Autumn in the Garden

Daylight saving has just ended and we have turned back our clocks, but nature does things to its own schedule.  Our garden is in transition.  It is still quite green but the autumn colours and flowers, fruit and seeds are becoming more prominent as the temperature cools.  Today I took some photos because I wanted to record the seasonal changes.

The Japanese Nandina is now a lovely shade of red.  This came from our grandparents and we have had it in a pot for years.  It is a slow grower and has remained this size for ages.  Maybe it is now like a bonsai because the roots have nowhere to go.

We have two varieties of Plumbago, blue and white, and the flowers are still hanging in there.  They are very delicate and have a sweet nectar.  Because the flowers are so sticky the sometimes get all over the dogs, over your pants and sleeves and anything else that comes in contact.

There is a last bud on the Iceberg rose.  These hardy white roses do well in pots.  Unfortunately there is no fragrance.  Our Elephant Ears are looking very lush and have spread to other parts of the garden.  As long as it is shady they survive the summer.  Because we have a mild climate they usually don’t completely die down in winter and bring a bit of the tropics down south.

The Clivia now has wonderful red seed pods (photo left).  We need to watch that our young dog does not eat these.  Ellie planted some in pots so it will be interesting to see if these shoot.

The Chinese walnut tree is also covered in green walnuts (photo right).  When they start to split and the nuts fall to the ground it is a battle to see who gets to them first.  The dogs love to crack open the hard shells and make a mess inside.  I’m constantly yelling at them to go “outside” with the nuts.  Last year the dogs ate more nuts than were saved to dry.

I love the spiky red flowers on the bromeliads.  I think that they look like some creature from another planet.  You can almost imagine that they will suddenly extend from the plant and try to whack you like a type of creepy carnivorous plant.  These flowers last for a long time.

Although Aralia plants are evergreen (photo top left), in autumn some leaves turn a bright yellow then to brown before they fall.  You can see the seasonal transitions on one plant.

Because we do not often get frosts, a long time ago we put our potted Maranta (prayer plant) outside in a very sheltered spot behind some large pots (above photos bottom).  It has thrived although sometimes the purple spots fade in the brighter light of summer.

We also have a Wollemi pine in a large terracotta pot (photo top right).  It is one of the most ancient species of evergreen trees on the planet.  It a pine that also has characteristics of a fern.  We call ours “Wolly” because it is so special.  We plan to plant it in the ground so that it will reach its full height and will be protected by a large Melaleuca tree.  At the moment the tree has bent a bit so will need to put a stake to straighten the trunk.

After I took these photos the sun disappeared and it is now quite gloomy.  I think there is rain on the way and it really feels like autumn.  I’m glad that I made the most of the sun while it lasted, something that we should always remember.

Kat

Advertisements