Autumn has its own measured pace, a far cry from the rush of spring or the exuberance of summer.
This relaxed rate of change is well matched with the limited opportunities to explore and observe the garden as the hours of daylight dwindle. Lately, a few days can pass without the chance to see much of the garden, though when possible I have been seizing the last light of the day to take a (rather brisk) walk around the borders. I take pleasure in the tapestry of stems and foliage in russet and tan, admiring those that hold their shape, and noting those that decay rather less gracefully – often to take to them with a pair of secateurs the following weekend. These sepia tones are still enlivened with blazes of colour from dahlias, fuchsias, penstemon, salvias and the last Japanese anemones. Sadly the turning-back of our clocks early this morning makes these forays rather unlikely for the next few months, until the sap is surging once more and the light creeping back.
I relish the discoveries that I come upon at this time of year, all the more precious when there may be little change from one week to the next. This morning I found the first flower on our Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’ since we dug it up from our last garden, where it had barely begun to settle in, and consigned it to a pot for a couple of years before finally being able to plant it out here a couple of years ago.
Another, more quirky, discovery that has brought a smile to my face this week was a number of poppy seedheads that, rather than peppering the ground with their contents, had failed to disperse their seeds. Instead, a mass of fresh green sprouted from the pods as the seeds germinated where they were, encouraged by mild temperatures and moderate rainfall.
I love the contrast of this fresh growth bursting out of veined papery brown pods atop their brittle bleached stems.