Glowing Flax and Ginkgo Tree
The ambience of the Moosey garden in Autumn is amazing. I'd like to think the reason is fairly deep and meaningful - the warm golden glow of leaves ready to fall, the fiery reds and oranges on the trees, contrasting enigmatically with the cold icy frost below...
But where I garden (in West Melton, in the South Island of New Zealand) it's a lot simpler than that. The Autumn garden ambience is due to one thing - there is virtually NO WIND!
As I cruise around the garden pottering and dreaming, there are so many sounds - insects, pigeons, the gurgling of the water race - because there is no wind noise to mask them. The fantails twitter and squeak, and the magpies make their famous 'quordle-oodle-ay' sounds.
The Song of the Bellbird
The resident bellbird chimes single notes of extreme purity. For the musically minded his full musical sting is a five note major scale arpeggio, the final note sung with a whooping glissando.
The fantails are at their tamest in Autumn. They eat insects on the wing, so an intrepid gardener crashing through the undergrowth stirs up their food source.
The birds zoom in and around your body - like avian electrons in a science drawing. They'll perch briefly on the wheelbarrow, chattering and squeaking.
I'm forever warning them about the cats - in fact some of my most inspiring conversations at this time of the year are with the fantails.
They always fly into the house if a door is left open, skittering around the window frames and ceilings eating insects. They show no fear or confusion, and never try to fly through the glass.
In Autumn the hybrid flaxes that I love to grow suddenly become the stars of the garden show. There's gentler light quality, and oddly most of my faithful late rose bloomers are pink. Together with the white nicotianas which appear everywhere the flaxes seem to shine and glow.
The Colours of Autumn
Of course Autumn to most people means trees changing colour, and the golden and red tones of my deciduous trees form the perfect backdrop to the gardens. All the pictures I take in Autumn seem to look really good, too. The harsh light of summer is well past, the lawns look beautiful and green, and all the curves and sweeps of my random garden designs seem to work.
Autumn in the Dog-Path Garden
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and after all those eyes are looking on the calmness and serenity of wind-free days. You can never ever underestimate the power of wind to spoil a gardener's mood.
This is my very first Autumn as a semi-retired gardener. I'm looking forward to enjoying the Autumn ambience without any distractions. Long may it last!