With a new season comes the opportunity for change and creativity – and that’s especially true with autumn. Across the northern hemisphere, the landscape comes alive with fiery colours that just don’t exist in other seasons. Just look at the sprawling forests of New England, which transform into picturesque rainbows of oranges, yellows and reds come October.
In fact, the US know how to ‘do’ autumn pretty well with their fall festivals, apple pie eating contests, and let’s not forget, the iconic Pumpkin Spiced Latte. But why doesn’t that excitement translate here in the UK? Our forests are just as beautiful, we have the best apples in the world and we’re partial to a festival. With all this in mind, I think it’s time to really start celebrating autumn!
Where do autumn colours come from?
In the UK, we’re usually blessed with a warm, late summer, which means that our autumn colours are even more ‘on point’. This is due to the extra sunshine increasing pigment concentrations in plants. The pigments, carotenoids and flavonoids, are responsible for those yellow and orange colours, while trees with a higher sugar concentration see an increase in anthocyanin, causing their leaves to turn red.
Other plants, such as those which grow from bulbs, will benefit from a long summer. They actually give a better display when they’ve been baked in the sun! Also, a cold spring will have held back flowering, so fruits and berries will appear later, bringing colour to hedges and the like.
Then, we have plants which flower in cooler seasons, such as chrysanthemums, pansies and violas. These provide an assortment of hues which contrast with those fiery leaf colours. Later perennials such as aster and anemone in the border can also extend interest beyond the September glow.
Decorating in autumn
Why not take inspiration from these fantastic autumn colours and decorate your home and garden accordingly? Again, Americans excel in this area, because not only is autumn a big cultural event, but decorating is a thoroughly honed skill in the States!
This year, try making an autumn wreath using materials such as twigs, leaves and pinecones from your garden. Or what about autumnal bunting to hang about front doors and more? You could transform your house and garden into an autumn fest!
If you’re focusing mainly on your garden, or you want to bring that autumnal decor style to harmonise your indoor and outdoor spaces, try out one of these seven styles this year…
These hydrangeas really do change colour, which is perfect for those of you with ever-changing minds when it comes to your garden. This is a plant which has been specifically selected for long-lasting, constantly colour-changing blooms. Even as the blooms die, they still keep their form and look elegant, right through the winter.
There’s always someone who likes to leave it until the last minute – even when it comes to gardening jobs! The Autumn Berries Collection provides instant colour for last minute gardeners, filling up any holes you may have and saving you any panic. These plants can be used as bedding that enjoys the cooler months of the year, while also jazzing up pots and such.
Achieve true autumn colour from this handsome shrub! With its small to medium size, graceful and interesting shape, as well as its vibrant, eye-popping autumn leaf colour, this plant is easy to maintain whilst being an interesting and unique addition to your garden.
Double Primula Belarina
If you’re looking for a plant that will flower almost non-stop year round, then this could be the one for you! This UK-bred plant features six differently coloured, highly-scented blooms that will flower for up to ten weeks.
Wallflowers are a classic English plant, and new breeding means they now flower even more months of the year. Enjoy the staggering flower power of these wallflowers, as well as a beautiful scent which has no rival!
Daffodil Citrus Sorbet
Autumn is ALSO about planning for next season – so choose your favourite daffodils for your outdoor space, for cutting, for borders or for pots. The plants aren’t too tall, so they’re perfect for a variety of locations; plus, this collection features single and double-flowered varieties with wonderful fragrances.
A kaleidoscope of colour with this artistic tulip! Grab your gardening gloves and plant these robust flowers in autumn for best results. Or, go one better and scatter with viola for instant effect, knowing that it’ll look good until spring, then be joined later by these gorgeous tulips!
And that’s seven autumn styles for you to try. Until next time!