Autumn in the garden, and on the international rugby field is a time for laying down firm roots, for nurturing and pruning, with an eye to reaching full bloom sometime in the future.
Repeat-flowering red roses will have several flushes of flowers from late spring and can still be in bloom up until the first frosts.
Last weekend we witnessed a final Autumn showcase, and on an ex cabbage patch, by the Red Roses themselves, England women.
This particular bloom have shown an array of shade and light, perhaps the pick of the bunch being Jess Breach, scoring 11 tries in two and half games of rugby against Canada.
A more established but slightly less appealing bunch of Red Roses showed some of their true colours, when matched against the exotic south sea islanders, who found it difficult to establish themselves in a much harsher and cooler climate than their natural habitat.
In Wales the green green grass of home, having looked tired, patchy and dull since the last World Cup, showed shoots of recovery, but with the roof closed the rain and sunshine required to speed up germination of the new hybrid were missing, and ultimately that hardy perennial, the All Black, choked and suffocated anything that crossed its path.
Across the channel everything in the “Jardin” is far from rosy, there is some severe pruning,and possibly lopping, to be done, and the biggest grow bag in history is required if we are to see anything of beauty come the spring.
Flourishing Cherry Blossoms were evident, at the new U Arena in Paris, as the warmth of the land of the rising sun sent a cold wintry shiver down the collective spine of French rugby.
Bernard Laporte may well be sharpening his secateurs at this very moment.
And finally the best of show must surely go to the Flower of Scotland there were fears of a trampling underfoot from a marauding marsupial, a totally unfounded notion as it turned out, a truly outstanding display in the darkest corner of the United Kingdom where daylight is sparse at this time of year, and who knows it may even rise up again in early February.
So we now set our sights on lighter and longer days and hope that all our seedlings and our established blooms stay safe and free from damage to brighten up our February and March.