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After starting life as a fully trained Design Draughtsman then running my own business for nearly 20 years, I have fulfilled my desire to return to my first love of designing. Coupled with my second love of gardens, I retrained at the renowned Oxford College Of Garden Design, taking a Post Graduate Diploma in Residential Landscape and Garden Design. Since graduation I have started my own business Paul Francis Design Limited designing Gardens and Landscapes for private and commercial clients.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Autumn Colours

One of the delights of Autumn is the wonderful colours of the leaves on the trees, ranging from deep red, orange, yellow, brown and gold, creating a fantastic display in woods, parks and gardens country wide.

The range of colours is enhanced by hot weather through the summer and early autumn. The colours, created by pigments of anthocyanins and carotenoids are produced in great quantities in hot sunny weather but are disguised by the green chlorophyll until the autumn, when the chlorophyll starts to breakdown exposing the underlying pigments.

The more anthocyanins produced the redder the colour, anthocyanins and carotenoids give orange colours whilst carotenoids on their own make yellow colours.

Some of the best examples of autumn colour are found on the Liquidambar styraciflua (American Sycamore) tree whose leaves change from a pale green summer shade, to a glorious mix of lemon-yellows, crimsons and saturated purples.

Japanese maples also take some beating for reliable colour displays, with the likes of Acer palmatum that has leaves that turn a fabulous red-orange colour, striking on a sunny autumn day.

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