Foliage Day – October 2013

It’s that time of year again. When we watch the foliage closely for signs of ‘turning’, with little thought given to the fact they will soon be gone and we’ll be longing for the days when leaves return.

We’re in the moment, enjoying the pretty colours.

I have my Pumpkins bought and look forward to carving them. I’ve been tempted by cheap, cute pumpkin Halloween lights but then sense prevails and I realise it’s probably pointless.

But they’re too cute!

Anyway, I’m looking forward to the pretty, sparkly, festive season ahead and always, always get carried away.
This year it’s come early for me, mainly because I work 4 weeks in advance so I’m working towards the beginning of December and thus rarely ever know what the current date is! When people ask me I always have to really think what the current week is because I’m busy planning so far in advance. I actually didn’t realise it was as late in October and had a nasty surprise when I realised it’s the 28th next week! School holidays are always difficult for us and I dread them because naturally, most people want time off for their children but it causes me no end of problems.

I am very much looking forward to the clocks going back; this means I’ll be getting up in the light once more. There’s nothing I hate more than getting up in the dark and I’m happy to sacrifice daylight after work if it means I’m able to wake up faster in the morning.

Some foliage just looks far nicer when backlit.

Acer ‘Katsura’ has a few leaves turning, however most are still green like in the lower right image. Meanwhile, Astile doesn’t die well, although I wouldn’t quite class it has being awful.

Ivy is doing well, one I planted from an indoor Christmas arrangement a few years ago, the other is coming in from next door. I’ll need to tidy it and if I’m not careful it’ll soon be smothering the BBQ on the upper tier.

Sometimes the season in the garden can seemingly change before our eyes…

Well exactly that happened this weekend. On Saturday I noticed yellow on the Hosta. So far very little. Just some spots and one leaf to the left beginning to turn yellow at its edges.

On the Sunday I opened the kitchen blinds and couldn’t believe how much yellow had developed overnight.

Next year Herb Robert is going to be a problem. I don’t want to get rid of it as I’ve always wanted it in the garden but it’s a little too prolific. I’ve already ripped it out twice this year and it’s grown back and still blooming. However, Geranium Phaeum also seems to be a very happy self-seeder. The tier bark chippings act as a brilliant nursery for many plants as there are often seedlings popping up sporadically. I either need to pull them, or I might pass some on to my parents.
Oh, and Veronicastrum is dying. In previous years this has most definitely been a plant which does not die well, so I’m waiting to see how it is this year. It may look fine now but the leaves will likely turn black.

Autumn has arrived for the Flat-topped Aster and Persicaria. Persicaria will eventually collapse into a mushy pile.

And now for the ‘baddies’. Those which most definitely do not die well.

Finally, Acer ‘Garnet’ has yet to don its red coat and Sorbua Forestii, although still tiny has extremely pretty leaves; I very much look forward to it being a mature tree.

Copyright 2013 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden


12 thoughts on “Foliage Day – October 2013

  1. I’m just hoping that the gales don’t blow all my leaves away overnight, have the gales not reached you yet? Some hostas have already given up, some are still looking good like yours, they seem to change day by day. You still have such a lot of foliage which is looking good, like your Herb Robert, I keep pulling mine out otherwise we would have it everywhere!

    • Hi Pauline,

      We haven’t had any gales here, no. We had a couple of windy days either last week or the week before but I wouldn’t say they were particularly bad i.e. no howling wind coming down the chimney or being able to hear the house being battered.

      The good thing about Herb Robert is that it’s so brittle and easy to break off its stems to free up some space but it’ll then grow back and soon fill the border in again so it doesn’t look too bad. However on the other hand this could also be seen as a bad thing! I will definitely have to pull up some seedlings, and just try to keep the odd couple in the border. I don’t want them smothering the other plants like they have for the past two years.

  2. Our gardens are at a very similar stage – although 2 days ago most of the hostas were still looking good, they are now awful and in need of getting rid – a job for tomorrow.
    Thanks for id’ing the herb Robert – another weed that comes under the fence from next door!

    • Hi Angie,

      The Hosta in the photo is OK still, so I think I’ll leave it a little longer. Just the one or two leaves with a lot of yellow, so for now it can stay. The main thing bugging me now is all the rain has caused my walls to go green. They were lovely and white only a couple of weeks ago. As if I’m going to be able to sell with green walls! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Not exactly the weather for power washing it either 😦
      Herb Robert is fine; has lovely foliage and pretty little flowers. I wouldn’t be without it tbh. It isn’t as bad as other plants for taking over and it’s brittle so easy to pull up – enjoy it 😉

  3. I hadn’t thought about plants that die “well” vs. die “badly”, but you make a good point. It’s time for them to go dormant, and some look nicer doing it than others. The time does seem to fly by, and I’m not quite ready for the plants to go, either.

  4. My persicaria is still flowering away, but is sagging out from the middle like a group of drunks at the end of a really good party trying to help one another stay upright and failing… My hostas look truly dreadful, but the Witch Hazel is beginning to look really pretty, so hopefully the wind won’t rip all the leaves off too quickly! Why do you work 4 weeks ahead? I have realised that I don’t think I know what it is you do…

    • Hi Janet,

      I still have some blooms on the Persicaria although I don’t think I’d class it as flowering as such 🙂

      Really must have a Witch Hazel when I move; always wanted one so I hope I have enough space. Let’s hope you don’t gales Sunday/Monday… I think we’re both a little far north, however it’s likely we’ll got get very heavy rain.

      Currently I am putting my education to full use and create rosters (note the sarcasm). Basically it’s ensuring there is care for vulnerable adults.

      • Hmm, sympathies on the job front, doesn’t sound very thrilling, but I guess it needs doing. And yes, why not reward yourself for surviving the move, when it eventually happens, with a witch hazel, they are such lovely plants.

        • Hi Janet,

          I wouldn’t say thrilling as such but it is very busy and we’re always dealing with one emergency or another so it is more than simply creating a rota all the time. The last couple of weeks have been horrendous, what with it coming up to half term many people go on hols early or for some reason don’t pick up shifts, and then when the kids are off a lot of people are off and those who will pick shifts up can’t pick up any more so we get to this point where nothing moves, no one will do it. Add to this the fun of people phoning in sick ALL THE TIME. For every shift we cover, we sometimes seem to get two or three back.

          I’m always looking for other jobs though; can’t stop myself. And it looks like this service won’t be here in a year or two anyway as the current government doesn’t seem to believe there are disabled people in the country and they certainly don’t deserve any quality of life. Hey-ho.

          We’re having the loft reinsulated in a few weeks, so are in the process of clearing the loft (had already sorted through 5/6 boxes) but now we have a deadline to get as much thrown away as possible. It’s not made any easier by having loads of my parent’s boxes, plus my brother’s! Combined theirs takes up more space than our own! What’s going on there???! Hmmm.

  5. Lots of geat foliage, Liz. Love Janet’s description of her persicaria! Mine are still looking good although yes, they are sagging too, but they may well turn up their toes overnight of course. It’s funny how quickly the hostas can go – the darker green ones seem to survive better. Like Pauline my garden is full of herb Robert, but I usually let it do what it wants in the woodland and around the edges and so far it has avoided the borders and is easily pulled out if it pops up. Is the house on the market yet?

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