I was sitting at the kitchen table, one of my favourite places to sit.  I can look out onto the Rose Garden:


First I was struck by the gold of the pear tree.


Gold is the dominant colour in late autumn.  The Oak trees have turned ochre, and there are varying shades of amber, gold and yellow from the Field Maples and Willows and Poplars.  Our Lime tree has become burnished bronze:


There is an understorey of pale green and russet, from the Bright Border.


I love these overlapping textures.


Warmest tones, stippled and stencilled.


ombré [adjective]

Having colours or tones that shade into each other —used especially of fabrics in which the colour is graduated from light to dark

Geranium foliage has an ombré of gold into vermillion:


Geum foliage has an ombré  of green into burgundy-plum.


If I get in close to the ground, the overlapping textures remind me of appliqué.

appliqué [noun]

Ornamental needlework in which pieces of fabric are sewn or stuck on to a larger piece to form a picture or pattern.

They are not stuck down flat, but are free to overlap and intertwine.


I want to describe this as a Fandangle.

fandangle [noun] archaic

A useless or purely ornamental thing.
‘a solo with no end of shakes and trills and fandangles’


Here is a bit more ombré.


And a finale of ochre from Rosa rugosa.


It is jewelled with amber rosehips:


It is the ornamentation that I am trying to get at.  The decoration, ostentation, embellishment.  Autumn is frippery and frills.  Autumn is precious jewels, catching the light.  It is burnished bronze and polished mahogany.

All these riches, if we are minded to see them.

What words come to mind when you look at the colours and textures of autumn?  What associations do they hold?

The Mindful Gardener is here to help you to notice.  It is easy to hide away in winter and withdraw from nature.  There are still treasures to be enjoyed.

To subscribe to this blog, click on the ‘Follow’ button at the bottom of this page.  You will receive an email each time I post.  A fandangle for you.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Emma Cownie says:

    The colours this autumn have been incredible.

    1. Ali says:

      It has been a good year for autumn colour; I have noticed stages this year, where it has gone through a yellow phase and then a rich orange phase. I can’t remember that before.

      1. Emma Cownie says:

        Yes, I keep finding myself starring at orange trees thinking that’s amazing, in a way I don’t remember doing before. I think that autumn storms usually blow the leaves off the trees.

      2. Ali says:

        I guess every autumn is different, depending on the weather, and weather in the summer.

  2. I see you are lucky enough to still have lovely autumn color to enjoy. We have only brown now until the snow comes to make everything magically white.

    1. Ali says:

      Oh I love that with snow; everything looks reborn! I hope we get some this year…

  3. “Drab brown in a dead landscape” are the words that come to my mind in my own garden. I may have mentioned before that, this year, winter hit suddenly with sub-freezing temps in early November, transforming all those glorious reds and golds, ambers and ochres, into the drab brown they remain still. And stuck onto the trees, they remain still. Probably when the first snows arrive next week, they’ll remain still. So, a special thanks for bringing back all those fleeting colors, Ali!

    1. Ali says:

      It is a delight to be able to share them with you.

  4. Cathy says:

    Another great analogy – and what a lot of leaves are still on your trees! Not the case here, and sweeping up needs to begin in earnest soon…

    1. Ali says:

      It always surprises me, being a Northerner, how late the leaves are to drop here. The Oaks especially.

      1. Cathy says:

        Yes, and it’s always interesting to compare species – some here are completely bare whilst others seem almost fully clothed. No doubt a strong wind will see all the others off

  5. Gorgeous photos and I love your use of words to describe these scenes, from ombre to fandangle, the frippery and frills – mouthwatering words!

    1. Ali says:

      Some words make you tingle, don’t they?

  6. You got ornamentation right, that’s for sure – in the photos and the words!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s