Berkshire Garden Style: Tawny Tones and A Time to Plan
Days are shorter, our heating is on! The sun is angled and the shadows long… This is the time of the cycle to revel in the tawny tones. We’ve had our first valley frosts. It’s finally starting to feel like autumn for real! All of these are signs of the fast-approaching winter.
Indeed this time of year is the time we put away, clean up, cut back and plant bulbs. It’s also a time that I appreciate for its transition from lush to bare, from vibrancy to mute tones, from foliated to skeletal. These changes give me the space I need to really ‘see’ the garden!
The last week of October was a brilliant time to appreciate the colors in our landscape. Dreary wet and dark days lend themselves to highlighting the goldens and browns, taupe and sienna. The muted understory, more subtle than the firecracker color explosions of summer still catches the eye; the focus is on structure rather than hue. Coppery beech leaves may still cling on, rattling in the Berkshire breeze which whips our tarps and makes interesting play of our garden work this time of year.
Another garden season gone by...
Herbaceous plants left standing remind us of what has been, mummies of the passing season. Seed heads feed the birds and provide aesthetic interest even as the flowers fade and so we often choose to leave seed heads standing until spring.
This is a wonderful time of year to really perceive a garden. Uncluttered, uncrowded and bare bones. This is the time before the long pause of winter. Before the snow comes, I catch a glimpse of potential and possibility. I get a good perspective of the lay of the land and it’s a wonderful time to begin the layout of a new landscape or to study an existing one. I can conceive and imagine what the garden could be within the backdrop of the wooded surroundings. Enjoy the changes, the space created by senescence and take the time to dream of your garden’s potential.