The heavy and persistent rain this summer resulted in the highest rainfall on record and the dullest weather for many years. However, the latest bout of wet & warm weather has kick-started the autumn colour with many gardening experts predicting super displays.
The higher than-average temperatures in early September, followed by cold nights, have encouraged many leaves to turn golden brown.
The RHS curator in Wisley, Colin Crosbie, said that growth had been out of the ordinary for many gardeners this summer and that the autumn displays had already begun. The colder nights have seen the leaves halt their growth and turn towards the beautiful autumnal colours of reds, browns and golden hues.
Colin said, “Usually it is dry and the leaves start to fall at the end of summer. This year we have had phenomenal leaf growth. Then the recent warm weather has allowed them to produce lots of chlorophyll and increased sugar levels in trees.”
“But as the night time temperature falls it sends a signal to the tree to stop growing and instead begin turning. So chlorophyll, which gives leaves their green colour, begins to break down, exposing yellow, orange and red pigments, it could provide a firework display from trees this year.”
Of course, everything could literally change overnight. Sudden storms and changeable inclement weather could end the current settled spell. The Royal Horticultural Society expert said, “We just need the weather to keep on doing the same things. What we don’t want is masses of strong winds and we don’t want heavy rain now.”