Many of the fallen hazelnut leaves are on the front porch, and I know I should sweep them up, but I like the brown textured carpet, so for now they stay.
Behind the honeysuckle, the Liquidambar has lost all its leaves, most of them not making it from red to purple before they fell. I like its shape against the sky, though.
Liquidambars seem to be very variable, and this one in a park not far away is still in full leaf, and is moving towards purple.
The oakleaf hydrangea leaves are now even darker red, and are holding on longer than usual. When the sun is behind them, they glow beautifully.
Near the hydrangea is a young smokebush (Cotinus coggygria 'Grace'), which has moved from bluish-purple to a kind of rosy apricot, very attractive. I'm not planning to cut this one hard in winter, but only trim back to a large rounded shape, so it should be spectacular in a few years.
There aren't many flowers at this time of year, but the Irish Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo) is showing masses of its tiny ivory bells, just brushed with pink.
Millions of them have already fallen on the brickwork in the centre of the driveway. Do you remember when I posted about leaving some desirable seedlings in the cracks in this area? The seaside daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus) is still flowering,and the common violets are just starting. Mm, a few more leaves to sweep up, too.
The may bushes (Spiraea) are colouring up nicely. They are always late and don't show autumn colour for long, so I have to appreciate it while I can. There is one on the left of this picture, which was really taken to show the Cannas, which are now brown, but still standing. I quite like them. Soon they'll start to collapse and I'll cut them to the ground.
Behind the Cannas, though, there is a big problem. The Golden Diosma (Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold') is dying a bit more each year, and I really can't put off replacing it any longer. I've tried cutting it back, but the cut back bits just don't shoot.
It's done a great job of blocking part of the utility area for the last 15 years, and I've been reluctant to dig it out because it will leave a huge gap, but now it must be done. I've bought 2 new ones to replace it,and I'm going to dig in something to lighten the soil a bit in the hope of extending their lives.
Let's move on to something more cheerful. I took this photo because I thought this would be the last rose of the season, and it is so perfect. I don't know the variety, and it's in too much shade now so it doesn't flower much, but even one bloom is noticeable.
As I said, I thought it was the last rose of the season, and it may be, but looking up, I suddenly saw this:
This is 'Fourth of July'. It reached the top of its arch without my noticing, and now look what it's done! I counted 14 buds up there. Will they open, or will the cold weather defeat them? Stay tuned.
Cheered immensely by this rose's optimism, I headed back to the house. The potted garden is looking quite good for this time of year, and I'm especially pleased with the red mustard (Brassica juncea), which is almost jumping out of the pots with its combination of purple-red and bright green.
The new plants of golden diosma are sitting next to it, and I like the combination. Maybe when I plant them I'll add some red mustard in front for winter.
The tree fern, Dicksonia antarctica, seems to be growing a full skirt. It used to just have a trunk crowned with leaves, but now it's bursting out all over. I don't know what it means; hopefully not that it's going to die. It's an old friend, over 30 years, and I would miss it terribly.
(That flamingo seems to have taken up photo bombing.)
As a final farewell to autumn, here is Charlie, cunningly camouflaging himself as a pile of leaves. The tongue is a bit of a giveaway, though.
Bye bye, autumn.
This post is being added to the "End of Month View" meme hosted by Helen at The Patient Gardener's Weblog. Head over there for lots of other gardeners' monthly roundups.