Autumn Architecture

Autumn has definitely now set in and while we still have a few warm sunny days, the mornings and evenings are certainly crisper and the light has grown softer. If we are lucky, a dryish bright spell will give us a spectacular show of Autumn colour as trees light up in fiery hues to celebrate nature’s final phase of the growing year.

In trying to transfer this grand scale of the landscape into our modest plots, small deciduous trees are perfect. They add structure and outline but unlike static and unchanging evergreens they provide lots of seasonal interest and ideal habitats to attract wildlife.

If you are wanting to get a harvest yourself off a tree then Crab apples are a good option. One of the most reliable is Malus ‘John Downie’ pale pink buds open up into a froth of white blossom in spring and then produce clusters of glossy fruit ripening from yellow to deep red; wonderful for a sweet Crab Apple jelly. If you’d rather not have to worry picking up windfalls, then Amelanchier lamarkii is a great small garden tree. The show-stopping white blossom turns to small black berries to be enjoyed by the birds, while the leaves transform to opulent crimsons and oranges.

It is not just the trees that provide structure in the garden, many spent seed heads give architectural form to the borders. There is nothing better than seeing sparkling spider’s webs draped through alliums and artichokes on a misty, sunny morning.

I am glad that, as gardeners, we are encouraged not to tidy up too drastically and to leave habitats for overwintering insects and seeds for birds.

Originally published in Focus magazine

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

‘In like a lion and out like a lamb’ - the old proverb about March is so often true, as we can start the month still in our winter coats and often end it digging out the summer clothes. It’s a month w