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We are two weeks into Autumn and I miss Summer (although there is a heat wave in Melbourne and Sydney’s weather is just delightful – the summer dresses are still out and about). Summer seemed to come and go so quickly. I enjoyed every warm, bright sunshiney morning and every cool sea breeze filled afternoon.

But the summer lover in me does admit, autumn is a beautiful time of year. The landscape, for those on the coastal fringes, is changing. It is becoming less harsh with gentle sunlight and the trees are preparing to shed their leaves. It’s already started in Sydney, with a line of Liquidambers in a street close to me turning crimson on their leaf tips.

Foliage colour at the height of autumn.

Foliage colour at the height of autumn.

As much as the cooler seasons are my least favourite part of the year, I still get a thrill out of seeing the colours of the autumn leaves in our neighbourhood. We are fortunate in Sydney that there are some species of deciduous tree that put on a wondeful autumn show, particularly the Chinese Tallow – Sapium sabiferum, which is often used as a street tree.

I grew up in northern New South Wales and although it can get very cold at night in areas away from the coast, the day time temperatures can remain in the low 20’s. This isn’t very helpful for producing autumn colour. So my eyes sparkled during my first autumn in Sydney when the landscape started to change from green to crimson.

I was fortunate to spend a year working as an Au Pair in Europe during my early 20’s and I fondly remember taking the little boy (who is not so little now and exploring the world on his own) to the nearby park, Clingendael, during autumn. We played for hours in the fallen golden leaves. It was so lovely and the snap shots that I have in my mind of those days playing with him bring a smile to my face.

You don't need to be a kid to enjoy playing fallen leaves.

Clingendael, Den Hague Holland. You don’t need to be a kid to enjoy playing in fallen leaves. Yes, that’s my bike – it is Holland after all.

There are regions close to Sydney that showcase a wonderful array of autumn colour. Two in particular that I am familiar with are the northern Blue Mountains (approx 2hrs west ofSydney) where Dave and I go in May each year to visit the very cold Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens and Mudgee (approx 4hrs from Sydney).

Firery colours of deciduous trees at Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens.

Firey colours of deciduous trees at Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens.

I visited Mudgee over the Anzac Day long weekend one year and it was beautiful. I have since heard that the days surrounding Anzac Day are in fact the best time to see the autumn colour there. You will find tree-lined streets in firey shades of crimson, red and orange and just around the corner a cellar door will be calling your name. That reminds me Dave and I are due for some wine fun in Mudgee!

As we progress further into autumn, garden centres will be filling their beds with deciduous trees. If you are considering planting a deciduous tree in your garden, now is the perfect time to purchase one. You will be able to see the magnificent show of colour that the trees produce during autumn and choose the one that suits the look and feel of your garden.

It’s also a great time to plan an autumn escape. This autumn I’ll be heading to Canberra and I expect that I’ll see an array of autumn colours there too.

Until next time

Carmel

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