Leaves become my obsession as Autumn takes hold. The patterns fallen leaves make on the ground fascinate me and help hold my interest as the rest of the garden shrinks back into the earth. The occasional shrub bursts into life, but generally the lack of new things that catch my eye and increasingly cold weather decreases my visits outside. As the garden subsides into winter I find the discipline of walking, photographing, writing and uploading more difficult to maintain.


October 1

Early in the morning I walk down to the bottom of the garden, serenaded by birdsong and, climbing up onto the heap of grass cuttings inspect the Russian vine which smothers half the fence and screens the garden from the school. I always find Russian vine a forbidding creature, it grows rampantly and threatens to overwhelm anything in its path, but here in the large garden it seems to have found a natural home, quietly blooming in the wilderness.


October 4

The garden is beginning to look tired. The Mulberry leaves are turning yellow and in the wilderness the leaves of a small Sycamore tree and the damsons are also lined with yellow. But flowers are still emerging on shrubs and the bedraggled thistles still cling on to their spiky blooms

October 6

Very wet and everywhere dripping with water. It enticed this rather beautiful slug out onto the lawn. I left it in peace, maybe a blackbird will enjoy it

October 7

A warm October day. A small flock of great tits is patrolling the garden, acrobatic and smartly dressed then make the place come alive. Above the magpie glides through the sky. And, perhaps, there the back of a female house sparrow? I think perhaps it was. I miss their chattering flocks. Later on walking in the garden after dusk as I have done all too rarely this year I see my first bat of the season zigzagging through the air

October 11

The leaves of the Lime trees have been turning copper for some weeks, but this morning they are strewn over the lawn and the trees themselves are looking threadbare. With a low sun sparkling through the trees it is a beautiful sight, also for the first time in months a Jay visits the garden.


October 13

A dull gray morning and the garden is very quiet. The squirrels, who have been everywhere recently, were nowhere to be seen and the garden was empty of birds. Eventually I saw her solitary squirrel in the wilderness and one great tit hopping up through the Mulberry tree. But everywhere else cold and gray, made the more so by chilly gusts of wind rippling through the undergrowth

October 18

The decay of the garden continues. The leaves of the Mulberry tree are turning yellow but like a weird experiment in dyed hair, sections of the tree turn at entirely different rates. The birds are busy, blackbirds searching through the lime leaves scattering the lawn and yesterday I saw the unusual sight of three wrens together in the Sycamore tree, perhaps a family?


October 22

The leaves continue to turn and fall. To the left the crispy crunch of lime leaves, to the right the elegant fronds of ash leaves, and down in the wilderness sycamore leaves turn yellow whilst the cherry leaves turn a dark red. This leaf had miraculously turned itself into a cone, looking as if it was a horn of plenty mysteriously erupting from the earth


October 29

The week has turned grey and windy, but not cold. The line trees are now looking quite there in the black branches of the Mulberry tree can be seen behind the thinning yellow leaves. I notice that the buds of next spring are already present. Squirrels are ever present digging and nuzzling into the lawn, that what they are searching for I'm not sure

leaf on leaf

October 31

The month ends rainy with heavy clouds leaving the earth wet with rain. The Mulberry tree continues to lose leaves and carpet the ground with yellow, in amongst it the squirrels frolic but everything else is quiet on this All Hallows Eve, no skeletons appear from the wilderness and no witches dance around the Mulberry

The Decay of the GardenFlower

Even the mushrooms, blind fruit of the dark earth, must die
Sap will shrink from wood
Leaves mulch into wet soil
And flowers flame and fade before the breath of freezing winter
Bright berries will blacken
Stalks dry and snap
The little blue tits shiver and die
And we will huddle beneath down in hibernating sleep
It must be this way
Light must slide low across the sky
And days die before their quite alive
But must it be that the heart aches so?