Garden bloggers’ Foliage Day – a little colour

Welcome to GBFD; I promised when I said that I wouldn’t be posting every month any more that I would post if I thought there was something worth sharing with you.

I complain most years that there is no autumn colour in my garden except for the Pomegranate, that changes to a lovely buttery yellow each year.

The weather has been extraordinary this year in every season.  Last winter was cold, very cold with nighttime lows over a long period of below zero degrees Centigrade and for some of the time much lower than that.  The cold weather was interrupted by some warm weather in March which encouraged many plants to flower much earlier than usual; unfortunately this was followed by a cold April including a frost late in the month.  The third week in May was the beginning of an exceptionally hot and dry summer.  Temperatures were in the high 30’s and low 40’s for weeks and weeks.  When September arrived with a little rain I was very relieved but that was short lived as we’ve had very little rain since then.  So we’ve had a year with hardly any rain.

Autumn has been very different too with warm days (not unusual) but cool to cold nights from the beginning of October.  this week we had a frost and yesterday morning  (well the middle of the night really) when I was taking my husband to the airport the temperatures registered 1°C locally here to 10°C by the time we arrived at the airport in Rome and back to just 3°C when I returned home.

The swings in temperature between night and day has stimulated the foliage of many of my trees and shrubs to change colour so for the first time since I’ve gardened here my garden has some yellows and reds.

Upper Drive border at the beginning of November

The golden hues in the above image of the Drive border are from the dwarf Pomegranate, Crab Apple and Lonicera fragrantissima

Gradually changing colours

The left side border at the end of the first week in November.  The Pomegranate is its usual butter yellow but the Mulberry and Melia haven’t really started to change colour.

The Cotinus has been hanging on to its leaves for ages and although it’s not the colour I’ve seen Cotinus in the UK, it is a splash of colour I don’t usually see

Viburnum Carlessii

The mulberry has hung on to its leaves for ages this year and they too have turned buttery yellow

The woodland walk

Above the Melia is turning colour and beginning to lose its leaves revealing the bright yellow berries that will remain all winter.

Viburnum burkwoodii often retains its leaves in winter or they drop while still green, I’ve never seen the foliage this colour in any other year

Cold evenings mean we have beautiful sunsets

Last week the colour spread right across the sky not just in the west


If you would like to share some autumn colour from your garden or feature some foliage that is giving you pleasure this month please just link to and from this post.

33 thoughts on “Garden bloggers’ Foliage Day – a little colour

  1. We too have had similar ups and downs of temperatures this year and a very low rainfall (none recently). We have even had the beautiful pearlescent skies at sunset and now that you have mentioned it – more colour this year. I just hope we both get some rain this winter. Amelia

    • It really needs to rain every day for weeks; but I imagine I would soon be quite miserable if the days were as grey as yesterday. The colour has been a revelation this year. It is the first year in fourteen that we’ve had such cold nights in October (even late September, I think) and the resulting colours in the foliage has been spectacular (for here). It reminds me that it isn’t really about choosing particular plants for winter but about the weather that I can do nothing about.

    • The lack of rain is very worrying; after such a hot, dry summer I was longing for the rain that usually falls regularly in the late afternoons in September; this year, sadly nothing. Thanks for writing a foliage post even when I said there probably wouldn’t be one from me on a regular basis. I always look forward to reading yours.

  2. The colours are glorious. I wish I could send you some of our rain, plenty to spare! And today high winds as well which will put an end to the last of the autumn leaves which had been hanging on.

  3. You have been riding a roller-coaster in terms of weather! Your garden now has a comfortable glow about it. I’ve seen a few tentative signs of fall color here – in the one persimmon that hasn’t already lost its leaves and a neighbor’s trees across the street – but with temperatures expected to go above 90F (32C) for at least 2 days and humidity back in the single digits, it’s possible that those leaves will just turn brown and drop. There’s been very little rain here either…

    • Our weather has been full of extremes but I don’t think it has been as difficult as yours to live with. As much as it sounds ideal to have such high temperatures this late in the year it doesn’t make it easy for the plants to deal with. The lack of rain is certainly the hardest thing for both of us to deal with.

  4. Lovely photos Christina. We always get colour here, but it does vary – very dry summers usually mean more colour than usual, and a mild autumn prolongs that colour. This year was not so spectacular as late summer was wet and we had two storms in September which shook lots of leaves off the trees early. We have had so much rain – I wish I could have sent you some of it! The ground is really thoroughly soaked for once. Hope you get some decent downpours soon. 🙂

    • I think but don’t know that dry summers mean that the leaves stay on the trees longer so there is more time for them to experience the day/night temperature changes that cause the colours.

  5. The rain situation sounds fundamental worrying, but your autumn colours this year look lovely for being so mellow. Well worth a foliage post. We continue to be pretty dry here (typical for East Anglia), but have had enough rain to inspire second flowerings in a number of plants like nigella and larkspur etc. Tulip planting hasn’t been the sticky affair it can be, for which I am grateful.

    • Although there has been no rain it is amazing that every morning since mid-September there has been due on the ground and on the foliage; this seems to sustain most of my drought tolerant plants.

  6. It really has been a challenging year for you weatherwise and I suppose means you just don’t know what to expect anymore. Those sunset pictures are wonderful!

  7. Christina your garden looks with autumnal colors in those magnificent photos. The Cotinus has a divine red-orange color. The crab apple with its golden tone is very beautiful. La Morera with its yellow color I love it. I’m sorry I have not had any rain for a long time. In Spain there is a great drought: the reservoirs are on average 30% full. There are already water restrictions in some areas of the country. It rains a lot in your area and in Spain! And let your beautiful garden be well watered! Have a nice week. Greetings from Margarita.

  8. Pingback: Expect the Unexpected | Rambling in the Garden

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