Thursday, 27 November 2014

Splashes of Colour

What a difference a month makes. A look back to my post of October 28 shows the garden still full of foliage and flowers. But the last couple of weeks has brought days of frost followed by strong winds and rain, leaving few signs of colour anywhere. The Enkianthus that I was admiring in the previous post has reacted by dropping most of its leaves, and those that remain have turned brown. At least the withering rosehips on climbing 'Lykkefund' are still red,

... and the last leaves on another rose, Rosa pimpinellifolia, still glow brightly.

 Leaves that have already fallen are making a pretty pattern at its base, but it won't be long before they are all bleached of colour.

However, there is one solitary star at this time of the year, flowering when nothing else does. The aptly named Mahonia 'Winter Sun' is gearing up for its shining performance at the very darkest time of the year.

Although still quite small it is starting to fill its corner. As it grows, I'll remove some of the lower leaves to show the cinnamon bark of the stems and thin the flower clusters so that they stand apart.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

November colours

Many of my perennials have collapsed and I've tidied them up for the winter, leaving bald patches of earth between the few plants still clinging to green foliage. Nevertheless, there are still some bright patches like Enkianthus perulatus, which is, with good reason, my favourite shrub at this time of the year. It just gets better and better as it grows to fill its allotted space.

Underneath it,  Begonia grandis leaves are now a mixture of lime and sulphur-yellow, providing a sharp contrast to its striking pink seedheads.

Richer colours have infused the purple leaves of a nearby Heuchera...

...and Corylopsis pauciflora is a golden beacon in its backyard corner.

Sharing the same bed at the back of the house, Clematis recta  has exchanged its star-like white flowers of summer for a froth of seedheads.

A closer look shows the electric-blue seeds in the middle of those wispy white feathers. It is one of those plants that goes through an untidy phase after flowering and the temptation is there to cut it back. I need photos like these to remind me what a bad idea that is.