Fade out summer — roar in autumn

Autumn flowersSummer was late in arriving here but made up for its tardiness by a long spell of warm, dry weather.

Plants we thought had succumbed to the rigours of winter and a disappointingly cold, wet spring suddenly pushed through the ground and shot up as if making up for lost time, and for months we have enjoyed their blaze of colours. Here, plants usually flower for a short period and are then followed by others — in a well-rehearsed progress — but this year almost everything seems to have bloomed for months. So we’ve delighted in combinations of shape and colour that we don’t usually see.

Anemones from Japan

Japanese anemones — we thought we’d lost these, but they’re now flowering their hearts out adding colour to our autumn display.

And as the days have steadily shortened we’ve still been able to sit outside in the sun, causing me agonies of indecision as to whether I should stay by my keyboard and press on with the new book or sit outside and read. I usually settled for a bit of both, so the book has progressed.

Flowers and foliage

African marigolds — lovely that we can enjoy plants from different continents.

In to October and still no frosts (even at the height of summer we can occasionally have frosts here) so flowers remain sprightly, still providing colour, and the lettuce plants are continuing to produce new leaves for our lunch time salads. The rocket sewn in early spring, came up then bolted with the heat so the crop has been meagre.

Climbing clematis

A lovely autumn flowering purple clematis.

Then this week the weather changed. Temperatures plummeted and rain and high winds swept in from the north with parts of the Highlands experiencing their first snows of the season — a taste of what’s to come. After only a couple of days some trees are already bare. Leaves which were turning to vibrant autumn colour were whisked away to languish on verges and pathways.

Caterpillar food

Nasturtiums — complete with a couple of caterpillars.


Coloured foliage that will last through the winter.

With the end of October rapidly approaching and the end of British Summer Time when our clocks go back an hour, marking the beginning of winter, warmer clothes are being looked out. Shops have been ramping up their Christmas goods since the beginning of September and soon we’ll be wrapped up by the fire making lists of buys for presents, and debating again whether we have duck or turkey on the day. The garden will have resorted to its muted greens and the skeletal black of branches against the sky with only the odd clutch of berries or variegated leaves to relieve the monotony.

Read leaves

Japanese maple in pot. Was supposed to be planted before now — but you know how it is!

Rowan keeps the witches away

Rowan leaves and berries give a splash of colour — as well as keeping the witches away.

And summer sun and flowerbeds ablaze with flowers will again be merely a memory.

Fiery leaves

Fiery leaves of the copper beech.


About jingsandthings

I am me. What do I like? Colour Shapes Textures Paintings, photographs, sculptures, woven tapestries, wonderful materials. The love of materials probably comes from my father who was a textile buyer, and I grew up hearing the names of mills and manufacturers which sounded magical and enticing. Glass in all its soft and vibrant colours and flowing shapes, even sixties glass which makes its own proud statement. A book I can immerse myself in. Meals with family or friends with lots of chat and laughter (and probably a bottle or two of wine). The occasional trip abroad to experience the sights, sounds, food, conversation, quality of light and warmth of other countries. To revel in differences and be amazed by similarities. I like to create and to experience, to try and to achieve. And then there are words – read, heard, written at my keyboard, or scrawled on sticky notes, or along the edges of dog-eared supermarket receipts excavated from the unexplored nooks of my handbag. What do I dislike? Cold Snow Bad design Fast food Condescension
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17 Responses to Fade out summer — roar in autumn

  1. What a stunning Japanese Maple, Dorothy! Here in Germany we just got our first ‘delivery’ of snow, which came as a surprise so early in the season. We’re hoping it might melt and that we just might enjoy a few more autumn days like those featured here next week.

    • The maple has now lost all its leaves and looks rather forlorn. I didn’t think you’d have snow quite so early in Germany. Here the weather is dull, showery with a breeze — typical autumn weather in Scotland. Wish we could hold on to summer.

      • Our trees are also now starting to lose their leaves more swiftly due to the surprise freeze and early snowfall. Today, however, it’s been sunny — so welcome! In what part of Scotland do you live, Dorothy?

      • I live in the Borders, in a small village thirty five miles south east of Edinburgh. Rolling countryside, sheep, stately homes, tower houses, ruined abbeys and lots of history yet not far from city or coast. We’re about 700 feet above sea level, in quite an exposed situation which makes growing things a challenge.

        Afraid I’ve only been to Germany once a very long time ago. Sailed down the Rhine and saw the castles (much fancier than ours which tend to the stern and plain). Would like to visit Munich as I hear the art galleries are wonderful.

  2. mamacormier says:

    I love autumn, especially when we’re granted some more warm days. We’ve had great weather so far and this weekend looks like a winner, sunny and mild temperatures. The only downside is that the grass continues to need cutting.

    • Autumn here can be very variable. Definitely colder this weekend and dull and showery. We’ve been decorating — so a day for getting things organised rather than going out. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. We don’t have anything like that though we have St Andrew’s Day on 30th November, but it’s not really celebrated generally as people by then are focussed on Christmas.

  3. Sheila says:

    It will be sad to see those colors go! I was just thinking that today while looking at the yellow brown leaves around here. I’m glad you were able to enjoy them for longer than usual this time around. Beautiful flowers and those photos will be good to revisit through the winter!

    • The leaves were late on tree here, so they seem to have been around such a short time and now they are preparing to go. We tend to forget how technology brightens our days, and yes, when we are depressed by dismal weather we can launch iPhoto and look through a whole raft of good memories to cheer us.

  4. Beautiful colors and textures!

  5. Walter says:


  6. Rita Kay says:

    Beautiful photos !! We too are having great weather here in Buffalo, New York. I can’t believe it’s the middle of October and still no snow for us. Enjoy the fall.

    • Thank you. Weather here unfortunately has turned very wet and cold with leaves sticking to roads and pavements making them slippy. But hopefully it will improve and we’ll enjoy some days of sun. Hope the snow holds off for you.

  7. Wynn Collins says:

    My oh my, these images are beautiful! I especially loved the marigolds and the clematis–they took my breath away!

    • Thank you. The marigolds have done extremely well and lasted far longer than we thought they would. The clematis is an autumn flowering variety but with the good weather it has flowered much more profusely this year. Lovely to have some colour in the garden so late in the year.

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