Quick! You’d better get out and enjoy the autumn colour now. It’s going fast. I was at the big garden on Monday and it was very nice. By the Thursday the colour was even more intense.

Autumn colour in the big garden

Then came a nice bit of frost, wind and rain (back to normal, in other words). And so the leaves are everywhere.

Subtle colours of autumn leaves in the west of Ireland

Being from the eastern United States originally, I grew up with huge amounts of leaves falling in the autumn (yes, it’s why we call it ‘Fall’). In fact, it’s something that I took for granted until I moved to Ireland. At home, you have no shortage of leaves to gather to make into leaf mould, which is such a great soil conditioner. Here, in the west of Ireland, you really have to look hard to find enough leaves to rake into a puny little pile.  And even though I curse them at home in America because of the torturous amount of raking you have to do, I do miss the large quantities of leaves.  The big garden has those large quantities that I miss. The little garden does not.  However, if I can live for 30 or 40 more years, I might reap the benefits of all my frantic tree planting in the last few years at the little garden.

Autumn colour on the river

The big garden has loads and loads of very old trees, some being centuries old. There is oak, beech, ash, yew, maple, willow, sycamore (or suckamore as I call them, because they suck and I hate them — though I was reminded that suckamore is good for timber to burn, which, in my opinion is where it is best placed…). The colour this time of year is rich. It is subtle, unlike the autumn colour in New England which can nearly give you a headache when you’re looking at it on a bright day. The colour here reminds you of fires and fine woollen jumpers and hot port. I’ve said it before, but I do love this time of year.

Next time… the garden club.