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To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

John Keats

That must be the best and most beautiful description of Autumn that I know.

I have to confess that Autumn is my favourite season. I know it means the end of summer and the inevitable approach of winter; unlike the bees, I know all too well that warm days will cease, but still I love Autumn. Everything about the quality of the light and the lushness of the final push of the plants delights me.

Today is such an irresistible Autumn day – it is warm, there is the lightest of breezes, the sky is blue and the sun is casting that hazy, golden light that I always associate with returning to college at the beginning of another year – not the end of Summer, but the start of something exciting.

These are some of the things that I love about Autumn :

*The late flowers that continue to give a wonderful show in the garden



Sedum Spectabile

Various summer bedding

Busy Lizzies (they survived!)


*The fruits (some of which feed us, but most of which feed the birds and other wildlife) :

Alpine strawberries

Crab apples (most either fallen or eaten – not by us!)

Blackberries (which grow on the other side of the wall, but obligingly lean into our garden)

The last pear ( I make sure we get most of these – they are delicious!)

*The seeds and berries, which characterize the season :

Skimmia Japonica

Cotoneaster John Waterer


*The all too brief glories of the season:

Boston Ivy (just beginning its climactic display)

Cyclamen Hederifolium (the exquisite flowers are followed by exuberant ivy-like leaves)

Ivy. Beautiful, if fragile, flowers which are carefully gathered in December for C.. (later in the season!)

*The geese, who return in the Autumn from northern parts, whose cries alert us in the mornings as they fly to other feeding grounds, and then again when they return at dusk, in huge skeins against the sunset. Alas, my little camera cannot do justice to the glorious sight (nor can this photographer!)

So…. although I realise that Autumn is the end of something beautiful, I love it as a wonderful season in its own right, with many superb aspects. If the weather is good, it’s matchless, and if not – well – c’est la vie!

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Beautiful blog, Melchi. I love the poem and yes, you are right with that autumn light.

27 Sep, 2013


Thank you, Katarina. I had to learn that poem at school. It was totally wasted on me then, although I never forgot about it, so perhaps not! But it was only as I grew older that I could truly appreciate it.

27 Sep, 2013


Love a bit of poetry, Mel, and I love your photo of the geese too. You have a very positive attitude . . . and you are so right, there is plenty to enjoy at this time of year. I will try to emulate you, but I do miss having supper in the garden, and sitting out until late!

27 Sep, 2013


Ah - well - yes, Sheila. Loving Autumn doesn't necessarily mean that I don't miss Summer!

27 Sep, 2013


Beautiful blog. I love the geese I could not resist counting them. There is a bumber harvest this year so does that mean we can expect a hard winter?

27 Sep, 2013


I don't know, Scotsgran. I am never sure how reliable such predictions are! The geese are spectacular. Sometimes the sky is filled with wave after wave of them. My mother lives outside the town, beside fields, with a vast view of sky (it's very flat around here) and sees what looks like thousands of geese. When my family first moved here in the mid-sixties, we had never seen anything like it, and we would rush out into the garden when we heard them. Occasionally, a few stragglers can be heard during the night. It always reminds me of the line "wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings" from "My Favourite Things".

27 Sep, 2013


I love Autumn too, the colours are amazing, the weather is cooler and the fruits are amazing, must go and pick blackberries. Love to see the geese flying in the formation. Thanks for a lovely blog, great pictures :O)

28 Sep, 2013


What a beautiful blog. I've added it to my favs :o)
I love the autumn as well ...

28 Sep, 2013


Thank you Barbara and Hywel. I am glad you enjoyed the blog. It has been another beautiful day here today - let's hope we have just a bit more sunny Autumn weather. I spent a happy hour browsing round the GC and buying some Spring bulbs and a much-needed new pair of secateurs. I then pottered about in the garden and noticed lots of tiny new pansy seedlings down in the wild area. I hope they survive! The cosmos is still flowering really well and is covered with buds - if the frosts hold off they will go on for a bit. It's beginning to get a bit uncertain now - how long will it all last? The next big job will be sweeping up all the leaves - I don't worry too much about the back, but the front is another matter!

28 Sep, 2013


Amen to all that , Mel , lovely blog , thank you .

28 Sep, 2013


Thank you, Driad :-)

28 Sep, 2013


What's left to say - your garden is looking wonderful. I'm holding off saying Autumn as the weather has still been great and I'm making the most out of the word summer ;)
The begonia in your first picture has just made me think twice about begonia - its gorgeous!! Thank you for sharing your autumn garden with us :)

28 Sep, 2013


Thank you Scottish! The garden's just at that stage where what is left is blooming its heart out and is just about to collapse! I'm just enjoying it as it is. That orange begonia has been wonderful. It looks hardly any different from how it was when I bought it - I haven't even dead-headed it. It's the first time I've had one like that, but I don't think it'll be the last.

28 Sep, 2013


What a lovely blog, Mel. I just had to add it to my favourites. You have a clever way of talking about it too !

30 Sep, 2013


Thank you, Rose - I am so glad you enjoyed it.

30 Sep, 2013


Who was it called autumn the "Season of fogs and yellow frightfulness?" whoever it was he obviously hadn't see all the great autumn photos on here...Love your cyclamen, and that ivy is grand - what long stems! The insects will be glad of the pollen later.

4 Oct, 2013


Thanks, Stera! I think I took the photos at the right time - it's all beginning to get a bit tatty around the edges now. Still - nothing lasts forever! The cyclamen are so lovely at this time - the leaves are just beginning to appear. The ivy is becoming redder by the day. It looks lovely from the inside of the landing and bathroom windows.

I know that G K Chesterton wrote "City of smuts and mellow fogfulness". (He also wrote "If a job's worth doing, it's worth doing badly" but then, if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing...)

5 Oct, 2013


It wasn't Chesterton I was thinking of - that poem must lend itself to parody! GKC sounds like my sort of fella...

5 Oct, 2013


He certainly had an interesting take on things. I find his attitude to jobs inspiring!

6 Oct, 2013


Time I read some of his books I think.

6 Oct, 2013


The essays are good. I have to be in the right mood for "Father Brown".

6 Oct, 2013


I'd forgotten him - yes, read some of those.

7 Oct, 2013

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