Welcoming Autumn


Meteorologically with the advent of September we have moved from summer into autumn.   I have noticed a few bloggers bemoaning the passing of summer but for me I am beginning to feel a sense of excitement at the prospect of the new season.  Autumn and spring are my favourite seasons.  They are seasons of change, of the passing from new to old and vice versa and suit my fidgety nature.  I find winter and summer both increasingly boring and tedious, hating the extreme of weather  and how limiting the cold and heat can be.

Cyclamen hederifolium
Cyclamen hederifolium

Even though the meteorological definition of autumn – September, October and November, is a paper exercise you can already sense the changes in the  garden.  It just smells different but one sure sign that autumn is coming is the flowering of the Cyclamen hederifolium  which will flower now until early spring.

Changing leaves of the Prunus
Changing leaves of the Prunus

I wonder what the impact of the dry season we have had will be on the autumn displays of changing leaves.  Last year, after a very  wet summer, the displays were especially good.  I suspect that they will be over quicker this year and I have already noticed the large prunus in my garden leaves changing to a buttery yellow, earlier I am sure than other years.  In fact it is normally the witch hazel that colours up first and that is only just turning.  There are berries on the Sorbus and so far the blackbirds have resisted making an early start on this crop.

Changing leaves of Hamamelis mollis 'Arnold Promise'
Changing leaves of Hamamelis mollis ‘Arnold Promise’

Unlike many I don’t see autumn as the end of the gardening year but as the start of the gardening year.  I have placed bulb orders and expect parcels to start arriving shortly.   The greenhouse is being tided ready for the succulents to be moved into their winter home.  Plans formulated over the summer whilst considering the borders will be put into action and the sense of frustration of having to wait will hopefully pass.  I plant a lot in autumn as I believe it gives many plants a good start ready for spring but I only plant out plants that are substantial so they have a chance, any one year old perennial seedlings will be kept undercover to be repotted during the winter and then planted out  in the spring.

For me there is now a buzz in the air and a new sense of purpose.


13 Comments Add yours

  1. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Yea – for us it’s welcome spring – summer on the way!

  2. Jenny says:

    I also love autumn, though not the impending arrival of winter. The cooler crisp air, the nights drawing in, the colour in the trees all add to a lovely season. I look forward to lighting the wood burner of an evening, heartier meals and big thick jumpers. By the time January comes though I will be fed up of all these things and wishing spring to hurry up! Great post.

  3. I agree, Helen; it’s good to think of autumn as the start of the gardening year. We tend not to have extremely cold winters here, so we can garden more or less year round, and it’s a perfect time to plant hardy perennials and shrubs. As the pace of things slows down, I find it’s easier to be mindful in the garden and tasks become less of a battle. Our autumns typically don’t really show up until mid-October, but I am looking forward to this one, whenever it does arrive.

    And this post reminds me, I must order some cyclamen!

  4. Cathy says:

    Every season of the year has different attractions in the garden and since blogging I have become even more aware of them. I try to take the weather and the seasons as they come, just as I do with the rest of my life – we can miss so many things if we spend too much time looking back or forward instead of experiencing the joys of the moment. The garden is certainly smelling different, like you say, and there is a kind of dampness in the air, even before the promised rain that seems likely to end this long dry and warm spell; the garden is full of spiders and their webs, slowing rambles through the garden. All part of life’s great plan, isn’t it?

  5. sueturner31 says:

    Me too I love all the colours and textures of Autumn…

  6. rusty duck says:

    Absolutely agree Helen. The delight of planting and moving things around now is that, come Spring, they will be in the right positions and ready to dazzle! In theory, anyway..
    I spend winter looking forward to seeing it all come up again, a hopefully improved version of the year before.

  7. Ricki Grady says:

    Cathy said it so well, I can find nothing to add but “Welcome to Autumn and its many pleasures.

  8. Anna says:

    I am looking forward to the slowing down that comes with autumn Helen although it does not arrive in my book until the equinox later this month. Still late summer as far as I’m concerned and a most enjoyable time of year. I have been busy sowing seeds though which will hopefully germinate in time to survive the colder months. Its also been a relief not to contend with so much pollen and to be comfortable working hard outdoors again after all the heat. Like you I see autumn as the start of the gardening year so am hoping to do some planting and tidying up. Then there is the bulb order to complete which is still floating around in my head rather than being on paper. I do like Arnold’s changing coat of colours.

  9. Aga says:

    I have been in love with my garden this summer and will be looking forward to the next one.

  10. Cindy, MCOK says:

    A big part of why I love autumn is knowing that I’ll have at least 7 months, 8 if I’m lucky, before the temperatures go into the 90s again! It’s the best time of year for us to plant since we have such mild winters. I’m looking forward to getting plants out of pots and into the ground!!!

  11. Dr. Booky says:

    I like the idea that fall is the beginning of the gardening year. I enjoy all four seasons in turn. The birds at our feeders keep our garden alive even in the depths of winter.

  12. Start planning in spring, and it’s already too late. Autumn is definitely the start. Can’t help feeling sorry about the end of summer though – the sound of the geese flying overhead has to be the most melancholy.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Helen
      I don’t really get any migrating birds flying over, well none that I have noticed. I tend to garden to the sound of buzzards calling which can be quite eerie

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