An Autumn Flop

This year my garden is full of autumn surprises, but unfortunately not of the falling leaf variety. My autumn trees - like my sun-starved Autumn Joy sedums - have been a total flop. The late April weeks were just not cold enough, and I'm complaining!

 My Copper Beech tree is too small to make an autumn impact.
Real Autumn Colours

Even the Dogwoods didn't have a chance to show their delightful cherry red and green leaf colour. There's been no golden fire in the flowering Cherries, and the Oak trees have been unspectacular in their brown-ness. My purple Cotinus usually reinvents itself in early May as an orange-and-magenta Smoke Bush. Not this year.

No Frosts - Yet!

We've had no early autumn frosts to nip at the colour spectrum, and get the flame colours firing. Warm nor-west winds have obliged by prematurely blowing leaves off some trees, resulting in The Great Autumn Leaf Rake-Up being rather dull. The usual autumn tree colours are barely there - it's all very pale brown.

 This is the first autumn  that my Mexican Orange Blossom has flowered like this.
Autumn Colour - Choisya Flowers

There have, however, been several shrubby surprises. Firstly the big evergreen Choisya (Mexican Orange Blossom) in the Island Bed decided to 'spring' into full flower! It covered itself all over with delicate, creamy white blossoms, looking for all the gardening world as if winter was long gone. What a beautiful thought!

Autumn Surprise

The other autumn surprise has been my climbing rose Bantry Bay, which by now has usually gone into scruffy, ragged, messy, and definitely unhealthy-looking winter hibernation mode. This year, perhaps sensing that its days might be numbered, Bantry Bay has decided to confuse me.

 This rose has earnt a reprieve - there have been rumours of gardener dissatisfaction...
Autumn Colour - Rose Bantry Bay

Bantry Bay has a healthy scattering of lovely fresh pink flowers, surrounded by shiny new green leaves. Disgracefully ugly in all seasons except spring, this rose has been under threat for years. Autumn is, after all, the traditional unwanted-roses burning season...

 Nice - except that the late autumn rain caused rather a serious droop!
Autumn Colour - Blue Delphinium

There are some blooming successes in my perennial garden, too. Guess who actually remembered to trim her delphiniums, and thus is now enjoying some beautiful electric-blue autumn flowers? It couldn't be that same gardener who forgot, yet again, to stake the big white Dahlias?