Summer has slipped away and some of the trees are already showing a hint of autumn colour. Most of the vegetables have been harvested but summer annuals like the pink Cosmos in the foreground here will flower right up until the first frosts in November.
The silver birch that started life in the beech hedge as a seedling twenty five years ago is a graceful tree all year round, but its golden foliage in autumn is someting I always look forward to.
Annual dahlias were the first plants I ever grew, when I was given a packet of seed as a child - an inspired choice, as they germinate easily, flower reliably and produce flowers in the kind of bright sweetshop colours that appeal to children. I grow a few in most years, as a reminder of how I got started as a gardener.
Clematis cirrhosa began flowering in early autumn, climbing through the lower branches of the crab apple tree. Hard winters mean that it doesn't fulfill its full winter-flowering potential here in Durham, but it's a strking plant in autumn.
Borlotti beans are one of those vegetables that are visually attractive as well as being productive - great for adding to stews in autumn. They need a long growing season and the pods are slow to mature so I have to plant them as early as I can in spring - and keep my fingers crossed that we don't get any late frosts.
With autumn approaching insects like this seven-spot ladybird were searching for places to hibernate. Not much hope of squeezing into the small spaces in this teasel head, but many hibernate in the leylandii hedge, that provides evergreen shelter.
Biennials, like this caper spurge Euphorbia lathyris (growing up through golden-leaved feverfew plants) have come to the end of their first season's growth and will flower next year. This plant has exploding seed pods that hurl seeds around the garden. I've only ever sown the seeds once, about twenty years ago - since then self-sown seedlings have produced these weirdly geometrical plants every year. Caper spurge plants bleed white latex - liquid rubber - when they are damaged and they are said to deter moles.
... but it had its interesting diversions, uncovering nests of blackbirds, a song thrush, a wren and a goldfinch - testament to a successful breeding season for some of the garden's other residents.