The Rockery in Autumn

A couple of years ago I was afraid I would lose the star of our rockery, our Japanese Maple, as a fungal infection got one of its main branches. After treating it promptly, and chopping back some overhanging trees to give it breathing space, it seems to have fully recovered. I’m so glad we could save it!

The grasses below the maple come into their own at this time of year, especially when the wind rushes through them.

The tall grass is Miscanthus sinensis, and the short one in front of it is a dwarf Miscanthus – ‘Adagio’, pictured again below. Adagio only grows to about 1.5 metres (under 5 ft), and starts flowering late summer. It’s one of my favourites because I can leave it standing all winter and it doesn’t get untidy or flattened (unless we have really heavy snow).

This grass (pictured below) at the top of the rockery has flourished this year after a slow start last year (planted spring 2011). It is very slow to grow in the early summer, but then suddenly shoots up at the end of August! However, I have noticed it is spreading, so will have to watch it doesn’t become invasive. It was sold to me as a carex, but I’m not sure about that. (Maybe you know what it is?)

Another very good plant for dry ground and autumn colour is the outstanding Persicaria amplexicaulis (Firetail)

It adds height and interest to the rockery in autumn when all other flowers are slowly dying back. The background leaf is a Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald and Gold’ – beautiful all year round.

Note: All these photos were taken last week, and within days the garden has changed, with more golds and the acer’s leaves now falling…

Enjoy the rest of the autumn while it lasts, everyone!