The Last of the Summer Wine

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I’m so pleased with our crop of grapes! O.K. – so they’re small, more the size of blackcurrants, really, and all “pip and skin”, but they’re also sweet and delicious. When you consider that the vine, Vitis vinifera “Brant”, was chosen for decorative purposes, to cover the pergola, this is definitely a bonus!

While (sort of) on the subject of wine, my walks around the “Estate”, has revealed a very rosy glow (or should that be, rose?). Now you may be saying to yourselves, “What do you expect? After all it is autumn!” and I agree. This is the time when foliage takes on fiery hues – reds, purples and golds. But these dying embers seem to embrace more than the leaves.

They include flowers,

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– here we have our unknown variety of sedum, their flat, rosy red flower heads, in among the daisy flowers of Aster frikartii “Monch” and Echinacea purpurea –

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– and here we have the rosy red bottle brush spikes of Persicaria amplexicaulis “Firetail” with their complementary coloured leaves. They have been flaming now since the start of the summer, like a veritable bonfire.

They also include grasses,

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such as the wonderful wine velvet inflorescences of Miscanthus “Ferner Osten”, so beautifully soft and tactile, partnered with the similarly coloured Cotinus “Grace” and its contrasting shaped leaves

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and the grass Imperata rubra now joining in the colour scheme. Note the carefully positioned self-seeded Red Orach!

Even the stems want to join in!

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Our Japanese wine berry is making a bolt for it over the box hedge.

Some plants have it all!

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Red Orach (Atriplex hortensis var. rubra) is greedy with its deep wine leaves and stems, and matching flowers and seed heads.

But leaves cannot be ignored!

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Our Hydrangea quercifolia is turning a gorgeous, rich wine shade, with tiny flower remnants turning slightly pink.

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Now to turn this theme on its head! Here, the colour change is in reverse. The normal wine colour of Cercidophyllum japonicum “Red Fox”, is starting to change to buttery yellow. Its somewhat rubbery leaves, turn a lovely shade before shedding and emitting a wonderful scent of burnt toffee! (I had to get scent in here somewhere!) The prospect of this was so irresistible, that even though this is a large tree, unsuitable for the average garden, I had to give it a try in a pot. Probably utter folly, but worth a try! This coloured leaved variety is no so tall as the species, so I may stand a chance. Is this my most unusual scented shrub perhaps? The scent being provided by its shed leaves?

And also, looking in from next door, not wanting to miss out are
some beautiful Hydrangea mop heads.

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More “stolen pleasures”!

All we need now, is to bring some of these rich colours indoors, to light up the house.

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10 thoughts on “The Last of the Summer Wine

  1. Chloris

    What a great pairing; the Miscanthus with Cotinus ‘Grace’. I have a weeping Cericiphyllum japonicum ‘ Pendulum’ which is very slow growing and doesn’ t take up too much room. You are right about the burnt toffee smell of the leaves, it is quite delicious.
    I love your Autumn arrangement, it is beautiful, such lovely shades.

    Reply
    1. thelonggardenpath Post author

      I have to admit to that great combo being accidental. When I planted the grass, I hadn’t realised what a rich wine colour the flower spikes would be. The leaves actually colour as well. As for the Cercidiphyllum, I’m still waiting for the scent to hit me. Last year’s (it’s 1st year) was very faint and fleeting. Your poor weeping one, can’t he be cheered up? 😉

      Reply
  2. angiesgardendiaries

    Very autumnal colours, like Chloris, I can’t help but admire the Miscanthus/Cotinus combo – it’s just gorgeous.
    The red orach is a new one on me and it does look nice with the Persicaria. A tree that smells of burnt toffee….mmmmm!

    Reply
    1. thelonggardenpath Post author

      Thank you, Angie! Red Orach is an annual, which is actually edible, similar to spinach, but it has more appeal as a decorative. It seeds quite prolifically (but easy to remove when not wanted) so these wonderful strong reds pop up in random places, producing interesting effects.

      Reply
  3. Cathy

    How lovely to see all your red shades – and your arrangement is a fitting tribute to them. I wonder if your grape is the same as the one we had growing in the old greenhouse when we first had the house… with so many seeds we decided they were hardly worth the effort of maintaining the vine, so eventually we cut it down. The last owner probably grew it to make wine. I keep persevering with red orache, but haven’t got beyond the seedling stage yet!

    Reply
  4. thelonggardenpath Post author

    We grow our vine mainly for its foliage, to cover the pergola and give us good autumn colour. The grapes are a very welcome “extra”! This has been our best crop yet. The red Orach was bought as a plant, when I was creating the border, and it has seeded itself around ever since. They aren’t as strong as the original, though, and don’t seem to do so well when I move the seedlings to where I would like them. Typical! The arrangement is facing me with a dilemma for my choice of vase for Sept.

    Reply
  5. Annette

    Very pretty, your rosy glow, Ali, and like Chloris, I think that combination is very nice. The wine berry is delightful but very vigorous, no? Is the Hydrangea quercifolia a special variety? Nice to see the foliage turn red. Just planted lots of Persicaria in Pompeii – love it!

    Reply
  6. thelonggardenpath Post author

    The Hydranga is no special variety. Its autumn colour is quite spectacular. As is the Wineberry. It is very vigorous, I agree. And, surprisingly, gives the added bonus of autumn colour, as its leaves fade to lime green, then pink and yellow, against the prickly red stems.

    Reply
  7. thelonggardenpath Post author

    It all seemed to fall into place while wandering round the garden, after admiring our grapes. Everything seemed to fall into that same colour scheme. It’s the joy of autumn. So glad you enjoyed it!

    Reply

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