Autumn is here in all its entirety. A sudden change in light, skies clear and the chill of first frosts. Glorious with no rush or panic, unlike Spring, that holds that feverish sense of haste. Autumn is a quiet time, a chance to make grand plans and dream of all the things that the slow pace of Winter will allow us to do in the garden
The colours of Autumn are striking, not only the colours of leaves and withered foliage in the deciduous trees but also the intensity of the last of the rose blooms. Summer heat fades the roses at times, so Autumn is the perfect chance to see the depth of colour in specific varietals. According to the SA Rose Society, this is due to the cooler nights with less sunlight that produces more intense colours in some roses at this time of year.
“Autumn – the reprieve from Summer.”Mike Garofalo
Whatever the reason, it is magnificent to see the authentic colours at last.The overall size and form of some roses are outstanding in Autumn too. Perhaps in the Northern Hemisphere, roses are always this large and colourful without the intensity of our Australian sunlight.
“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.”Elizabeth Lawrence
Although Spring is colourful with the greenness of new growth and beautiful blossoms and flowers, colour really belongs in Autumn. It is the crowning glory of the year, a time to take a step back from the garden and summer demands. A time to relax a little because plants need less care. There is a vivid radiance to the surroundings as colour becomes dominant, especially when driving through rural parts of Australia.
Several old fashioned words that describe Autumn I recently came across are Feuille Morte a brownish-orange or yellowish-brown colour as seen in withered dry autumn foliage, Gamboge a transparent deep saffron to mustard yellow and Coquelicot a French word for the wild corn poppy that are bright, red-orange. For more colour names have a look at The Colour Thesaurus
Bronze, amber, gold, carmine, russet, sepia, scarlet, umber, crimson, maroon, and carnelian aptly describe the sensational rich and varied colours of Autumn. When driving through the country towns of western NSW, the Autumn leaves are stunning now after recent cold days.
“Autumn is a season followed immediately by looking forward to Spring.”
Australia has only one actual temperate deciduous native tree — the deciduous beech or Fagus Nothofagus gunnii in Tasmania. All our other trees are evergreen, but we have beautiful parks in most country towns and large stately gardens that showcase the Autumn leaves. Look out for the colours of; the golden poplars, liquid ambers, oaks, ash, Chinese maples, red maples, dogwoods, elms, beech and if any, left the weeping willows.
“I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house.Nathaniel Hawthorn
So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air
Don’t relax for too long admiring the Autumn splendour because this is the best time all year to plant new trees and make improvements in the garden. I always feel that the weather in Autumn and early winter is ideal for making changes to your garden and taking on projects that during the year there is no time for because it is always about maintenance. Autumn still has warm soil, and it’s nice outside in the sunshine working. Whether you want to start a vegetable garden, build a peaceful nook to enjoy the garden with a book or a vertical garden on that bare wall- now in Autumn is the time to start.
Garden JOBS FOR AUTUMN
Remove summer weeds and growth
Add dynamic lifter or similar to improve soil
Harvest seeds from herbs and perennials
Planting new trees and shrubs
Cleaning up the garden after summer
Plant bulbs and garlic
Prune trees or hedges if required
Ferilise the lawn
Divide perennials and remove too much growth of companion plants from around the roses
Make new plants from cuttings
Move plants that were too large or in the wrong place
Relook at the design of the garden and make changes
Protect tender plants from frost by covering with shade cloth or moving to a sheltered spot on a verandah
How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and colour are their last days.John Burroughs
My favourite products for the garden include natural aged sheep manure from under the shearing shed. Gypsum in our region to help break down clay soil, plenty of water and eco seaweed to build strong thicker cellulose walls in plants to reduce the risk of frost damage and transplant shock. Plus these three beauties
SEAMUNGUS can be used all year long as a soil conditioner- plants love it!
SUDDEN IMPACT a wonderful fertiliser for roses use in early Autumn for brillant late blooms and every 8-10 weeks in Spring and Summer.
WHOFLUNGDUNG a very good, although expensive super mulch that absorbs moisture and warmth in the garden so it can improve nutrient uptake, reduce weeds, and adds good bacteria.
With all this beautiful Autumn weather, clear skies, no rain, sunshine and crisp mornings there is simply no better time all year than now to garden. Get out there and you will be amazed by Spring what a difference some care and attention will make.
Autumn is springtime in reverse.Terri Guillemets
All content Di Baker 2012
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