Why I love Autumn

Autumn is magical and it never ceases to amaze me.

As soon as I reach for extra layers of clothing, I know that within weeks I will be rewarded with a spectacular colourful display outside. The gorgeous foliage colours of reds, yellows and orange start shouting and suddenly the world around me looks very different. Simply stunning! Actually I prefer being in the passenger seat when I’m driving so I don’t miss any of it.

The flowers blooming in Spring are colourful and signify the start of something new. But Autumn is just so different each year due to the varied temperatures we have in Australia. Also each tree performs differently depending on the temperature zone. Yes Autumn is definitely my favourite season.

Where does the green go?

Within the plant itself!

Leaves contain green chlorophyll which produces the tree’s energy. In the winter, the energy is drawn into the plant for storage. With the light green stripped from the leaves we are left with the red, orange or yellow base that has been present there all along. This is the waste of the plant and will eventually fall off.

Cooler climate versus Sydney climate.
The same tree in the Blue Mountains, or any cold climate zone, has a slightly different autumn shade here in Sydney.

The cooler the climate, the more vibrant the colour will be.

It’s interesting too that long, hot summers somehow contribute to an even more spectacular autumn showcase.

Choosing the right plant!

  • With the correct plant selection, autumn colour can bring a new dimension to your garden. By placing them correctly you can enjoy a fabulous succession of autumn colour in your garden.
  • Consider the mature growth height and width of the plant before drawing a plan. Make sure the autumn colour varies and is placed appropriately.
  • If you are grouping them, know when they change colour in the season and when they drop their leaves. Remember their colour can vary all over Sydney.
  • If you want to make a statement with one single autumn tree/shrub, make sure it has a suitable backdrop, such as a conifer hedge behind it, to create a dramatic focus.

My favourite trees & shrubs

Love the golden leaf of the Ginko biloba. Elegantly stunning. The tree has a lovely shape too and suits suburban gardens. Also love the Nyssa Sinensis which turns a beautiful red colour. Perfectly shaped specimen tree for larger gardens. And what about the climber Boston ivy Parthenocissus Tricuspidata. It holds a dramatic display for several weeks before it drops its leaves.

And of course the Japanese maples. I particularly like the Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Seiryu’. This turns an amazing yellowish-gold to crimson in autumn. Very beautiful with its upright vase shape. It’s the perfect size for a mall garden or courtyard. Pop an uplight to show its spectacular skeleton in winter.

Go for a drive

Before all the leaves fall to the ground I suggest you watch this spectacular display from the seat of your car. Drive through the Blue Mountains, Mount Wilson, Mount Victoria, Hunter Valley or Canberra.

Take your camera, I bet you will start a collection of autumn images like I have.