autumn 1

Last Thursday we saw the sun. And on Friday it didn’t rain at all whilst the 18 ladies from the garden club were here. For the rest… well, we’ve measured 78mm (over 3 inches) on 6 of the last 9 days, much of it in slow, damp, misty drizzles. And the summer rain was supposed to peter out by the end of March.

autumn 5

Not that it is summery anymore. Lack of sun has lead to gradually lowering temperatures, but cloudy nights have kept the minimums high for late April. Autumn limps along, the colour that should by now be a blaze, is rather… well, watery. Still the garden club ladies, all from the sub-tropical area down the mountain, loved my garden, and all including two sprightly and elegant ladies in their late 70s or even 80s undertook the 600m/yard walk around the dams…

autumn 6

These photos I took on Thursday’s recci – which left me rather despondent. So their enthusiasm was  a great boost to me. The first photo I took just beyond “The House that Jack Built”. If one looks out the bay window and sharp right, you see these trees: Liquodambers forming a backdrop to Japanese maples, dogwoods and others, and a maple across the water. The second photo shows mainly a purple-leaved Japanese maple and a weepng flowering cherry, whilst the one above shows my pride and joy: a plane which colours red instead of yellow. None really wow-factor pics…

autumn 8

Here we look back across the dam from under the maple, with the jetty on the right and the entrance to the Rondel Garden beyond the meadow. As I said: all rather watery…

cornus florida 2

This close-up of a dogwood, Cornus florida, gives some idea of what autumn aught to look like by now… will it all be washed out? Or will the slow start mean  colder nights later in the season which, combined with our traditionally sunny warm days, will lead to a more beautiful late autumn?

down a damp path 3

Here the dogs lead the way down a damp path – Mateczka, the five month–old Rhodesian Ridgeback is now taller than the aging Taubie. She is a lovely dog – bright, beautiful and a personality. And Taubie remains my first love among the dogs…

Tupelo and grasses 4 

We were following the path to see how the Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) which I grew from seed was getting along. Its inner leaves were shining orange among the bright greens. Much promise there…

vitis vinifera 7

The Vitis vinifera growing into a tree looks the worse for wear by late summer, but I get great joy from its  dog-eared shabbiness; it has seen summer and is ready for a rest.

Flowering cherry 9

The flowering cherries, on the other hand, manage to look fresh and jewel-like, despite the lack of sun, their brightness a reminder of what autumn may still have in store…



  1. Your photos have the WOW factor for me. Here in my part of the world we don’t get to see such fabulous foliage colours … we see shades of green! I particularly loved that first photo and the close-up of the dogwood – while they might look rather watery to you, they look marvellous to me!

    • Thanks, Bernie – but hang in there, and you will see why I am a little negative at this stage! (Must admit though – the enthusiastic response of the rather demanding garden club ladies was quite humbling!)

  2. I see plenty of wow factor here, Jack. So glad the ladies did as well. It is difficult for me to wrap my brain around the thought of fall, as we just enter hard core spring and all the wonders of freshness here in Tennessee. The Tupelo is magnificent, one of the world’s best trees. Well done!

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