Autumn

F_MY15_autumn.jpgDarkening skies, gloomy mornings and early nights. Some people hate it. It heralds the cold of winter, of less time in the garden enjoying what nature and the gardener offers. Other people love it. The delight of the yellowing trees, turning into bronze and all those delight autumn colours and the promise of Spring blossom. And it is the time for planning what to plant in winter.

If you delight in the beauty of spring blossom, look to the Japanese flowering cherry in its myriad of shapes, sizes and colours — from whites to soft pink to vermillion. The flowering cherry is truly the tree to herald spring. I have seen an avenue of Prunus Mount Fuji which just stopped you in your tracks. We planted a ring of them around a pond once and the spectacle of the flowers mirrored in the water was lovely. Mount Fuji is double white.They are tough, will grow anywhere and come in various shapes and sizes from weeping, upright, spreading large or small. And as a special bonus is their autumn colour. Standing under a mature cherry tree in full flower is a thing of wonder and beauty.

Then there are the Magnolias of which we have an abundance of locally bred ones in New Zealand. From the spectacular Magnolia Grandiflora to the genteel modern varieties the tulip tree is special in the garden. You need space for the deliciously fragrant white grandiflora so in the smaller garden look at the varieties bred by Felix Jury from Taranaki. They come in white and all the various hues of pink — from soft to strong colour range. Large and small, there is one to suit.

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Vivienne Bailey