Tuesday, 30 September 2014

For The Love Of Autumn

Every year round about this time, in common with many other bloggers, I post pictures of autumn colours. Trying to ring the changes, I’ve given the posts various titles, ‘Autumn Cheer’, Autumn Leaves’, 'Autumn Tints’ etc., but basically they are a celebration of this most spectacular season of the year. I don’t get bored setting out and admiring the splendour all over again; after all, this kind of beauty remains inspirational, and repetition does nothing to diminish it. Not as far as I am concerned, anyway.



This is the view from an upstairs window of the cherry tree and the sun-kissed stems of a rowan, with the wooden bridge over the river visible through the trees.


Another perennial favourite is this Virginia creeper on a neighbour’s house which is only just beginning to turn. My own is a little later in the season and burgundy-coloured.



Even the very ordinary and utterly humble ground cover workhorse, the prostrate juniper, useful as weed suppressor and for winter colour, becomes attractive when brown leaves nestle in its folds.


Nothing humble about this spectacular variety of spirea! Golden in spring, it really comes into its own this time of year. I have two bushes growing side by side. When I look out of the window during late afternoon, when the sun streaks into the garden from much lower down on the horizon than it does in high summer, they positively glow. I took this photo after an overnight shower. 


Viburnum opulus is another common or garden tree/small shrub (cut it to whichever size you want) which shows its true colours in September. The leaves will turn yellow before they fall and the fire-engine red berries hang in generous clusters; birds gorge on them until none are left.
(btw, although viburnum opulus has been adopted under the name ‘European cranberry in the US, 
it is absolutely nothing to do with the fruit) 



Two very common wildflowers brighten disturbed verges and open grassland in September. 

Pink rosebay willowherb has lost the fluffy seed heads, exposing the bottle brush like flower stems.
Willowherb is such a pest, self-seeding everywhere, but I have to admit that it is really quite spectacular and I am willing to admire its architectural qualities when situated nowhere near my garden.


Another familiar sight in waste places, roadsides and hedgebanks is yellow tansy, with its 'gentleman’s buttons' bundles of flowers. Once upon a time tansy was a culinary herb, French chefs used it when preparing omelettes in much the same way as we use fines herbes today. Our palates have become less sturdy than those of our ancestors, the rather spicy savour is too overwhelming for modern tastes.


I’ll leave you with the wise words of a gardener in charge at Kew Gardens Arboretum. On the news today, he was asked by a reporter if we should get worried about the extremely dry September we have just experienced.

“Oh no”, he said, stretching each word with his flat Yorkshire vowels.  “No need to panic. Nature’s great. It’ll all work out in the end.”

He also promised us a very colourful autumn. Bliss.




44 comments:

  1. Oh, how I loved your views here today, Friko. I never grow tire of Autumn, welcome as you seem to have here, with open arms, and the colors still take my breath away. We've had some warm days and very cool nights; a perfect pitch for color here, which has just truly started. Thanks for this post.

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  2. Autumn is my favorite time of year! Sadly, in Southern California, we have not had the chill to bring it. Maybe in a month the mountains will show some color.
    Your photos are superb!

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  3. We have had a very dry summer and September but we don't need to be concerned. The rains will come as they always do and before long the rivers and lakes will be overflowing.

    Those berries are gorgeous.

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  4. Your pictures are music, your words the lyric!

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^= . <3

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  5. Absolutely magnificent! You have given this old gardener in drought-stricken California a spiritual uplift. Autumn is when I recharge.

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  6. I would hang picture number four on my wall.

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  7. A season of color and coolness. Your photos of even the roadside wildflowers are poetry. I love the spirea. Enjoy it for me,too - snowing here.

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  8. You've captured the colors really well, and I don't tire of looking at them. But I know they are even more beautiful to the naked eye.

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  9. Your autumn colours arte beautiful Friko! I like the one of the spirea best.

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  10. He's right. It all works out in the end. You have so many beautiful colors on your blog.

    Love,
    Janie

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  11. Thank you for this wonderful autumn tour Friko. Such splendid colors fall brings forward, letting us indulge and preparing us for the monotonous hues of winter. Your garden is splendid in all the seasons, rewarding you for all the hard work you put in together with your helpers.

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  12. Your pictures and descriptions of Autumn are the best I have seen and read on Blogger.

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  13. You are so right in saying that repetition does not diminuish the inspirational beauty of autumn colours! The pictures are great; I think it'll take about two more weeks for most of the trees and bushes and shrubs to follow the example of the ones in your area.

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  14. I love the glow of autumn colours! The bright Viburnum berries look like glass beads. I could live with autumn all year round.

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  15. Hi Friko - fantastic photos ... and I love the selection you've given us ... Virginia Creeper is a favourite ..but all plants have their uses and attractiveness - some reach higher up the realms of delight though - Gentleman's Buttons - brilliant name for a plant .. enjoy the autumn and he's a wise gardener ... cheers Hilary

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  16. het is natuurlijk dan ook een heerlijke tijd.

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  17. Nice!
    My favorites are the multicolor, multi-leaf photos. Magic.

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  18. I love it -- Nature's great; it'll all work out in the end. These are just spectacular! I love the close-ups. Oh, those climbing leaves and the spirea. Oh, all of it! These are absolutely stunning, Friko. You must be in heaven every time you look out the window! I'm not so sure our color is so far along. The post I did the other day, up at the lake, brought tons of early color and very pretty -- but still patchy (I love the tight shots -- you can't tell as much!). Yours looks a bit more ahead. No matter -- it will all be lovely soon!

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  19. You inspire me, Friko, to get my camera and go on a photo safari to capture the beauty all around me. October is here, the most beautiful month of the year in my little corner of the world. Great pictures, every last one. And your commentary made me very glad I've gotten to walk with you in your garden. Thank you. :-)

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  20. Your pictures capture the essence of Autumn., Friko. Looking out of my kitchen window earlier today, I thought the foliage was looking particularly lovely this year and that I must try to photograph it, but I don't think my efforts could ever match yours.

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  21. Wise words from the gardener. Autumn colour is just beginning here. Your spirea photo is particularly lovely with the vibrant colour shining through the wet.

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  22. Your yard is lovely. I found in my travels through Ireland that it is our Mid-Atlantic hot summers that bring all the plants to their knees. They do not return to their beauty until the cool nights of fall.

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  23. I've never heard of spirea, but almost gasped at the beautiful array of colors!! Everything looks spectacular, Friko. I just LOVE fall and this was a real treat! :)

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  24. huh those gentleman's buttons are pretty cool....the leaves are just starting to change a bit here...cant wait to see the mountains in full color next month...it is quite spectacular....

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  25. I will never tire of viewing the seasons in your garden! Autumn is by far and away the best season where we live. I just live in denial over what comes next and watch the waves of color come on in the hills. You're right, too, that certain pesky weeds, so long as they're far from a garden, really come into their own this time of year. One favorite combination of mine in open fields is goldenrod and purple loosestrife. Now, if only we could get more colorful autumn bushes and plants (that deer don't like to eat, or groundhogs) to grow in our yard. We have one lovely sedum plant by our front step that should be offered some company, as it has survived it all. One day, maybe.

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  26. Dear Friko, thank you for the lovely photographs. My favorite was of the rain-drenched spirea. Peace.

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  27. Friko, I took a look at this post's brilliance when I was having my Cheerio's hours ago. I was on the early shift at work, and could not linger long enough to thank you then for your generosity.

    Your garden is so vey beautiful all through the year, but there really is something about the light of autumn, and the transformation that leaves take part in. The rich contrasts in colors, the subtle transitions, the blends of textures, and those seed pods that linger. Every one of them is a winner.

    Thank you so much! xo

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  28. I always have to catch myself when I come across a post like this. Autumn-envy is a very serious condition, indeed, and it can blind me to the beauty we have around us here, despite the general lack of vibrant color. Your "architectural" plants, and the juniper, are good reminders that the gods of autumn may be very much like the God described by Einstein as "subtle, but not malicious." We're never deprived a good view or two. We just have to become more attuned to the subtleties.

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  29. Bliss indeed. I too take such inspiration from nature in the fall. It seems new every year in its spectacular beauty. I so enjoyed reading the commentary that accompanied your photos. I took in a deep breath and exhaled with gratitude for being to connected to such beauty that so far from where I sit.

    I love the quote you gave us. I must write it down. It is one to remember.

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  30. If it weren't followed by Winter , it really would be the best season of all .
    I prefer the sound of your weather man to our prophet of doom .

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  31. A particularly lovely array of autumn colours!

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  32. Such a beautiful beautiful post! Your colors are bright and cheerful. Our leaves are only beginning to change a little. Your words from the gardener reminds me of my Mother. During one very dry summer I was worrying. We had been all summer with no rain. Mama said, oh it will rain again, it always does.

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  33. The dry September certainly has produced the most spectacular colours already and they're increasing all the time. Love your photos of this rewarding season.

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  34. You have some wonderful colour happening there. I love that spirea. It has captured every autumn shade imaginable. Beautiful photos, Friko.

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  35. We've had a very wet September, so now you know where all the rain went. Autumn is always so photogenic, and your pictures are gorgeous, a real feast.

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  36. Slowly, slowly Autumn makes her appearance. Around here the Virginia Creeper is in charge. I tried Tansy once, but it become a rampant weed. Too bitter for my omelette too. I was trying to ID the leaf (upper left-hand corner) in your Creeping Juniper shot.

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  37. Beautiful autumn photography ~ colors are gorgeous ~

    artmusedog and carol ~ A Creative Harbor
    Happy Weekend to you!

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  38. Schöne Farben vom Herbst so wie in jedem Jahr sind die
    Farben dieser Jahreszeit am schönsten.

    Gruß
    Noke

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  39. Such gorgeous photos and witty, informative commentary - really enjoyed the blog. I now know the name of that red creeper on our garden wall. Thanks! I have to agree autumn is one of nature's most spectacular times......

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  40. That reporter, he is very wise. Nature will balance it all out, if we step back and let her.

    Those yellow "gentleman's buttons" are all the rage for "unique" and "quirky" and "homemade/rustic" weddings here in the US right now, if I'm not mistaken. They'd pay good money for you to send some over, I'd wager ;)

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  41. Hello, again, Friko. Scrolling down, I had to stop to admire this beauty. Autumn is my favorite season and each year I was mesmerized by the splendor of autumn colors. Your season seems to have much more progressed than mine; grasses and leaves have just started turning colors here. I especially like the third and the fourth photo. Thanks for sharing.

    Yoko

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  42. I never tire of seeing or taking pictures of autumn color. Yours are beautiful!

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