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Jo's October Walk

Hello Everyone

The weather has had a strange effect on the autumn colour this year. It seemed that as soon as the leaves started to change colour the heavy rain came along and washed the leaves off the trees. Some trees haven't started to put their autumn coats on yet so there will be more to come I hope.

Let's start with what I did find. In the car park was this lovely Acer negundo. I think it's trying to decide whether to change colour or not, photo 1. Also, in the arboretum were hundreds of autumn crocuses (or croci). In the afternoon sunshine these looked so pretty and almost translucent, photo 2.

The Front Lawn always provides a warm welcome to visitors and I love this view, photo 3. The bed in the centre of the lawn is a lovely mix of Rhus typhina, the staghorn sumac, showing it's autumn colours with the clumps of the yellow and very cheerful sternbergia and a mix of seed heads from the summer plants, photo 4. Outside the front of the house is this beautiful Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum', Golden Full Moon Maple, that is making a comeback, again under-planted with sternbergia, photo 5.

Following the path along to the Eremurus Border I'm greeted by the sedums, photo 6 and another flush of flowers on the rose trees, photo 7.

Walking across the lawn I stop to admire the colour in the Wild Garden, photo 8. The stunning Acer palmatum 'Osakazuki' surrounded by more staghorn sumac.

Moving on to the Peach House, I find that the squashes and pumpkins have been harvested, photos 9 and 10. Did you know that all squashes are pumpkins but not all pumpkins are squashes?? No, neither did I !! There were 412 squashes of varying sizes and colours from 60 plants which I think is pretty impressive. Well done to Steph and the team in the Kitchen Garden. The squashes were kept in the Peach House to cure before heading down to make an amazing display in the Kitchen Garden, photo 11. They even found time to enjoy a game of draughts, photo 12. I think the game may last for some time!

Next I headed back up to the New River Lawn and the Pergola Garden which has received the attention of Ben, Eliza and Kim and the volunteers. This whole area has been cleared of all the perennial nasties and the allium bulbs that are just poking through the soil, photos 13 and 14. The sunlight can now flood through this whole area for the first time in years so it will be interesting to see what will appear here next year.

I continued my walk around the pond and stopped to admire this little Witch Hazel hamamelis, photo 15. The leaves were catching the afternoon sun and were a pleasing palette of autumn colour. Further round the pond in the yard at the back of the house were these Ash Raywood, Fraxinus angustifolia 'Raywood' which have turned almost burgundy and looked superb in the autumn sunlight, photo 16. The next photo of the pond was taken on 22nd October and as you can see there is not much autumn colour yet, photo 17, but a pleasing view nonetheless. Whilst I was there I watched the dragonflies and damselflies enjoying the warm sunshine. First up is the Common Darter dragonfly, photo 18. Next is the Willow Emerald damselfly, photo 19. This is quite rare so you probably have not seen one of these before. Finally a Migrant Hawker dragonfly photo 20. It looked big to me but is referred to as a small Hawker so I must keep a look out for it's larger family members next year. The Dunnock in the undergrowth to the right of the dragonfly will give you an idea of how big it is.

Hope you have enjoyed this wander through the garden with me.

Best wishes

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