The leaves they are a changin’

Fall Color Project Badge 2010As a newbie on the garden blogging scene I have been loving the various memes that help people connect and swap experiences. Since Autumn is one of my favourite seasons (the other being Spring), I got a little over excited when I came across the Fall Color Project hosted by The Home Garden via Mr. McGregor’s Daughter. One of the things I love about this blogging thing is that it is forcing me to get out and observe my garden more closely. I garden near Bristol in the South West of the UK, and at first glance, nothing much seemed to be happening in the leaf changing department. Certainly the acer is still covered in deep purple leaves, and it will be weeks before the silver birches show any signs of Autumn. But when I actually started wandering around and really looking, I could see that, as ever, the first signs of Autumn were showing up in the foliage of the Vitis vinifera ‘Purpurea’. All summer the deep purple leaves smother the pergola giving welcome shade, and later, match the emerging fruit. Then the fiery tints creep in, offering an altogether more exciting contrast to the lush purple ‘grapes’.
Unchanged vine leaf
Changing vine leaf #1
Changing vine leaf #2

This year it looks as if the next plant to join the party will be the Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’). I don’t think it is usually this early, perhaps it’s because it got moved in to a container last year. I love the bright red outline, it looks as if someone has been out there with a fine paintbrush.

Smoke Bush On Brink of Autumn
Oak-leaved hydrangea

Now I am watching for the first signs of change on the Oak Leaved Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia), one of my favourite plants, and hoping that the planned trip to Westonbirt Arboretum on 10th October isn’t too early to find the acer grove in full fiery glory…

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10 Comments


  1. Hi Janet, As a new blogger I think you’ve done everything right-including being so kind to other bloggers and participating in these memes. This one of Dave’s is a good one and people from all around the world will come and visit you. Be sure to leave him a link on his post so he can compile your post with others. Your oakleafs and cotinus are beautiful. These are two of my favorite shrubs. My fall color is going to consist of dry and brown with this drought:( Thank you for your very kind comment about me encouraging you. I try very hard to do so with new bloggers. Even though I’ve been blogging a long time I still remember those early days and the few (very few) bloggers who encouraged me and how hard it is to blog. Each comment was always so nice for me. Blogging has some ups and downs but still so very enriching connecting with others who have our same interests and can relate to how we feel-even right down to the lovely colors on our leaves:)


    1. Thank you Tina – yoour comment gave me a warm glow!


  2. Let me say welcome to Garden Blogging first off! Thanks for participating in the FCP I’ll have a summary post up on Friday morning with all the week’s participants with links. I love the color grapes get in the fall. Most people don’t think of grapes for fall color but they really do have some nice foliage to look at. I like the smoke bush too – I wish ours wasn’t eaten by deer each year!


    1. Thank you Dave! I’m grateful I only have slugs and snails to contend with, deer are a little large to trust the frogs to eat…


  3. Dave’s Fall Colour Project is an excellent one to get involved with. Westonbirt was my contribution to last year’s – looks like I need to find somewhere else to photograph this year ;)

    Thanks for your visit over at mine – good to see you!


    1. I’m convinced Westonbirt is big enough for the both of us! Even if we visited on the same day I bet we’d spot different things, so don’t avoid it on my count ;-)


  4. Welcome, welcome to this wonderful blogging thingy~~~! You will meet so many kind hearted and experienced gardeners here. You have named two already, MMD and Dave both very knowledgeable and helpful..I see tinges of Fall in these photos, very pretty. It will be a little while before we see much change here in N. Florida…unless the weather changes suddenly.


  5. Thank you for the welcome Darla, good to “see” you!


  6. Welcome to the world of knowledge by all blogger s. Although I don’t have a blog I do like to read & comment as I’ve learned so much. Some times I don’t seem to have enough time to read all I want to or comment.
    You seem to have done it right from the first.
    Good luck.


    1. Hi Lola, great to “meet” you! I know what you mean about it taking time, but I find I am learning so much too, and it is a way to relax with a cup of tea!

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