Many trees locally were showing autumnal signs even in late August. Several are showing signs of disease. The woods around us are now dotted with ash trees with no leaves on, and dying Larch. The constant damp conditions, even without excessive rainfall seem to be creating conditions perfect for fungal diseases.
But also fungi. Already there have been many colourful Waxcap mushrooms fruiting in all our meadows, though they rarely survive for long, since the slugs seem to relish them.But lots in the garden still looks lovely. Hydrangeas are a constant delight, and by mid September when we were at last blessed with another 3 dry days in a row, autumnal colours were already appearing, along with some more delightful cloud scapes. The month ended on a grey and wet note, and was probably the gloomiest September I can recall, though strangely conditions may be perfect for more prolonged autumn colour in several of our reliable early leaf colour change plants… Finishing with another wet grey day, the monthly rainfall total of 237.5 mm confirms what a disappointing and unpredictable month it can be on the Western fringes of the UK. Look back at 2015 and 2014, and you’ll see a rainfall total of just 13 mm one year…Oh well, there’s always 2018. The PV reading is also the lowest we’ve ever had for September.