This month’s GBFD, hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides, happily coincides with the start of the autumn foliage display.
Unhappily, it has coincided with a long-lived four-day storm that has affected the Sydney Region, so a lot of the photos are very soggy looking as I braved consistent 90kmph / 55mph winds, sheeting rain, sleet and temperatures that did not get above 5°C / 41°F, before all of the foliage was blown off or washed away 😐
So onto the foliage…..and Maples surely are the stars of the autumn garden. Here’s the Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) that I planted last April:
It looks bright even on a soggy, gloomy day. Even in the cold morning sunlight of the prior week as it was starting to turn it is still fiery:
In years to come, I hope the autumn foliage stops passers-by in their tracks, just as this one did for me:
Next is Acer palmatum ‘Red Pygmy’:
The wind and rain have been doing some terrible damage to the foliage of this one. The cypresses behind it, which will be clipped to a formal hedge when they reach 2.2m / 10′, will give this a little more protection in years to come. With its insect-like foliage, it’s a beast to photograph!
The largest Japanese Maple in the yard – about 30 years old – is starting to colour nicely:
Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’ swaps its burgundy summer coat for a scarlet autumn one. Although it has scarcely grown since I planted it a year ago, it is still stunning for most of the year:
I’ve grown four Silver/Swamp Maples (Acer saccharinum) from seed collected from a local park.
I know in the US they are considered a trash tree, but I like them: their quick growth and yellow autumn tones make them perfect for one of my four hell strips (yes I have four hell strips!) which is permanently boggy and covered in creeping buttercup. As these trees grow, they will hopefully fix some of that poor drainage:
The Red Maple seedling, Acer rubrum, adds some delicate pink & apricot to its display:
Other trees, still just seedlings purchased as inexpensive bare-rooted plants (~ $4 each), are showing their true foliage colours. With pink autumn tones, this White Dogwood (Cornus florida) will make a handsome small tree:
Still in a pot in my ‘holding area’ waiting to be planted out, is this sapling destined for another boggy spot in the lowest part of the garden.
Normally, permanently soggy conditions ruin autumn colours, but not so the Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica), which has brilliant foliage:
The Witch Hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’), which started to colour quite early, still has a few bright leaves left:
Shrubs, too, are delighting with their foliage displays. Here’s an Oakleaf Hydrangea(Hydrangea quercifolia):
And, surprisingly, a Mophead (Hydrangea macrophylla), which isn’t normally known for autumn display is nothing short of stunning and has been in colour for weeks:
Enkianthus starts to fire up:
But the foliage stars of the shrubs at the moment have to be the Blueberries. Once there is a bit more growth, this is going to be trimmed as a formal, but productive, hedge and there are multiple varieties in the row (including two evergreens and one or two semi-evergreens), but just look at the colours of the foliage on the deciduous varieties:
Tasty and stunning….how good is that combination?
And, this is the view over the back fence towards town during sunny conditions last week: early autumn trees always look great against the grey-green of the Eucalypts and the deep green of the conifers:
Happy GBFD and Happy Gardening 🙂