. Your garden is such a treasure trove. I do believe that I’ve started to use you as a filter on what to consider next for mine. What a lovely collection of acer and cotinus in their autumn colours. Of course I was pleased to see the salvia ‘Royal bumble’. It is an unusual shade of red, with strong yellow tones and glowing like a field poppy.

  18. Kris P says:

    You have a beautiful fall color display. In a good year, we get relatively little in the way of fall color and this is not a good year – even our nighttime temperatures are running higher than usual. I do appreciate the opportunity to enjoy yours. In a perfect world, I’d have that Cotinus, the Cerdiciphyllum, and the Callicarpa. I do think Mahonia ‘Charity’ might work here – I love how you have it planted en masse.

    • Chloris says:

      Mahonia Charity makes quite a show. This is just one shrub, although there are others in other parts of the garden. If I was to plant just one Mahonia it would be Mahonia japonica which is far more fragrant.

  19. You’re having quite a colorful autumn! Your Forest Pansy reminds me of our Redbud (Cercis canadensis). So much beauty in your garden–I don’t know where to start! I remember seeing the ‘Sally Holmes’ Rose on other blogs (and yours?) in the past. It’s a beauty! This is a great EOMV post!

    • Chloris says:

      Oh thank you Beth, of course it is Cercis canadensis. I cant’ t thnk why I wrote Cerdiciphyllum japonicum, except that I was just thinking that it was a pity that the Cerdiciphyllum had dropped all its leaves and I couldn’ t include it. How silly of me. They both have heart shaped leaves but the Forest Pansy are much bigger. I have changed it now.

  20. homeslip says:

    Your garden makes me swoon Chloris. You always introduce me to new and unbelievably gorgeous treasures. I love all your red-tinged foliage (the sad death of osakazuki has robbed my garden of this colour this Autumn) and I agree about Pyracantha with its horrid bicycle-tyre puncturing thorns. Until the fog came it has been the most beautiful Autumn, but even that has a certain ethereal beauty I suppose.

  21. Your garden is amazing, you have such a range of fabulous plants and employ them to such good effect. The purple berries of the callicarpa are stunning against the foliage of the variegated shrub – an elaeagnus? The berberis is gorgeous, so unusual and tempting. Good luck with the decision over the yew, makes you wonder why it was plonked there to start with. I’d say you have more than enough potent charms in your garden to risk incurring the wrath of a wayward spirit.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Kate. This is my second attempt with a Callicarpa, I have killed one but I am trying again because there is nothing at all with bright purple beads like this. It is growing next to a Euonymus fortunei which was here when we came. The Berberis is very special again with amazing coloured berries.

  22. Flighty says:

    A lovely post and wonderful pictures. The combination of such colourful plants and good weather at this time of year is a winning one which is so enjoyable to see. xx

  23. Caro says:

    This look around your lovely garden has taken me straight back to my college days at Capel where I was able to see all of these trees in their full autumn colour. Totally gorgeous and how wonderful to have them in your garden – bliss! I totally agree with you about Malus x zumi ‘Golden Hornet’; I thought it look awful in January but like the sound of Butterball, although Red Sentinel keeps its good looks into spring.

  24. Another great collection of plants and photos. That berberis is wonderful! I have never grown lespedeza but that looks very interesting. And to end on the amazing Zeal Giant. Just lovely!

  25. snowbird says:

    What a fabulous autumn show!!!! You had me laughing at your illicitly acquired stash….oh you little devil you! Now….I must warn you against taking drastic action re the yew….they are considered to be channels between the living and the dead, allowing communication, are you prepared to trap all those poor souls???
    Your new purchases are lovely, I wouldn’t have been able to resist Koelreuteria either!
    You’re firey foliage is spectacular, profusion is fabulous, shame mine died! Other faves this week…..Royal Bumble and Zeal giant….oooohhhh!xxx

    • Chloris says:

      Channels of communication between the living and dead,? But I really don’ t want to be talking to the dead, I have enough trouble trying to keep up with my blogging friends. I haven’ t the time to be sending messages through my yew to dead people. Besides, what would you talk to them about? No, it really has to go, it seems even more sombre and sinister now. A big green, supernatural telephone receiver. I don’ t need that.
      I have to admit I have already killed one Callicarpa so I hope this one will stay healthy.

      • snowbird says:

        Hahahaha….you and me both re talking to the dead! And catching up with blogging friends! That’s why so many Yew are planted in church gardens….it appears the religious believed that back in the day. I do love reading up on old folklore re plants….aint it fascinating!xxx

  26. Cathy says:

    You have such a beautiful garden Chloris! I am very impressed by your Mahonia. I have never seen such large flowers and the shape is lovely too. Nice to see your Nerines again… so pretty!

  27. Cathy says:

    You have had the whole blogging fraternity swooning over your autumn blooms and foliage, Chloris! All very lovely and worth your lengthy ramblings. I trimmed the brown fruit from my Golden Hornet a week or two ago to make it look attractive again and so far there aren’t any more – but you would have a tough job doing the same with yours… 😉

  28. There are so many beauties in your garden, a veritable delight. I do love the Forest pansy, such pretty leaves. Which is your favourite I wonder?

  29. Beautiful! You still have so much going on in the garden. Love all that fall color. Our leaves are quickly dropping but I’m hoping winter holds off a bit longer. I’ve never seen a mahonia with such large blooms, either. Impressive!

  30. Chloris says:

    We still have blooms because it has been so mild but I suspect it will all turn to worms soon. The previous owner of our house must have really loved these mahonias. I have 4 huge ones and I have dug up many more. They are beasts to dig up.

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