Whilst in more northern countries, autumn begins in September, here October sees the start of the pre-winter season.
Some leaves turn a golden colour like those on prunus and pecans, but jacaranda trees hold on to their foliage, sometimes until March. Some leaves make good compost but leaves from fig trees, need quite some time to break down and be useful.
Pomegranate fruits glow through the leaves this month and are exceedingly good for you and more beneficial than red wine or green tea. Take care not to get the juice on your clothes though, as it is the very devil to remove. Pyracantha is ablaze with berries in reds, oranges and yellows, although for some reason the birds don’t like yellow berries and tend to leave them alone and you just have to look at Melia azedarach trees to see great clusters of the yellow berries hanging there all winter. These berries are slightly narcotic and I think the birds have learned to give them a wide berth or in their drugged state, they would make easy pickings for cats! Lots of new growth is appearing on plants, which may have looked very dead, and I’m glad now that I didn’t dig them out of the flowerbeds. Garden centres are full of potted chrysanthemums at this time of year, which will grow in the garden too. After they have finished flowering cut off the dead heads and plant them in your flowerbeds for next year.
Once we have some rain and the earth is damp again, then you can plant spring bulbs and if like me, you previously planted cyclamen corms in a shaded spot under a tree or bush, then you may find their tiny leaves poking above the ground.