One day, you suddenly notice the dangling purple bells on the end of the arching stems of the fuschias. Perhaps they wait for background of yellows or perhaps everything else just stands aside for these dainty autumn bushes. Whatever the reason, they are one of my favourite contributors to autumn colour.


Meanwhile, the wildlife have their fill. The mahonia's golden nectar calls to the bumblebees as they gorge before winter. If you time it right, you can see the thousands of pastel pink, yellow and red berries on the cotoneasters before the birds discover and demolish them. No sooner has the spindle tree donned its brilliant ruby dress that it starts to decay, its pink jewels bursting open to reveal sherbert-orange centres that are gobbled by the birds before they have time to fall.




The wild roses turn to golden rust as they put on the last of their floral displays and the cosmos keep churning out their frothy, feathery foliage and patty cake flowers until the first frosts.


The amaranth I planted for companion to my veg has outgrown and outlasted everything and spreads its flat maroon leaves and feather boa fingers across my vegetable beds but the colour is so beautiful against the red and yellow of the tagetes that I leave them there all winter.


The acer looks more magnificent as its tips begin to lighten as it draws back its nutrients for the winter. Next to it, the yellow crabapple looks like a loveless older sister: bejewelled but crooked and dishevelled.




The birches all turn at different times and shake their buttered heads throughout all of autumn.




The nerines get eaten by something, perhaps deer, and a few lonely flowers stand out of a terracotta pot. The only other autumn bulbs are some autumn crocus that get their pale, delicate heads trampled before they can be appreciated.


But by far my favourite part of the garden in the autumn is the vegetable garden. After the vegetables have been harvested, the companion plants have freee reign for a few weeks until the first frosts hit. My favourite time of day is when the evening autumn sun gets past the house but before it dips below the wall. It hits the birches in the background with its yellow autumn glow and the whole strip of beds light up.