The Autumn Garden.

Although the weather has been so unseasonably warm and storm Callum completely missed us, autumn has definitely arrived.  There are still plenty of blooms but the general effect is autumnal.

Join me for a stroll round the garden.   On the left looking down from the house  the huge crab apple ‘Golden Hornet ‘ is full of fruit. In front of it the leaves of  Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis Rosea’ are turning red.

Further down the garden the summer house is getting rather swamped by the enormous walnut tree.  The Acer drummondii on the right has lost its leaves.

Behind the little pond the Forest Pansy, Cercis canadensis has put on its autumn frock.

Cercis canadensis

Let’s walk down the garden a bit and look back. Yes, definitely autumnal. 
On the right by the sundial, Hammamelis x intermedia ‘Vesna’ has lovely foliage.

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Vesna’

Looking further down the garden past the she-shed.

The crab apple, Malus hupensis ‘Princeton Cardinal’  has dark leaves which turn red in autumn and glossy red fruit.

Malus hupensis ‘Princeton Cardinal’

The winter garden is starting to colour up.

Prunus serrula.
Cornus sanguinea ‘Winter Beauty’

Hamamelis ‘Jelena’


I decided to make it bigger so  I will play around with the hosepipe a bit to get the shape right, then I’m off to buy more weed membrane.

I have just finished enlarging my exotic garden. The Pianist complained that he got scalped trying to mow under the fruit trees here so I am sure he will be glad. At the rate I am going he will run out of lawn to mow entirely sometime in 2200.

I am on a roll at the moment because we have had some trees cut down and I have an enormous pile of chippings to cover up my weed membrane carpets.

One of the trees I was very sorry to see die was this ancient apple tree. We left the lovely mossy trunk even though it is probably a magnet for honey fungus.

The pear trees have been laden this year. Red admirals have been gorging on the fruit lying on the ground. I’m not sure what this is. Maybe a Speckled Wood ?

Medlars are still sitting on the tree waiting for someone to blet them. Nigel Slater says they look like a cat’s bottoms and smell of rancid wine but they make fabulous jelly, once they are rotten, (sorry -bletted.) It is a pretty little tree with lovely blossom but I refuse to mess about with smelly fruit that looks like a bottom. Incidentally our medieval forbears were more robust in their descriptions, but I won’t sully your ears here.

Mespilus germanica

The exotic garden is still looking fabulous, the dahlias keep on and on giving as long as you deadhead them. We are never without a bowl of them in the house.

The Black-eyed Susie has now taken off into the apple tree.

In the secret garden grasses are looking good. Miscanthus nepalensis has plumes that look as if they are made of spun gold. This grass is not totally hardy but it came through last winter alright.

I love all the fluffy bottlebrush pennisetums.

Pennisetum ‘Hameln’

Pennisetum villosum has survived the winter although it is not a very hardy one. I have it flanking the entrance to the Mediterranean garden.

I don’t know whether Bulbine frutescens is hardy, it lived in the greenhouse last winter. It has bloomed all summer long.

Bulbine frutescens

Thank you for accompanying me on my stroll round the garden. I know next month will be dingy and dark but right now the garden seems to be in festive mood and like me enjoying the glorious sunshine and autumn abundance.

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42 Responses to The Autumn Garden.

  1. Peter Herpst says:

    Your garden wears her autumn finery well. Let’s not think of next month’s gloom and the winter storms to follow just yet but instead enjoy the parade of autumn delights.

    • Chloris says:

      Whilst the weather remains so warm it is easy to forget how close we are to winter. But never mind, as you say, we must enjoy the show while it lasts. I was bowled over by your amazing autumn foliage Peter. Perhaps I need more acers.

  2. rusty duck says:

    I never used to believe Monty et al when they said deeper borders are much easier to plant, but by golly they are. Having now reduced the lawn to something Himself can mow in ten minutes I would never go back, even with all the extra weeding I have created for myself! Keep digging. The garden is rewarding your effort in spades.

  3. Your garden has lots of Fall color and yet you still have flowers blooming. I loved your tour, as is interesting to see other people’s gardens.

  4. Kris P says:

    Thanks for the ramble through your garden! I wish we had some of that fall color to enjoy. Your Mediterranean Garden looks great (better than that designed by our local botanic garden), as does your exotic garden. I’ve only got one dahlia left with blooms worth exclaiming about so I’ll be digging all those tubers up soon to make way in my cutting garden for winter bloomers.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Kris. My dahlias have benefitted from feeding and dead heading, they should keep going until the first frosts and then I will cut them down. I shan’t dig them up, they will be covered with newspaper and mulch to protect them from winter wet.

  5. snowbird says:

    I love those crab apple trees and am envious of your walnut tree! I’m glad you left the ancient apple tree I think it looks marvelous. Your garden is looking absolutely divine….well…apart from those medlars….OH! xxx

  6. Chloris says:

    Thanm you Dina. The walnut tree is huge but we never get a single walnut, the squirrels get every single one. They have even built a drey in the tree.
    I am sending you the tree peony seeds I promised you tomorrow.

  7. prue batten says:

    What a wonderfully enticing space. I felt as if I was walking through, surrounded by all the heady earthy fragrances and crackling sounds of autumn. The Mediterranean garden was an interesting foil.

  8. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I think this is the first time I’ve seen such long views of your garden, Chloris. It’s rather magnificent with so much russetty (russety) autumnal colour. I had a medlar in my previous garden (they’re not often found here) and I never really knew what to do with the fruit. Your description of them made me laugh! This is the second time I’ve come across concerns about honey fungus so I gather it’s a problem in the garden. Thank you for the tour…so enjoyable.

    • Chloris says:

      I am glad you enjoyed it. I forget to feature long views as I am usually so focused on individual blooms in the garden. Honey fungus is a real problem in my garden as part of it is an ancient orchard.

  9. Ali says:

    That was a lovely stroll, thank you Chloris. Your crabapple is spectacular. The lawn being eaten up by flower beds made me smile: this is my long-term plan too!

    • Chloris says:

      The sooner I get rid of the lawn the better. Attila the Hun AKA The Pianist backed straight into the lovely red crab apple on Sunday on his ride on mower. The lowest branch is ripped off taking a great chunk of bark with it.

  10. tonytomeo says:

    Forest Pansy redbud has become such a fad here that other redbuds are difficult to find. Sadly, it does not hold color well in our warm and arid climate. Redbuds are good street trees for small streets, but I still prefer the standard green form.

  11. I would so love to visit your garden one day, it is looking fabulous in its autumn outfit!

  12. Heyjude says:

    What a lovely autumnal tour through your lovely garden. I must confess a giggle over the cat’s bottom. And no, I wouldn’t be messing around with the fruit either! I am most envious of your crab apple trees.

  13. Cathy says:

    I really enjoyed strolling round the garden with you, Chloris, and as someone else said it was good to have the longer view of the garden, making it easier to see how it fits together. Might we possibly have a sketch map sometime…pretty please? It must be so exciting knowing you still have that treasure chest of lawn to dig up for untold numbers of future new projects. The potential here is now more limited, but I have still managed to find space for ?? new roses since summer, so I shall just have to keep waving that magic wand!

    • Chloris says:

      I will ask my lovely artist DIL to draw a plan for me when she has time. New roses are always a joy, you can never have too many.

      • Cathy says:

        I look forward to the plan in due course. Only downside of the proposed new roses is that they couldn’t be very tall, so sadly my choice was restricted

  14. Liz, thank you for a glimpse of real fall. I think you will run of out lawn long before 2200. The Medlars continue to mystify me. I have Bulbine flowering here and will add more this winter. Doggedly watering my Dahlias,hoping they will look like yours.

    • Chloris says:

      Have you not come across medlars before? They are pretty trees even though the fruit are rather rude.
      I came across bulbine for the first time in France a couple of years ago and risked my life to pinch a bit from where it was growing on a roundabout.

  15. Some very nice foliage on your witch hazel. I should go check the H. virginiana on the side of the house, because of its location it is usually ignored.

  16. Cathy says:

    Thanks for the tour of your autumn garden Chloris. It does look splendid in its October colours and there are some especially lovely combinations and foliage in your exotic garden. Hope you get a bit more of this sunshine for the rest of the month! 🙂

  17. gardenfancyblog says:

    Your gardens are lovely in Autumn, Chloris — glad to hear that you are out enjoying them and doing a few last things before winter. Hope you are well, Best, -Beth

  18. pbmgarden says:

    Walking through your garden this morning with you was quite fun

  19. pbmgarden says:

    Walking through your garden this morning was quite fun. I loved seeing how you’ve dedicated spaces to give plants their best home possible.

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