It has been beautifuly warm this week with a little bit of sunshine here and there. Perfect weather to show off the peak of autumn colour just before a big temperature drop and proper winter sets in. In essence, this time of year is all about the leaves.

There are the ones on the trees, red maples, like this one in one of my gardens, and bright yellow field maple and hazel dotted along the country lanes as I travel around to work.

Cotinus

This Cotinus, probably Cotinus coggyria Royal Purple, looked stunning backlit by the morning sun, was in another customer’s garden.

They look amazing on the trees, but then they fall. When they first come down, leaves can look pretty good on the ground too but they are not great for lawns, where they block out the light to the grass and they are not so welcome on paths and driveways where they become a sticky, slippy mess and get trampled into the house.

Beech

Luckily I only have one garden where I rake leaves, the others have someone else with the proper equipment or they deal with them themselves. I don’t mind leaf raking, it’s good exercise and it keeps me warm.

The start of the raking
More leaves!

This is a pretty traditional garden for an old lady and I suspect the system has been in place for a long time. The leaves get raked up and narrowed to the leaf pile in the corner.

Leaf pile

A few weeks ago I forked last year’s pile over the wall at the back into the bay behind

One year old leaves, with a few new ones from the beech above.

The pile that was here, so two years old, has mostly been spread on the garden borders but there’s a little bit left and it looks like this.

It’s a bit lumpy because of the conker shells, all the conkers have to be picked out because they tend to grow.

When I look up and all the leaves are gone, it’s a good moment because the leaf raking has taken place over several visits but now it is done for the year and time to leave the leaf pile to work it’s magic.

And this is where I walked!